This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools, and Middle College High in the Santa Ana Unified School District was among 29 public schools in California to win the coveted award. In addition, New Horizon School in Irvine was one of the California private schools recognized.
The federal Blue Ribbon Schools Program is considered the highest federal honor for public and private schools from elementary through high school. Eligibility is based on the schools’ overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Middle College High was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing school, meaning it performed in the top 15 percent of schools statewide as measured by state assessments. In all, 285 public and 50 private schools in the nation were bestowed the honor.
“When I learned that MCHS was named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2015, I felt a surge of pride for our entire school community — the students, their families and our staff,” Tamara Storms, a ninth-grade English and 12th-grade AVID teacher at Middle College, told the Newsroom. “It affirms that we are indeed changing the lives of these young people and our community.”
Storms attributed her school’s success to “an unwavering commitment to one another as a school community.”
“Our close-knit, small school fosters an environment where teachers push themselves as professionals because they are devoted to our students,” she said. “Our students respond to this dynamic by pushing themselves to achieve.”
National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 9 and 10 in Washington, D.C. Winners will receive a flag and plaque to display at their school sites as a mark of excellence.