Centennial Elementary School and Cheyenne Middle School have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017 by the U.S. Department of Education bringing to eleven the number of Edmond Public Schools to receive the prestigious designation-the most of any district in the state. This is the second time for Cheyenne to achieve the title. It was also named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2009.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss recognized more than 342 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools Thursday, Sept. 28, based on their overall academic excellence or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels. On Nov. 6-7, the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are being honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

Exemplary High Performing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests

Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Both Cheyenne and Centennial are honored as Exemplary High Performing Schools. To be considered for the award, the two schools had to submit lengthy portfolios which included summaries of school climate, successful academic strategies, professional development for teachers, and other components of the school culture.

Cheyenne Middle School Principal Michelle Grinsteiner gave credit for Cheyenne’s successes to families, students, staff and current and past administrators.

“Cheyenne is an enthusiastic learning community where parents, students and staff place a significant value on education,” she said. “We believe in educating the whole child and offering abundant and wide-ranging learning experiences for all students.”

Cheyenne opened its doors in 2000 and serves 884 students.

Centennial Elementary School has a similar student population, serving 870 students. It opened its doors in 2007 in commemoration of Oklahoma’s 100th year of statehood.

“We consider it a privilege to serve our students and families and we are humbled to receive this prestigious honor recognizing our successes,” said Principal Jessele Miller. “As we look toward the future, our focus will continue to be ‘Exploring New Frontiers of Excellence.’”

Other Edmond schools to have previously received the award include Edmond Santa Fe High School, Edmond North High School, Edmond Memorial High School, Central, Cimarron, Sequoyah and Summit Middle Schools and Northern Hills and Russell Dougherty Elementary Schools.