Five public schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were honored Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education, awarded 2017 National Blue Ribbon status.
For the second straight year, Dallas ISD had three schools named as recipients: three middle school magnets — the Dallas Environmental Science Academy, the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy and the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School.
"This incredible honor helps to validate our students’ extraordinary work, dedication and commitment to excellence and reaffirms our mission to prepare young women for leadership in a global society," said Rangel’s principal, Lisa Curry.
Wylie ISD’s Hartman Elementary school was also honored, as was Birdville ISD’s Smithfield Elementary School.
The five schools were among 28 recognized campuses in Texas, and 342 schools nationwide.
The program, in its 35th year, selected schools based on either their high performance on state assessments across all student groups, or on closing achievement gaps between socio-economic and racial subgroups over the past five years.
"A commitment to successful student outcomes can be witnessed every day on National Blue Ribbon campuses across Texas," said Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. "I congratulate this year’s Blue Ribbon honorees, which represent the good work taking place in our Texas public schools."
In a statement, Wylie ISD superintendent David Vinson said that Shawna Ballast, Hartman’s principal, had made earning Blue Ribbon status a campus goal, and that the school had worked hard to "reach this prestigious level."
"The Cool Cats have proven they can accomplish anything they set their minds to," Vinson wrote. "The entire Hartman community: staff, students, former students, parents and community partners should be proud."
Birdville ISD superintendent Darrell Brown wrote: "It is exciting that those at the national level recognize that Smithfield is a great place to educate children."
In November, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will honor representatives from each of the schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Here are Texas’ Blue Ribbon schools:
Dallas ISD (3) – Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, Dallas Environmental Science Academy, Irma Lerma Rangel Women’s Leadership School
Edinburg CISD (2) – Austin Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School
El Paso ISD (2) – Green Elementary School, Silva Health Magnet
Houston ISD (2) – Eastwood Academy, Lyons Elementary School
Amarillo ISD – Whittier Elementary School
Banquete ISD – Banquete Elementary School
Birdville ISD – Smithfield Elementary School
Galveston ISD – Austin Middle School
Gunter ISD – Gunter Elementary School
Jim Ned CISD – Lawn Elementary School
Judson ISD – Crestview Elementary School
KIPP Houston – KIPP Shine Prep
La Porte ISD – Jennie Reid Elementary School
Laredo ISD – Hector J. Garcia Early College High School
Los Fresnos ISD – Rancho Verde Elementary School
Montgomery ISD – Montgomery Intermediate School
Oakwood ISD – Oakwood Elementary School
San Antonio ISD – Travis Early College High School
Whitehouse ISD – Stanton-Smith Elementary School
Wylie ISD (Wylie) – Hartman Elementary school
Ysleta ISD – Valle Verde Early College High School