Thomas Paine Elementary School in Garden Grove, Calif., on Sept. 21, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Out of 33 schools across California named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, 20 are in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.
Schools are chosen based on their progress in closing achievement gaps and for outstanding overall academic performance, according to the department.
“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement when the schools were announced Sept. 19.
“The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”
353 schools received the award nationwide.
Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 21, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Twelve schools received the recognition in Los Angeles:
- Charles J. Carver Elementary School, ABC Unified, Cerritos
- Downtown Magnets High School, Los Angeles Unified, Los Angeles
- Glen A. Wilson High School, Hacienda La Puente Unified, Hacienda Heights
- Grace Miller Elementary School, Bonita Unified, La Verne
- Horace Mann Elementary School, Glendale Unified, Glendale
- Leffingwell Elementary School, East Whittier City School District, Whittier
- Los Molinos Elementary School, Hacienda La Puente Unified, Hacienda Heights
- Martha Baldwin Elementary School, Alhambra Unified, Alhambra
- Mesa Robles School, Hacienda La Puente Unified, Hacienda Heights
- Ocean View Elementary School, East Whittier City Elementary School District, Whittier
- San Jose Charter Academy, San Jose Charter Academy, West Covina
- Wedgeworth Elementary School, Hacienda La Puente Unified, Hacienda Heights
The Hacienda La Puente Unified school district celebrated four of its schools being honored in the district, with congratulations from the Board of Education President Christine H. Salazar.
“I am overfilled with emotion today and honored to stand before you all in honor of this remarkable achievement,” Ms. Salazar said in a statement. “I am a proud product of HLPUSD and a Wilson High School alumna. This recognition represents all the hard work and dedication happening here and across all our schools for years and years to come.”
Six schools were awarded in Orange County:
- G. Cook Elementary School, Garden Grove Unified, Garden Grove
- Buena Terra Elementary School, Centralia Elementary School District, Buena Park
- Crean Lutheran High School, Pacific Southwest District School District, Irvine
- Early College High School, Newport-Mesa Unified, Costa Mesa
- Susan B. Anthony Elementary School, Garden Grove Unified, Westminster
- Thomas Paine Elementary School, Garden Grove Unified, Garden Grove
Cook Elementary School in Garden Grove, Calif., on Sept. 21, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) board president Walter Muneton additionally celebrated the three schools awarded in his district in a statement.
“The Blue Ribbon Award represents the best of the best in education and we are thrilled that three GGUSD schools are national models of academic excellence,” Mr. Muneton said. “This award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our teachers and staff who work tirelessly to provide students with the very best educational experience.”
Early College High School in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Sept. 21, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Susan B. Anthony Elementary School in Westminster, Calif., on Sept. 21, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Two schools were honored in San Diego:
- Casita Center for Technology, Science & Math, Vista Unified, Vista
- Garfield Elementary School, San Diego Unified, San Diego
Principal Mechale Mency Murphy of Garfield Elementary School—a Title 1 school that receives federal funds to serve around 256 low-income students—issued a statement celebrating the award.
“It is a rare opportunity for a Title 1 school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School and be identified as an Exemplary High Performing School,” said Ms. Murphy. “We hear so much about what students from diverse economic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds cannot do. Garfield educators consistently demonstrate what students CAN do when given the best learning conditions.”
City News Service contributed to this report.