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Hudson, Twain Two of State's Distinguished Schools

Teachers, classified staff, administrators and volunteers at Elizabeth Hudson School and Mark Twain Elementary School are celebrating. This is the first time a westside school has earned this statewide honor and the second such honor for Twain, located in Lakewood Village. Twain is also a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, a high honor that only a Distinguished School can seek. Hudson, which includes Mary Macleod Bethune Transition Center, expects to be a contender for national recognition, too. "This is a great day for our school and the community we serve," said Hudson Principal Wendy Claflin. "We've been eagerly awaiting the results of an on-site visit we had from an evaluation team last month. Everyone here has worked so hard to make Hudson a wonderful school. It's so encouraging to have state officials with a wide base of experience validate the quality of our school. "We are so proud of this team effort," she said. "The children at Hudson are better prepared to succeed and excel because of the extremely high dedication of our staff, parents and volunteers." "We feel like the Lakers, proud of our back-to-back wins," said Twain principal Tom Malkus. Twain was named a National Blue Ribbon School after being selected as a California Distinguished School in 1997. He attributed Twain's success to "fantastic teachers, great parent support and children who are ready and willing to learn." Hudson and Twain will be honored May 24 at a dinner at the Disneyland Hotel. Each school will receive a California Distinguished School flag and sign to display on their campus. Only 247 of the state's 5,000 elementary schools are being honored this year.