335 schools awarded National Blue Ribbon

The US Department of Education announced the 335 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015 this morning in Washington. The list includes six public and two private schools in Maryland and 13 public and three private schools in Illinois.


Students at Longfellow Elementary collaborate. Two of the 13 elementary schools in the suburban Illinois district were awarded the National Blue Ribbon this year. (US Department of Education)

Of particular note is Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200, based in northwest-suburban Wheaton, Ill., from which two elementary schools were awarded the National Blue Ribbon this year, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, which was awarded three National Blue Ribbons.

“We certainly are proud to have two schools on this list,” said Jeff Schuler, superintendent of schools for District 200, which serves 13 elementary schools in total, all worthy of awards like this. “The recognition does mean a great deal to our schools, as it reflects the fine work both learning communities have done to improve learning for all students and sustain that level of achievement over time.

“School District 200 strives to create opportunities for all students to graduate college and career ready. This recognition certainly suggests students are off to a great start at Longfellow and Emerson,” he said.

The 285 public and 50 private schools will be honored at a recognition ceremony on November 9 and 10 in Washington, DC. Each school selected either has students who are achieving very high learning standards, or students who are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap, but all winning schools this year in both Maryland and Illinois were chosen because they were high-achieving schools.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a video message sent to awardees. “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.”

“Great schools and educators are vital to the success of our students and our state,” said Gov Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland. “I believe every child in Maryland deserves a world-class education, and our state’s Blue Ribbon Schools are making it happen by being the very best in teaching and learning. I congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.”

Although Voxitatis has in the past gone out to the schools and shot photos of the buildings, we take advantage this year of the publication of photos from each of the winning schools by the US Department of Education. Simply follow the link for each school by opening the spoilers below.

In Illinois


Students at Butler Jr H.S. participate in a geometry lesson. (US Department of Education)
Butler Junior High School, Oak Brook

Butler Junior High School
2801 York Road, Oak Brook
Ms Amy F Read, Principal
Butler School District 53
Enrollment: 160

Emerson Elementary School, Wheaton

Emerson Elementary School
119 South Woodlawn Street, Wheaton
Ms Debra Lynn Klein, Principal
Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200
Enrollment: 320

G. Kerkstra Elementary School, Oak Forest

G. Kerkstra Elementary School
14950 South Laramie Avenue, Oak Forest
Mr Jeffrey P Kulik, Principal
Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142
Enrollment: 393

Hough Street School, Barrington

Hough Street School
310 South Hough Street, Barrington
Mr James Aalfs, Principal
Barrington 220
Enrollment: 292

Lasalle Language Academy, Chicago

Lasalle Language Academy
1734 North Orleans Street, Chicago
Ms Beth A Bazer, Principal
Chicago Public Schools
Enrollment: 553

Lincoln Elementary School, River Forest

Lincoln Elementary School
511 Park Avenue, River Forest
Mr Casey James Godfrey, Principal
River Forest School District 90
Enrollment: 383

Longfellow Elementary School, Wheaton

Longfellow Elementary School
311 West Seminary Avenue, Wheaton
Mr Sean Walsh, Principal
Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200
Enrollment: 396

May Watts Elementary School, Naperville

May Watts Elementary School
800 South Whispering Hills Drive, Naperville
Mr Brian Howard LeCrone, Principal
Indian Prairie School District #204
Enrollment: 727

Meadow Glens Elementary School, Naperville

Meadow Glens Elementary School
1150 Muirhead Avenue, Naperville
Mrs Katy Lynch, Principal
Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Enrollment: 445

Medora Elementary School, Medora

Medora Elementary School
124 South Elm Street, Medora
Mrs Diane Milner, Principal
Southwestern School District #9
Enrollment: 157

Old Post Elementary School, Oswego

Old Post Elementary School
100 Old Post Road, Oswego
Mrs Toia Jones, Principal
Community Unit School District 308
Enrollment: 418

Our Lady of the Wayside School, Arlington Heights

Our Lady of the Wayside School
432 South Mitchell Avenue, Arlington Heights
Mr David Wood, Principal
Archdiocese of Chicago
Enrollment: 508

Pecatonica Elementary School, Pecatonica

Pecatonica Elementary School
721 Reed Street, Pecatonica
Mrs Carrie Brockway, Principal
Pecatonica CUSD #321
Enrollment: 339

Scott Altman Primary School, Pekin

Scott Altman Primary School
1730 Highwood Avenue, Pekin
Mrs Lynn Brown, Principal
Pekin Public Schools District #108
Enrollment: 204

St. Cornelius Elementary School, Chicago

St. Cornelius Elementary School
5252 North Long Avenue, Chicago
Mrs Kristina Heidkamp-Reyes, Principal
Archdiocese of Chicago
Enrollment: 177

St. Theresa School, Palatine

St. Theresa School
445 North Benton Street, Palatine
Ms Mary J Keenley, Principal
Archdiocese of Chicago
Enrollment: 352

In Maryland

Cardinal Hickey Academy, Owings

Cardinal Hickey Academy
1601 West Mount Harmony Road, Owings
Mrs Jennifer Halleck Griffith, Principal
Archdiocese of Washington
Enrollment: 194

Fountain Green Elementary School, Bel Air

Fountain Green Elementary School
517 Fountain Green Road, Bel Air
Mrs Alison M. Donnelly, Principal
Harford County Public Schools
Enrollment: 477


4th graders at Kemptown Elementary play a math game. (US Department of Education)
Kemptown Elementary School, Monrovia

Kemptown Elementary School
3456 Kemptown Church Road, Monrovia
Ms Kristen Elizabeth Canning, Principal
Frederick County Public Schools
Enrollment: 358

Lake Shore Elementary School, Pasadena

Lake Shore Elementary School
4531 Mountain Road, Pasadena
Mrs Linda Marie Toth, Principal
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Enrollment: 309

Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bethesda

Our Lady of Lourdes School
7500 Pearl Street, Bethesda
Mrs Patricia McGann, Principal
Enrollment: 270

Pine Grove Elementary School, Baltimore

Pine Grove Elementary School
2701 Summit Avenue, Baltimore
Mrs Jean A Wilson, Principal
Baltimore County Public Schools
Enrollment: 524

Severna Park Elementary School, Severna Park

Severna Park Elementary School
6 Riggs Avenue, Severna Park
Mrs R Lynn Birus, Principal
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Enrollment: 382

Smithsburg High School, Smithsburg

Smithsburg High School
66 North Main Street, Smithsburg
Mr Michael Chilcutt, Principal
Washington County Public Schools
Enrollment: 794

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.