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For Release: December 4, 2002

Commissioner Librera Presents Blue Ribbon Schools to State Board of Education

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today introduced New Jersey’s seven Blue Ribbon Schools for 2001-02 to the State Board of Education. The schools were among 172 public and private secondary schools selected for national recognition in a highly competitive program sponsored by the United States Department of Education.

"Blue Ribbon Schools are highly successful schools that through outstanding leadership and programs exemplify the very best in educational excellence," Commissioner Librera said. "We salute them on achieving this great distinction."

State Board of Education President Maud Dahme praised the schools on their selection. "Blue Ribbon Schools are models of excellence. I commend the administrators, teachers, students and their parents for achieving this special distinction," she said.

New Jersey’s Blue Ribbon Schools for 2001-02 are:

  • Cherry Hill High School East, Cherry Hill, Camden County
  • Christa McAuliffe Middle School, Jackson Township, Ocean County
  • Forrestdale School, Rumson School District, Monmouth County
  • Hackettstown Middle School, Hackettstown School District, Warren County
  • Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Hunterdon County
  • Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Science, Monmouth County
  • North Hunterdon High School, Hunterdon County

Richard Ten Eyck, assistant commissioner for the Division of Educational Programs and Assessment, described the rigorous, multi-step process used to identify the schools for recognition in the program. Veteran educators conduct state reviews of prospective nominees and make recommendations to the New Jersey Department of Education. Each prospective school is scrutinized by the appropriate county office of education to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

The State Department of Education considers the reviews and recommendations before it nominates schools for the national competition. At the national level, nominees are screened and recommendations are made after site visits verify the accuracy of the information the schools have provided and to gather any additional information the national panel has requested. Site visits are conducted by experienced educators, who observe the schools for two days and submit written reports. The panel considers the reports and makes recommendations to Secretary of Education Rod Paige for final recognition.

Blue Ribbon Schools share the following common attributes:

  • Strong leadership
  • A sense of shared purpose among faculty, students, parents and the community
  • A school climate conducive to effective teaching
  • Programs that challenge all students
  • An environment that promotes and believes the message that "all students can learn"

Established in 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors elementary and secondary schools in alternate years. Since its inception, more than 4,000 schools have been recognized.