Q&A with Nico Flores: National Blue Ribbon award


Pranav Iyer

MVHS was named a National Blue Ribbon school this year, a recognition given to high-achieving schools as well as those who have shown improvement among its national minorities. El Estoque interviewed Dean of Students Nico Flores, who believes that this award not only has validated the school’s success over the years but also proved to everyone involved that their efforts have had significant effects.

El Estoque: What is the National Blue Ribbon?

Nico Flores: National Blue Ribbon is an opportunity for us to be recognized, not only through state requirements, but also national requirements, which is a very long application. [We] report all of the incredible things that our students and teachers are consistently doing to deliver information. The STAR testing that we have done in the past also [have to be at] a certain level.

EE: How many schools get this award?

NF: There are on average about three or four schools from each state. There were three high schools from California that won the award this year.

EE: How does winning this award affect MVHS’ reputation?

NF: I think it just confirms our thoughts that what we’re doing is the right work, that we’re providing for students so that when they get out of high school, they’re able to contribute positively to our society and our community. They are ready to take on that post-secondary education, if that’s what their choice is.

EE: Why do you think MVHS has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school?

NF: I think that the students keep us on our toes and they expect a lot from the adults on campus and I think the adults respond well. They are not satisfied with the status quo. They are always looking for new and better and inventive ways to educate our students and educate each other. I just think we are in a dynamic, proactive, state of mind and community and I don’t think we are very reactive. I think we are trying to stay ahead of the curve to provide every possible way to keep our students educated and I firmly contribute that to our students and their families because their families are also motivating them to be the best.

EE: To which groups of people should this award be credited to?

NF: This award is not about Mrs. Scott. It’s certainly not about me. I was the person who simply typed the information onto the application. The award belongs to the students, the teachers, the classified staff who support all of the work [and] our custodial staff, who keeps our facilities in a position where kids can come in and learn in a safe environment. All I had the oppurtinity to do was simply collect all that evidence and put it into an application. So the real credit goes to the people that are working at our school on a daily basis. And, of course, culminates with the incredible student body that we have.

EE:  What will the school do do retrieve this award?

NF: Mrs. Scott and I will be in Washington D.C. to receive whatever they are going to present to us. That will be prominently displayed in our main office.

Principal April Scott and Dean of Students Nico Flores will be in Washington D.C. on November 11th to receive the reward on behalf of the school.