Elmhurst residents driving around town may have wondered why blue ribbons were tied around parkway trees near Lincoln Elementary School and Bryan Middle School recently. It's all in preparation for a big celebration this week.
School officials learned back in September that Lincoln and Bryan were named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The schools were honored in the "Exemplary High Performing" category.
The program recognizes both public and private schools at all levels, from elementary to high school. Only 21 schools in Illinois and 269 schools nationwide earned Blue Ribbon Awards.
Earlier this month, Lincoln Principal Kathleen Tomei, Lincoln third-grade teacher Barb Clancy, Bryan Principal John Glimco and Bryan eighth-grade teacher Kurt Baumeister traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the awards. This week, students will celebrate the honor.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, the schools will hold pep rallies, complete with comments and congratulations from dignitaries, songs and tons of school spirit.
Those in attendance will include:
- District 205 Superintendent David Pruneau
- Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni
- District 205 School Board President Jim Collins
- Former Lincoln School Principal Mary Ann Kalis
- Illinois State Board of Education member Jim Baumann
- Julie Ewart, U.S. Department of Education Director of Communications and Outreach, Great Lakes Region
Lincoln's celebration begins at 12:45 p.m. and will conclude with students tying nearly 600 blue ribbons on the fence at Hillside and Montrose streets. Bryan's celebration kicks off at 2 p.m.
Schools are chosen for Blue Ribbon Awards based on student achievement on nationally normed tests and state assessments.
"This is a significant accomplishment that is indicative of all the work that goes on in all our schools," Superintendent David Pruneau said in September.