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Erika Bolig

State Liaisons: The Critical Link

To be eligible for National Blue Ribbon School (NBRS) recognition, a public school must be identified and nominated by its state’s Chief State School Officer (CSSO). NBRS state liaisons connect state education agencies and the federal National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The liaisons develop state nomination criteria, identify eligible schools in their states, support nominated schools through the application process, and promote National Blue Ribbon Schools and their effective practices statewide. Non-public schools submit applications to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) for consideration.

This series, based on interviews conducted in 2018 with three state liaisons, covers topics such as ensuring representation through the state nomination process, utilizing interviews to make state selections, leveraging the success of awardee schools as models of excellence, creating state-level plans to support local-level promotion, and utilizing social media to share success stories across the state.

2018 State Liaison Interviews

Shuwan Chiu

Shuwan Chiu,
Eric Caldwell

Eric Caldwell,

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly,

This series, based on interviews conducted in 2017 with six state liaisons and two non-public school association representatives, covers topics such as how schools are chosen, the value of the application process, how the recognition benefits states and schools, how states use NBRS schools and practices as models of excellence, and how participation in NBRS has influenced the liaisons’ work.

2017 State Liaison Interviews

Photo of Erika Bolig
Erika Bolig,
Photo of Cathi Rust
Catherine Rust,
Joe McTighe,


NBRS State Liaison Interviews—Michigan

Michigan liaison Erika Bolig describes ramping up NBRS involvement after Michigan’s 10-year hiatus from the program. She highlights the program’s vital role in Michigan’s ambitious new education goals.



For more information on becoming a National Blue Ribbon School, please visit the FAQ page, which details the nomination process and criteria for both public and non-public schools. Contact your state liaison.

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