5 Arizona Schools Among 325 National Blue Ribbon Award Winners

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 4:15pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 8:00am

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Class at University High School
U.S. Department of Education
University High School in Tolleson is among five Arizona schools that were selected as this year's National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Five Arizona K-12 schools are among the 325 National Blue Ribbon Schools for this year. The Arizona award winners include Desert View Academy, a Yuma charter school; Franklin East Elementary School in the Mesa Public Schools district; Jacob C. Fruchthendler Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District; Mesquite Elementary School in the Vail Unified School District; and University High School in the Tolleson Union High School District. 

This is a distinction given by the U.S. Department of Education based on schools’ overall academic performance or progress they’ve made in closing achievement gaps among their students.

All five Arizona schools fall into the former category. 

This recognition means a lot to University High after all it's endured since the pandemic began, said Principal Vickie Landis.

“However, we do have students who are continuing to excel and to exceed, and we still are providing a rigorous atmosphere and environment and parents are still supporting their students," she said. "Teachers are still teaching.”

University High has about 400 students. More than half identify as Hispanic. Many students come from low-income families. 

Landis credits this accomplishment to the school's resources and support for students within and outside the school. This includes school counselors and social workers, tutoring opportunities, and highly involved teachers and parents. 

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