Suburban schools well represented on National Blue Ribbon list

Three elementary schools from Naperville Unit District 203 were among the 17 schools in Illinois selected by the U.S. Department of Education as 2022 National Blue Ribbon honorees.

The suburbs were well represented on the annual list recognizing schools with outstanding overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made the announcement Friday while honoring 297 schools nationwide.

Naperville 203 landed Elmwood, Highlands and Steeple Run elementary schools on the list.

“I am so proud of the collaborative partnership among the students, staff, parents and communities in our Blue Ribbon schools that have resulted in academic excellence and significant progress in closing achievement gaps and opportunities,” District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said in a statement.

Other suburban awardees include Deerfield High School, Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire, Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, St. Charles North High School, Norton Creek Elementary School in West Chicago, and Wescott Elementary School, Westmoor Elementary School and Wood Oaks Junior High School in Northbrook.

“This recognition speaks volumes about our amazing ... school community,” Deerfield High School Principal Kathryn Anderson said in a statement. “Thank you to our phenomenal staff, students and families for your ongoing efforts and support to make DHS one of the best schools in the nation.”

In 39 years, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has awarded more than 9,000 schools nationally. A flag is given to each school to serve as a symbol of the achievement. Up to 420 schools are nominated each year.

“St. Charles North students and staff are amazing,” Principal Shanna Lewis said in a video. “I have known this since the first day I started here. And now the nation knows.”

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