Five NC Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Recognition

The following is a press release from NC Public Schools

Five North Carolina public schools have been namedBlue Ribbon National Schoolsfor 2022 today by US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. The five schools are among 297 schools nationally recognized this year for overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps.

The North Carolina public schools receiving this honor are:

  • Weatherstone Elementary School, Wake County Schools
  • Seventy-first Classical Intermediate School, Cumberland County Schools
  • A. Bess Elementary School, Gaston County Schools
  • East Robeson Elementary School, Robeson County Public Schools
  • Southeastern Academy Charter School, Lumberton

“I applaud all of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon School Award winners for creating vibrant, welcoming and empowered school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential and achieve their dreams,” Cardona said.

“As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children,” he said. “Blue Ribbon schools have gone above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of students while meeting their academic, social, emotional and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt commended the five North Carolina recipients for responding to the challenges of the pandemic by not only keeping expectations high for students, but also ensuring the strong teaching, learning and support students need to achieve them.

“These five schools exemplify the best of public education in North Carolina,” Truitt said. “All of their school communities — including educators, students, and parents — are helping to pave the way for stronger schools statewide and consistently better student outcomes.”

The coveted Blue Ribbon National School Award recognizes the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master stimulating and engaging content. National Blue Ribbon schools serve as models of effective school practice for state and district educators and other schools across the country.

Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has awarded approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools can be named after five years. In North Carolina, a total of 169 schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon schools since the program’s inception in 1982.

All Blue Ribbon schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on scores for all students, scores for student subgroups, and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary and successful schoolsare among the top performing schools in their state, as measured by state assessments or nationally standardized tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schoolsare among the top performing schools in their state in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

This year, the five recipients from North Carolina were honored as exemplary high-performing schools.

Up to 420 schools can be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education is inviting blue ribbon national school nominations for the highest education official from all states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Department of Human education from the Ministry of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are named by the Council for American Private Education.

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

Read itPress releaseof the US Department of Education.


EdNC staff reports are based on staff, interns and columnists.

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