By Georgiana Francisco | Correspondent
For the second time in the school’s history, Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, has been named a National Blue Ribbon honoree by the U.S. Department of Education. The first was in 1983-84, the year private schools became eligible to be honored with education’s highest distinction for schools.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the announcement Sept. 28, recognizing CBA and 341 other schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence for 2017. The recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“Being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for excellence is certainly a great honor for Christian Brothers Academy,” said Christian Brother Frank Byrne, CBA president. “I commend Principal Ross Fales and Associate Principal Sean Nunan for guiding CBA through the application process. Receiving the honor for the second time verifies CBA’s longstanding commitment to the intellectual, spiritual and moral development of our students.
“This honor also affirms that Catholic schools across the country are doing a great job in education,” Byrne continued. “The students watched a video from the Department of Education naming this year’s honorees, cheering when CBA was shown on the list.”
Schools interested in applying for National Blue Ribbon School status must first qualify for producing standardized test averages that are in the 85th percentile of national school norms. Aside from the raw test scores, CBA was evaluated in a number of different areas including school history, educational philosophy, academic curriculum, instructional methods and assessments, school climate and culture, engagement with families and the community, and school leadership.
“It’s great to receive recognition for all the hard work our tremendous faculty dedicates to our students each and every day,” Fales said. “The performance and involvement of our young men and their teachers are what ultimately earned us this award.”
Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 public, private, elementary, middle and high schools. Among the schools in the Diocese that have received recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence are St. Ann School, Lawrenceville; St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft; St. Paul School, Princeton; St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton; Holy Cross School, Rumson; Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, and St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach.
Fales and Nunan will attend an awards ceremony to celebrate CBA’s designation Nov. 6-7 in Washington, D.C.
“Winning the Blue Ribbon for a second time is a great honor,” Nunan said. “It shows that CBA has continued to be one of the best schools in the country over time. This award honors the thousands of students who have passed through these halls and all of the teachers, staff and administrators who helped establish the school's tradition of excellence.”