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Blog Posts


USDE “Homeroom” Blog Features National Blue Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education frequently draws on NBR schools for inspiration and examples. Below are some USDE blog entries featuring NBR schools and the NBRS program:

Duncan Addresses Passionate Leaders at National Blue Ribbon Ceremony
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan heaped praise on the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools at the annual ceremony.

Great American Schools: 2012 National Blue Ribbon Winners
“Great schools don’t happen by chance. Great schools happen by design,” observed U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in announcing the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Tie A Big Blue Ribbon on America’s Great Schools
The year 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the National Blue Ribbon Schools program.

Bells Ring for Top Principals at National Blue Ribbon Schools Ceremony
Seven exemplary principals received the Terrel H. Bell award for outstanding leadership at the 2012 annual NBRS ceremony.

Beating the Odds and the Naysayers
Principal Blaine Helwig, 2012 NBRS Terrel H. Bell award-winner, is featured.


NBRS Student Designs Top Poster for CTE Month

winning CTE month poster designed by NBRS high school student
Julie Prascsak’s winning CTE month design.

Julie Prascsak, a senior at the 2012 NBR Communications High School (Wall, NJ), won a top prize in the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) 2012 CTE Month national poster design competition to illustrate this year’s theme, Career and Technical Education Works!

CTE Month honors America’s long tradition of career and technical education to prepare students for a wide range of careers, from agriculture and architecture to law, marketing, and transportation. More than 12 million students are enrolled in CTE programs.

Prascsak’s poster, the first-place winner in the secondary school division, is being displayed in schools around the country during the celebration of CTE Month.

A major in Visual Communications, Prascsak was inspired by blueprints to link the benefits of career and technical education with the goals of the annual month-long celebration.

“The whole school is extremely proud of Julie and this very creative interpretation of the CTE month theme,” said CHS Principal James Gleason. “She is a very talented young artist and she clearly captured the attention of the judges in this national competition.”

Prascsak plans a career as an English teacher and free-lance graphic designer. She will attend the College of New Jersey this fall.

Download the Communications High School NBRS application to learn more about its strategies.


PBS News Hour Features 2012 NBRS Achievement Gap Closer

McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC, a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School, was featured January 8, 2013 on the PBS News Hour for its ground-breaking efforts to close the achievement gap through STEM —science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—coursework. A Title I STEM magnet school with 54% of its student population qualifying for subsidized meals, McKinley Technology High School uses STEM content and project-based learning to expand career interest and post-secondary opportunities for its students. Download McKinley Technology High School’s 2012 NBRS application  to learn more about McKinley’s strategies.




Lights, Camera, Action: NBR Schools Celebrate

Several 2012 NBR schools got out video cameras to showcase their National Blue Ribbon Schools spirit.
Click the headings below to watch the videos.

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[vision_accordion title=”Where’s the Plaque? – Video” active=”yes”]This witty drama about the spirit of the National Blue Ribbon School award was created by students at Westwood High School (Westwood, MA).

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Student filmmakers at Basehor-Linwood High School (Basehor, KS) document congratulations from state, district, and school leaders, then use animation to recast inspiring teachers as dynamic superheroes.

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Singer-songwriter Michael Curtis has an important day job: guidance counselor at Doudna Elementary School (Richland, WI). This video features his emotionally powerful original “blue ribbon song.”

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A district news brief captures the pride students, faculty, and dignitaries displayed at the NBR celebration at Woodholme Elementary School (Baltimore, MD).

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Teachers and students at the Charles Turner Joy Elementary and Middle School, a Department of Defense school for families stationed at the Command Fleet Activities Naval Base in Chinhae, Korea, celebrate their NBR award.

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