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Diocese of Joliet applauds its three National Blue Ribbon Schools recognized in 2023

Three Catholic schools in the Diocese of Joliet recently were recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023:

“We are very proud of the hardworking and dedicated administrators, faculty, staff and students of all the schools in our diocese,” said Superintendent Dr. James Quaid, “and these three distinctions are a testament to the educational quality all of our diocese schools provide.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools (NBRS) Program is the U.S. Department of Education’s highest honor, providing recognition to outstanding public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools based on overall high academic achievement. According to a Department of Education press release, the National Blue Ribbon School award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement.

“Congratulations to St. Isaac Jogues, St. Joan of Arc and St. Francis for this well-deserved recognition,” said Most Rev. Ronald Hicks, bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. “Our Catholic schools do more than just provide academic rigor – our students receive personalized spiritual and educational development that instills Catholic values and beliefs into their young hearts and minds.” 

Out of a total of 20 Illinois schools selected, three out of the four Illinois private schools chosen in 2023 are in the Diocese of Joliet. In addition to St. Isaac Jogues, St. Joan of Arc and St. Francis, only two other diocesan schools have received National Blue Ribbon School distinction since the program’s inception in 1983: Saints Peter and Paul in Naperville (2012) and St. Joseph in Lockport (2010).

This is St. Joan of Arc’s third NBRS award; the school was first recognized in 1986 and again in 2011 and 2023. St. Isaac Jogues has achieved the distinction twice—once in 1990 and again in 2023. St. Francis High School is the only high school in Wheaton (public or private) and the only Catholic high school in Chicago’s west suburbs to ever receive the award, as well as the only Catholic high school in Illinois to receive the award in 2023. St. Francis is also the only school to be named a Microsoft Showcase School and National Blue Ribbon School in the same year.

“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.”

Winners of the annual National Blue Ribbon Schools awards are invited each year in November to attend a recognition ceremony hosted by the Department of Education in Washington, DC.

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