DOWNS — Tri-Valley Middle School is planning a blue ribbon balloon release later this fall to celebrate its latest national recognition for overall excellence.
The school is one of 21 in Illinois and 269 nationwide named National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The award recognizes overall academic excellence and progress in improving student academic achievement.
Tri-Valley High School also won the award in 2010. This year’s other Pantagraph-area winners were St. Patrick School in Washington (Catholic Diocese of Peoria) and Charter Oak Primary School, Peoria.
Tri Valley Principal Doug Roberts hopes other schools will find the ribbons released by Tri Valley and find inspiration for excellence. The release tentatively will coincide with a Nov. 12-13 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“It’s the highest award you can get,” said Superintendent Curt Simonson. “I can’t put it into words.”
Teachers will be recognized Sept. 21 at a previously planned professional development day. “It is very rare for a school district to be honored twice within a five-year period. It’s remarkable,” Simonson said.
The elementary and middle schools received state academic excellence awards in 2011.
The success is due to “the hard work of students, tremendous support from parents and really creative teachers,” Simonson said.