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P.S 221 in Little Neck celebrates second Blue Ribbon win in a decade 

Dec. 12, 2023 By Iryna Shkurhan

One of 22 schools in the state, and 353 in the country, P.S 221 North Hills in Little Neck received Blue Ribbon distinction by the U.S Department of Education this year.

Over a hundred students with tiny blue ribbon stickers stuck on their chests gathered in the school’s auditorium on Tuesday, Dec. 12 to celebrate the award with performances and hear celebratory remarks from local elected officials and the school’s leadership. 

“It is an incredible honor,” said Principal Allison Myers at the ceremony. “We have again raised the bar for our students and paved the way for continued achievement.”  

For the 40th year since the Blue Ribbon Schools Program started in 1982, six schools in Queens were selected. North Hills was one of four to receive the distinction for the second time. The school first received the distinction in 2013.

“We envelop our students in a loving, nurturing environment as soon as they walk through our front doors,” said Tricia Bullard, the school’s former principal for over a decade. “The children here excel because they are valued, supported and challenged to be the best.”

Principal Allison Myers, left, alongside former principal Tricia Bullard. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

Bullard served as the principal since 2009 and stepped down this fall. Both leaders were credited for the school’s success and recognition. 

At the ceremony, three students also jointly recited ‘T’was the Day of the Blue Ribbon Poem,’ written by Michelle Giusto. Then a compilation video of students sharing what they think makes the school special was also played. 

“We all know that getting a blue ribbon doesn’t happen by coincidence. It happens with hard work and dedication,” said Council Member Linda Lee, who represents a part of Little Neck. “There’s a lot of years of effort that go into it.”

The council member pointed out that in her district alone, which covers far eastern Queens, there are 35 schools alone. Given that, it is not a common award to receive, especially twice. 

Among the performances were fourth and fifth grade students, part of North Hills Voice, an extracurricular music class, who sang “Blue and Gold” before a rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Students part of the school’s ballroom dance team also took the stage. 

Assemblyman Edward Braunstein congratulated the school on the national distinction at the ceremony. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

“It’s nice to be nationally recognized and to see that the rest of the country recognizes what a special school P.S. 221 is,” said Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, who represents the district. “We are so proud of you.”

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