Members of Naperville's Ss. Peter and Paul community long have been convinced their school provides a blue ribbon-quality education.
Formal recognition by the U.S. Department of Education just confirmed it.
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Ss. Peter and Paul celebrated its national Blue Ribbon award during an all-school assembly Friday. It is one of 21 schools in Illinois and 269 in the country to receive the distinction.
Two other Naperville schools, Indian Prairie Unit District 204's White Eagle and Fry elementaries, also were named Blue Ribbon winners and will hold ceremonies Tuesday.
Ss. Peter and Paul students celebrated their award with pizza and ice cream, followed by the assembly in which they all wore special blue T-shirts.
"Ss. Peter and Paul has always been a Blue Ribbon school because we have Jesus," said alumna and current computers teacher Ruthy O'Malley, who emceed the ceremony. "Any school that puts Jesus Christ first will always be blessed."
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of achievement.
Ss. Peter and Paul was recognized as an "Exemplary High Performing" school as measured by state assessments on national tests.
"We're proud of the Blue Ribbon academic status. We're proud of the well-roundedness of our student body and religious component and the service component," Principal Frank Glowaty said. "We can apply for this award every five years, so five years from now we'll be filling out more forms and sending in test scores. And we know in five years from now, Washington will be recognizing Ss. Peter and Paul School once again."
In addition to a plaque awarded to Glowaty in Washington, D.C., the school received a National Blue Ribbon Schools flag to fly over the school every day through the current school year.