D211 Post: Fremd High School named a 2019 U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School


Township High School District 211’s William Fremd High School was one of the 362 schools recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Fremd High School Principal Kurt Tenopir. “Fremd High School is extremely fortunate to have a talented and caring faculty, strong parent involvement and community support, and resources to provide rich educational opportunities for all students.”

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On November 14 and 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores, and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

“By fostering meaningful connections and helping students truly develop a sense of belonging in all of our schools, students are responding very positively,” said District 211 Superintendent Dr. Daniel Cates. “This great work is taking place throughout the District and this recognition affirms that everyone’s efforts make a difference for students. The Blue Ribbon puts a little wind in people’s sails and it is a great way to affirm everyone’s hard across the District. Today, we all celebrate excellent teachers, engaging courses, and a career pathway for each student.”

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).