Notre Dame, St. Thomas Named National Blue Ribbon Schools

Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills and Saint Thomas School in Fort Thomas were named as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.

362 schools across the country received the honor this year.

St. Thomas, an elementary school, was the only private elementary school in the Greater Cincinnati region to receive the award. 

The Blue Ribbon award goes to schools based on overall academic excellence or based on progress in closing the achievement gap among student subgroups.

"What makes this award prestigious is there are only 50 Catholic schools in the entire U.S. each year who receive the award. We are proud that our students rank in the top 15% of national assessment scores," said Deborah Flamm, principal at Saint Thomas. "We have a lot to celebrate at Saint Thomas, and we could not have done it without our full community of support."

Notre Dame was recognized as a Blue Ribbon school for the third time, previously winning the honor in 1996 and 2012. 

"This is an exciting day for the Notre Dame Academy community," said NDA principal Jack VonHandorf. "It is an honor it is to be recognized for the excellence we strive for each day in the classroom and for the exemplary educational experience students receive at Notre Dame Academy," VonHandorf added. "This is a testament to the ongoing dedication of our faculty and students and their commitment to excellence in education at Notre Dame Academy."

"As the only all girls school in Northern Kentucky, Notre Dame Academy has a long history of educating young women to make a difference in the world," said NDA President Laura Koehl. "As a school founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame, we believe in an education that combines the timeless wisdom of our Catholic faith with the necessary skills that our students will need to adapt to a continuously changing world. With an innovative approach that integrates academics, arts and athletics, we are molding young women to have a vibrant faith and a passion for learning."

Shortly after the announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Education, NDA administrators gathered students, faculty, and staff to share the good news. The NDA community was elated by the announcement, a news release said. The school celebrated by distributing National Blue Ribbon candy bars to its students. 

The 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored at a recognition ceremony on November 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C. A formal National Blue Ribbon celebration will take place at Notre Dame Academy on November 18. 

-Staff report

Photo: St. Thomas (provided)