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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: JUNE 13, 2002


A.C. Reynolds High School (Buncombe County Schools) and Cary High School (Wake County Schools) have a new award to add to their trophy cases - a blue ribbon, as both were named 2001-02 Blue Ribbon Schools. These two high schools are among 145 public and 27 private schools to be recognized as a 2001-02 Blue Ribbon School.

For the past 19 years, the U.S. Department of Education has recognized many of the nation's most successful schools through its Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Schools selected for this prestigious award model excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement and parental involvement.

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said, "In education, like every other enterprise, we must aspire to highlight and reward our successes. These schools strive everyday to be their very best, and exemplify what American education can look like when we work as a team to create the best teaching and learning environments for our students."

A.C. Reynolds High School Principal Dr. Tony Baldwin agreed that the Blue Ribbon Award recognizes what can be accomplished when a district's elementary, middle and high schools work as a team to facilitate student achievement and performance. "This is an honor our school community, students both past and present, faculty and parents can share," Baldwin said. "Given the projections of state budget cuts in education and increased federal and state accountability requirements, this award provides a really bright note to begin the 2002-03 school year."

Blue Ribbon Schools are selected based on evaluations of written materials, site visit reports of experienced principals and administrators, and reviewer recommendations. Elementary and secondary schools participate in alternate years with middle schools participating with high schools in the recognition program. School representatives will be honored during a National Recognition Ceremony scheduled for the fall.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Award Program was started in 1982 to identify and recognize outstanding public and private schools across the nation; establish a framework of criteria which schools could use for self-assessment and improvement; and provide a forum to share best practices. To date, almost 4,400 schools have received this award representing the full spectrum of learning environments.

For additional information regarding the Blue Ribbon Schools Program, please contact Pat Wilkins, NC DPI, 919.807.3953.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.