Of the 329 schools receiving national recognition this year for high achievement, eleven are in Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon (D) tells Missourinet affiliate KJFF Radio in Festus that the U.S. Department of Education is honoring eight public and three private Missouri schools as 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Governor Jay Nixon (D)

Governor Jay Nixon (D)

“That’s the highest ranking you can get. The bottom line is that there’s a great opportunity for these kids to use school and great personnel to be whatever they want to be,” says Nixon. “Getting this kind of national recognition proves that we’re on the right path to provide these kids an opportunity if they want to compete to have the jobs and careers of the future from anywhere in our state.”

The schools are also recognized for making significant progress to close achievement gaps among disadvantaged and minority students.

Missouri public schools recognized include:

*Adrian Elementary, Lucy Franklin Elementary, William Yates Elementary and Chapel Hill Elementary in western Missouri;

*Harry Truman Elementary in southwest Missouri;

*James E. Freer Elementary and Fairway Elementary in eastern Missouri;

*Richland High in southeast Missouri.

Three private schools were also recognized:

*Central Christian School in eastern Missouri

*Chaminade College Preparatory School in eastern Missouri

*Immanuel Lutheran School in eastern Missouri

Nixon encourages staff to be “disciples and teachers to other schools”.

“Empowering teachers, focusing on pre-school, having rigor and discipline, those are basic values in this part of the state and quite frankly this part of the country that in some parts of education have slipped away,” says Nixon.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is in its 34th year. According to the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 8,500 schools have received the honor.