“The Blue Ribbon School of Excellence designation by the U.S. Department of Education recognizes exemplary teaching and learning,” said Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, President of SPS. “It validates what we know about SPS: that by adhering to the Lasallian Catholic tradition of education, we continue to transform lives – a tradition that dates back to 1680, when St. John Baptist de La Salle founded the Christian Brothers.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon award is considered the highest honor an American school can achieve.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a U.S. government program to honor schools which have achieved high levels of academic performance. Private schools are recognized as “Exemplary High Performing” if their student achievement in math and English is among the highest in the country (top 15%.)
Schools are awarded Blue Ribbon status through overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“This recognition is a testament to the work our faculty have done and continue to do every day with our students,” wrote Principal Trevor Watkins in a faculty announcement. “(Our students’) hard work, following their teacher’s guidance and inspiration, has also brought SPS to this wonderful moment.”
SPS has been recognized as one of the only two private schools in the country to achieve the Blue Ribbon honor in 2015.
“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education in a video message to the awardees.
“We are profoundly grateful for this honor, and we thank the many people who have helped us in our journey toward Blue Ribbon status,” said Bro. Ray.
Along with faculty, students are also proud to be called a Blue Ribbon School.
“It’s an honor to be apart of a school that was given such a prestigious award,” said sophomore Mason Robicheaux.
“It feels weird to be a part of a school that has been given an award that very few schools have,” said sophomore Mason Cambre.
Watkins encourages teachers and students to continue reaching for higher levels.
“Our challenge now is to continue to improve on all our recent successes. Ours is a human endeavor, so it is never perfect. But, we must still strive to do our little part to build the Kingdom. As I walk the halls and grounds every day, I am more and more convinced that we are doing God’s work,” said Watkins.