Lake Geneva’s Star Center Elementary School was recently recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as one of 362 schools in the nation and one of eight schools from Wisconsin as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing 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,” DeVos said 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 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.

“The Blue Ribbon School Award is a tremendous honor and earning this distinction requires hard work, talent and vision from all of the staff, students and community at Star Center Elementary,” Lake Geneva Schools Superintendent Dr. James Gottinger said. “Star Center has a lot to be proud of.”

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On Nov. 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.

“We are honored and delighted to have Star Center Elementary named as a Blue Ribbon School,” Star Center Principal Chiper Tennessen said. “I am thankful for the hard work of the staff, students, parents, and community members to set and meet high expectations for all of our students, and we are most grateful for the recognition.”

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; and
  • 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.

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.


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