335 schools awarded National Blue Ribbon in 2015

The US Department of Education announced the 335 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015 this morning in Washington. The list includes six public and two private schools in Maryland and 13 public and three private schools in Illinois.


Students at Longfellow Elementary collaborate. Two of the 13 elementary schools in the suburban Illinois district were awarded the National Blue Ribbon this year. (US Department of Education)

Of particular note is Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200, based in northwest-suburban Wheaton, Ill., from which two elementary schools were awarded the National Blue Ribbon this year, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, which was awarded three National Blue Ribbons.

“We certainly are proud to have two schools on this list,” said Jeff Schuler, superintendent of schools for District 200, which serves 13 elementary schools in total, all worthy of awards like this. “The recognition does mean a great deal to our schools, as it reflects the fine work both learning communities have done to improve learning for all students and sustain that level of achievement over time.

“School District 200 strives to create opportunities for all students to graduate college and career ready. This recognition certainly suggests students are off to a great start at Longfellow and Emerson,” he said.

The 285 public and 50 private schools will be honored at a recognition ceremony on November 9 and 10 in Washington, DC. Each school selected either has students who are achieving very high learning standards, or students who are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap, but all winning schools this year in both Maryland and Illinois were chosen because they were high-achieving schools.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a video message sent to awardees. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction, and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence—in vision, in implementation, and in results—and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”

“Great schools and educators are vital to the success of our students, and our state,” said Gov Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland. “I believe every child in Maryland deserves a world-class education, and our state’s Blue Ribbon Schools are making it happen by being the very best in teaching and learning. I congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.”

Although Voxitatis has in the past gone out to the schools and shot photos of the buildings, we take advantage this year of the publication of photos from each of the winning schools, published by the US Department of Education. Simply follow the link for each school by opening the spoilers below.

In Illinois


Students at Butler Jr H.S. participate in a geometry lesson. (US Department of Education)
Butler Junior High School, Oak Brook
Emerson Elementary School, Wheaton
G. Kerkstra Elementary School, Oak Forest
Hough Street School, Barrington
Lasalle Language Academy, Chicago
Lincoln Elementary School, River Forest
Longfellow Elementary School, Wheaton
May Watts Elementary School, Naperville
Meadow Glens Elementary School, Naperville
Medora Elementary School, Medora
Old Post Elementary School, Oswego
Our Lady of the Wayside School, Arlington Heights
Pecatonica Elementary School, Pecatonica
Scott Altman Primary School, Pekin
St. Cornelius Elementary School, Chicago
St. Theresa School, Palatine

In Maryland

Cardinal Hickey Academy, Owings
Fountain Green Elementary School, Bel Air

4th graders at Kemptown Elementary play a math game. (US Department of Education)
Kemptown Elementary School, Monrovia
Lake Shore Elementary School, Pasadena
Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bethesda
Pine Grove Elementary School, Baltimore
Severna Park Elementary School, Severna Park
Smithsburg High School, Smithsburg

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.