Eight North Carolina Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Recognition, Including Fairview Elementary School

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Eight North Carolina public schools were named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023 by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. The eight schools are among 353 schools nationwide recognized this year for their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps.

North Carolina public schools receiving this honor are:

  • Beaufort County Early College High School, Beaufort County Schools
  • Fairview Elementary School, Buncombe County Schools
  • Greensboro Academy, Greensboro
  • Heyward C Bellamy Elementary School, New Hanover County Schools
  • Highland School of Technology, Gaston County Schools
  • Jay M. Robinson Middle School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Lucama Elementary School, Wilson County Schools
  • W.R. Odell Elementary School, Cabarrus County Schools

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” Cardona said. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt congratulated North Carolina’s eight recipients for their hard work and pursuit of excellence and achievement even in the midst of pandemic recovery.

“These schools are a shining example of the incredible things North Carolina’s public schools are capable of accomplishing,” Truitt said. “I’m so proud of the students, teachers, staff members, and leadership of each of these schools for their hard work over the past year.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools across the nation.

Now in its 40th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has conferred approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. In North Carolina, a total of 138 public schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon schools since the program’s inception in 1982.

All Blue Ribbon schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

This year, North Carolina’s eight recipients were honored as Exemplary High Performing Schools.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education.

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at https://www.nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/.

Read the news release from the U.S. Department of Education.