Department of Defense Education Activity

Three DoDEA Schools Selected as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools

For Immediate Release — October 1, 2019 | HQ

Blue Ribbon School Poster

ALEXANDRIA, VA — October 1, 2019 — Three Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools were recognized recently by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

AFNORTH Middle/High School in Brunssum, the Netherlands; Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Maxwell, Alabama; and Vicenza High School in Vicenza, Italy, are among the National Blue Ribbon Schools recognized across the nation. The award is based on school’s overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“I am extremely proud of the students, educators and staff at all three schools for earning National Blue Ribbon recognition,” said Thomas M. Brady, DoDEA Director. "Their achievements reflect our unwavering commitment to excellence in education for the military-connected families we serve."

National Blue Ribbon Schools are recognized 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.

All three DoDEA schools qualified in the high performing category.

AFNORTH Middle/High School has been providing quality education since 1967 to the children living in a diverse, multi-national, and geographically dispersed community. AFNORTH MHS provides educational excellence to students whose parents are stationed Joint Forces Command (JFC) Brunssum, United States Army Garrison Benelux/ Schinnen, and Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base.

Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School was established in 1963 in Montgomery, Alabama. Since its inception, the school has provided superior education for pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade children of United States military personnel living on Maxwell Air Force Base. The middle school, sixth through eighth grade, was added in July 2011.

Vicenza High School, established in 1954, plays an important role in serving military connected dependents within the United States Army Garrison Vicenza, which supports multiple Army units and Department of Defense entities in northeastern Italy. Many students at Vicenza HS have parents that jump out of planes, deploy to Africa or support one of those activities.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. A total of 362 schools were recognized this year.

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 9,000 schools. On Nov. 14 and 15, 2019, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to highquality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools are at the U.S. Department of Education, Blue Ribbon Program site