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3 Delaware schools earn national Blue Ribbon recognition

Three Delaware schools are among 335 schools that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized today as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement.


Cape Henlopen School District’s Cape Henlopen High School, Lake Forest Elementary’s Lake Forest East Elementary School and Caesar Rodney School District’s W. B. Simpson Elementary School are among the 285 public and 50 private schools that will be honored at an awards ceremony November 9 to 10 in Washington, D.C. The schools’ principals -- Brian Donahue (Cape Henlopen High School), Susan Piavis and James Dick (Lake Forest East Elementary School) and Michael Kijowski (W. B. Simpson Elementary School) -- will be invited to attend the national awards ceremony with a teacher representative from each of their schools.


“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said to the awardees in a video message. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence—in vision, in implementation and in results—and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”


Michael Watson, Delaware’s chief academic officer, praised each school’s community for its partnership with educators and thanked the schools’ teachers and leaders for their hard work supporting student success.


“These teachers and leaders are strong examples of the exemplary efforts of educators across our state who work hard to ensure every child in every classroom in every school is learning and growing every day,” he said.


The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant improvements in students’ levels of achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds. In its 32-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools.


The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing Schools,” in which schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance is also at the highest levels. The second category is “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools,” in which schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance for each subgroup is at high levels. Specifically, for the 2013-2014 award year, the department strengthened the focus of both categories’ performance criteria around subgroups within a school and for all students.


A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated, with allocations determined by the numbers of K-12 students and schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. The Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.


A listing of all National Blue Ribbon Schools in Delaware:


Cape Henlopen High                         Lewes           2015

Lake Forest East Elementary            Frederica      2015

W. B. Simpson Elementary               Wyoming      2015

Academy of Dover                            Dover           2014

John M. Clayton Elementary             Frankford      2014

Lake Forest North Elementary          Felton           2014

The Charter School of Wilmington     Wilmington    2013

Richard A. Shields Elementary          Lewes           2013

Allen Frear Elementary                     Dover           2013

Linden Hill Elementary                      Wilmington    2012

Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary         New Castle   2012

Star Hill Elementary                          Dover           2012

West Park Place Elementary             Newark         2011

Long Neck Elementary                     Millsboro       2011

Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary      Dover           2011

Christ the Teacher Catholic               Newark         2010

Newark Charter                                Newark         2010

Robert S. Gallaher Elementary          Newark         2010

Woodbridge Elementary                   Greenwood   2010

Marbrook Elementary                       Wilmington    2009

East Millsboro Elementary                Millsboro        2008

Sussex Technical High                      Georgetown  2008

Lancashire Elementary                     Wilmington    2007

Etta J. Wilson Elementary                 Newark         2007

Joseph M. McVey Elementary           Newark         2007

North Georgetown Elementary          Georgetown  2006

Lake Forest East Elementary            Frederica      2006

Fairview Elementary School              Dover           2006

Long Neck Elementary School          Millsboro       2005

Booker T. Washington Elementary    Dover           2005

Lulu M. Ross Elementary                  Milford          2004

Frankford Elementary                       Frankford      2004

Phillip C. Showell Elementary            Selbyville      2003

Corpus Christi Elementary                Wilmington    2001

Lord Baltimore Elementary                Ocean View  2001

Padua Academy                               Wilmington    1996

Seaford Middle                                 Seaford        1996

Sussex Technical High                      Georgetown  1996

St. Matthew                                     Wilmington    1992

Corpus Christi                                  Wilmington    1990

Dover High                                       Dover           1987

Skyline Middle                                  Wilmington    1985

Christiana High                                 Newark         1984

Caesar Rodney Senior High              Camden        1984

Brandywine High                              Wilmington    1983

Shue Middle                                     Newark         1983


Alison May
(302) 735-4006