Elkin Middle School was named a National Blue Ribbon School, one of eight schools in North Carolina to receive the honor, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.
In all, 302 public schools and 23 nonpublic schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools, a program that recognizes schools based on their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Elkin Middle was the only middle school in the state named a Blue Ribbon School.
“We’re all full of excitement here,” Superintendent Myra Cox said.
Terrel H. Bell, the secretary of education under President Ronald Reagan, established the awards program in 1982 to bring attention to the best schools in the country.
One of three schools in the Elkin City Schools district, the middle school has an enrollment of 199 students and a staff of nine teachers and a principal, Cox said. It serves 7th and 8th graders.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the first time a school in the tiny district has been named a Blue Ribbon School.
Principal Amanda Burton, a guest of hers; and Cox will travel to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4-5, to be honored with other winners at a ceremony that will include Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
The seven other schools in the state to be named a Blue Ribbon School are: Pender Early College High School, Pender County Schools; Sampson Early College High School, Sampson County Schools; Pearsontown Elementary School, Durham Public Schools; Brush Creek Elementary School, Madison County Schools; Union Elementary School, Lincoln County Schools; Blue Ridge Elementary School, Ashe County Schools; Sallie B Howard Charter School, Wilson.
Three schools in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools: Diggs-Latham Elementary School in 1994; North Hills Elementary School in 2004; and Whitaker Elementary School in 2012.