NH schools named Blue Ribbon Award winnersBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
October 04. 2017 10:08PM
NASHUA — Two Nashua schools are among four in the state to receive a prestigious honor from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School and the Academy for Science and Design, also housed in Nashua, have been named 2017 National Blue Ribbon Award winners, as well as Belmont Middle School and Riddle Brook Elementary School in Bedford.
“You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us — some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff,” DeVos said last week while recognizing the new award winners.
In a statement, DeVos said that National Blue Ribbon Schools are actively preparing every child for a bright future; 342 schools in the nation are being awarded this year.
Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School is one of 50 private schools and one of three nonpublic middle schools to receive the recognition. It is also the first school within the Diocese of Manchester to be granted the award, which is based on the school’s overall academic performance, climate, culture, engagement with the community and leadership.
“This is a huge, huge honor for us,” Ryan Farris of Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School said on Wednesday, adding the school is proud to be recognized for its achievement efforts.
According to a release, the National Blue Ribbon schools program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards.
“This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content,” states the release.
The Academy for Science and Design, a charter school in Nashua, also received the high honor.
According to the National Blue Ribbon Award website, the Academy for Science and Design has worked hard to meet the challenge of economic and societal change, offers an environment that nourishes the minds of its students and engages diverse learners.
“After a decade of dedication to providing New Hampshire kids with a high quality STEM-focused public school education, the Academy for Science and Design is celebrating this national recognition and hopes to find new partners in education, industry and the community to continue to improve the way we prepare our young people for college and career,” said Jennifer Cava, director of ASD.
During the first week of November, an awards ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C., to celebrate this year’s award winners.
Riddle Brook School in Bedford was the only elementary school in the state to be recognized with an award. Principal Molly McCarthy and another staff member plan to attend the ceremony next month to accept the award on behalf of the school.