Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2023

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today announced Sterling School among the 353 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023. The recognition is based on the school’s overall academic excellence or its progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“This is an incredible achievement for the students, staff and community at Sterling School,” said Superintendent Dr. W. Burke Royster. “Their commitment to student achievement and ability to foster growth have created a successful learning environment deserving of this national recognition. Sterling school sets the bar for Greenville County Schools, schools in South Carolina and schools across the country.”

“To our students, school staff and community, your hard work and commitment to our school is what makes us who we are - a community who takes care of one another and prioritizes learning each and every day. Congratulations and well done, Griffins!” said Dr. Josh Patterson, principal at Sterling School.

Greenville County Schools has 18 previous National Blue Ribbon Schools winners. They are A.J. Whittenberg Elementary (2020), Augusta Circle Elementary (1994), Bakers Chapel Elementary (1992), Bethel Elementary (1996 and 2016), Brushy Creek Elementary (1997), Buena Vista Elementary (1990), Crestview Elementary (2008), Hillcrest Middle (1985), League Academy (1983), Mauldin High (1985), Mitchell Road Elementary (2001, 2022), Oakview Elementary (2000 and 2006), Pelham Road Elementary (1997), Skyland Elementary (2017), Taylors Elementary (1997), Tigerville Elementary (2018), and Wade Hampton High (2016).

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.

Now in its 40th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on approximately 10,000 schools, including some schools that won multiple awards. The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. Nominated schools also complete an extensive narrative application describing their school culture and philosophy, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures, and parent and community involvement.

Sterling School named 2023 National Blue Ribbon School

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”

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