On September 15, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The list included 314 schools across the nation.

United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon schools are public and private elementary, middle, and high schools determined to be either academically superior or demonstrating significant gains in student achievement. Woodlawn Middle School, located in Long Grove, Illinois, is recognized for its students' strong academic standing.

Four public Illinois middle schools earned 2009 recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. "The U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon is one signof the most prestigious awards in education and we are very humbled to be receiving this recognition," Woodlawn Principal Greg Grana said. In addition to Woodlawn Middle School, Clarendon Hills, Clifford Crone (Naperville), and Hinsdale Middle Schools earned 2009 Blue Ribbon honors.

Student achievement has increased in District 96 every year for the past decade. Said Board President Marc Tepper, "Our teachers collaborate with their colleagues every day to teach more effectively. Their commitment to helping all our students–and each other–has had a positive impact on student learning and is a pleasure to celebrate. We are pleased that the exceptional effort of Woodlawn Middle School students, teachers, and staff has earned them this national honor."

"The great thing about an award like this is that everyone–from the Board of Education, students, teachers, and support staff to community members and administrators–gets recognized for his or her excellence," noted Principal Grana. We are going to continue to do what is best for students and strive to be a premiere school and district."

Superintendent Thomas Many agrees. "We are excited by and very proud of what our Woodlawn students and teachers have accomplished," he noted. "We'll continue to explore ways to support all our students' learning and equip every child to succeed."

Woodlawn Middle School is the third school in District 96 to be distinguished by the U.S. Department of Education with the Blue Ribbon award; Twin Groves Middle School was honored in 2007 and Ivy Hall Elementary School was honored in 2008. The first school to earn national recognition in the District was the Willow Grove Kindergarten & Early Childhood Center, which earned accreditation in 2004 from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Daily Herald Article, published 9/15/2009 [PDF]

Celebration Photo Gallery, 12/11/2009