Five 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools in Iowa

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Five schools in Iowa are recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.

Stilwell Junior High, Charter Oak-Ute Elementary, North Kossuth Elementary, Tipton Elementary and Whittier Elementary all received the honor.

The announcement came September 28th and Stilwell Junior High Principal Eric Boyle said the whole school got together to listen to the announcement.

“Eight-hundred kids went crazy. I told one of our science teachers, Ms. Henderson, I’ll always remember her reaction because I happen to be looking right at her when we won. Just the joy and excitement on her face said it all,” Boyle said.

Boyle said there are two ways a school can qualify for a blue ribbon. It is either through the school’s assessment scores, meaning a high performing school, or through an achievement gap.

Stilwell is recognized as a high performing school.

“We are thrilled for the Stilwell community. Thrilled for our staff. They are a very hardworking group and dedicated group who I couldn’t be more thrilled to see an award come to them that they are very deserving of,” Boyle said.

Boyle said the success of the school is a few years in the making.

“We have four pillars as a staff that we prioritize a few years back. That is high expectations, positive relationships, collaboration and growth mindset. We want those four pillars to drive what we do. We want student need to be at the forefront of our decision making,” Boyle said.

All schools awarded a National Blue Ribbon will be in Washington D.C. on November 6th to be recognized with an award ceremony by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

342 schools are recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.