The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that Parkview Elementary in Columbia has been named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School.
Parkview is one of 24 Illinois schools joining the 349 public and private schools that won the award nationwide.
“The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms Parkview’s dedicated school community,” the Columbia school district wrote in a press release. “Teachers and staff work diligently with students and parents. Everyone at Parkview is certainly proud of this deserved award.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos congratulated the winners of the awards.
“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” DeVos said in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives…. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”
State officials also congratulated the Illinois winners.
“The teachers, students, administrators and parents at these schools should be very proud of achieving this remarkable honor,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “It’s great to see among the honorees both public and private places of learning located in small towns, urban areas and large cities across Illinois. Each school on this list is a shining example of what can be accomplished through hard work and dedication.”
“Congratulations to our 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith agreed. “This award gives us an opportunity to recognize educators across the state who bring our communities together and who challenge and inspire the next generation of Illinois leaders. I am deeply appreciative that so many Illinois schools are receiving this prestigious honor.”
The award is given based on an individual school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Parkview won in the latter category, Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. The school was nominated by a top education official in Illinois.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.
Former principal of Parkview and Eagleview Elementary schools Brad Landgraf completed the application because he was principal at the time. He is now superintendent in the Millstadt school district.
Award winners will go to Washington, D.C. on Nov. 7-8 for a ceremony.
Landgraf, Parkview and Eagleview Elementary Principal April Becherer and teacher Karen Dent will attend the ceremony to represent the school.