CENTRAL ILLINOIS PROUD: Three local schools named Blue Ribbon Schools

CENTRAL ILLINOIS - Three Central Illinois schools are making us proud. 

Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos named 342 schools National Blue Ribbon Schools. The award is based on academic achievements. 

On that list are Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Central Intermediate School in Washington, and Peoria Christian Elementary School in Peoria. 

WMBD had the opportunity to visit Peoria Christian Elementary School during its Blue Ribbon assembly.

"We are bursting at the seams," says Becky Gardner, superintendent of Peoria Christian School. "It is definitely a group effort."

From faculty and staff to parents in the district, it was teamwork that brought recognition to the school.

"It means that we are just able to show all of Peoria, to show everybody, what a great and awesome school we are," says Sandy Wiele, principal of Peoria Christian Elementary School.

A school receives this honor based on academic performance or closing achievement gaps.

"We don't just sit around in our classroom all day long," says Wiele. "We're out and about doing different things, doing service projects, all those kinds of things kind of just go together to have a well-rounded education."

But the school could not have received this award without its students' hard work.

"I think this will be a really neat opportunity for them to see, hey, we do get honored and recognized when we do well," says Wiele. "And not just by people around us, but even having people come in and see this on a national level."

The schools will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November. 

Click here to see all the schools honored this year. 


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