3 Newhall School District schools awarded National Blue Ribbon

Photo courtesy of the Newhall School District.
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Of the 30 schools that won a 2019 National Blue Ribbon Award in the state of California, three of them are in the Newhall School District.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a list of 362 schools nationwide that had received the award for schools’ overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups.

The Newhall schools named were Oak Hills Elementary, Pico Canyon Elementary and Stevenson Ranch Elementary.

“The tremendous dedication of staff, students and families at each of these schools is to be commended and praised. In an era where the accountability bar has been raised, I am so proud of each of their efforts,” Superintendent Jeff Pelzel said in a prepared statement.

Oak Hills and Pico Canyon are receiving this coveted recognition for the first time in school history. Stevenson Ranch was previously recognized in 2001 and 2012. The NSD schools were the only schools to win the award in all of the Santa Clarita Valley, and the only district in the state to have three schools win the award. 

“I am grateful for the support and teamwork of staff, parents and students that allow for the accomplishments of our students earning us this award,” Principal Chad Rose of Stevenson Ranch Elementary said in the district’s statement.

“I’m ecstatic for the hard-working Oak Hills Elementary School community of teachers, students and parents,” Oak Hills Principal Wendy Maxwell said in the statement. “This recognition for their continued efforts to provide the highest levels of learning and achievement is greatly deserved.”

Pico Canyon Principal Tammi Rainville shared in her fellow principals’ excitement.

“At Pico Canyon, our students’ academic successes are a result of schoolwide systems and shared leadership. We operate as a community of leaders and learners,” Rainville said in the statement. “Our shared work and resulting student successes would not take place if we did not emphasize building meaningful relationships with our students and families.”

In a video message sent to the award winners, DeVos said the schools were being recognized for their innovation and culture of teaching and learning.

“Newhall School District has had a long-standing history of academic excellence across all 10 of our schools, but to have three schools selected for the National Blue Ribbon Award in the same year is unbelievable,” said Pelzel.

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