COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (September 19, 2023) – This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona recognized 353 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023. This prestigious recognition is based on each school’s overall academic performance or its progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. With the announcement today, Crosswind Elementary School becomes the first Collierville school to receive National Blue Ribbon School designation in 40 years. Collierville Middle School was part of the very first National Blue Ribbon Schools cohort in 1983.
"It is a tremendous honor for Crosswind Elementary School to be named a National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education,” said Director of Schools Dr. Gary Lilly. “This prestigious recognition is a tribute to the unwavering dedication and hard work of our exceptional educators, students, and parents. It reflects our commitment to providing a high-quality education and closing achievement gaps, and I am very proud of the Crosswind community for this outstanding accomplishment."
Established in 1993, Crosswind Elementary School has been identified by the Tennessee Department of Education as a Tennessee Reward School six times since 2011, most recently in 2022. Crosswind has also earned all A’s in achievement on the Tennessee Report Card every year since 1997.
“Our teachers are the absolute best, our students are amazing, and our entire faculty and staff are simply outstanding,” added Principal Kristie Murin. “This achievement is proof of the hard work our community puts in day in and day out. We are all about making Crosswind ‘A Place Where Children Come First,’ and this recognition shows that we are not just saying it, but that we are living it. I cannot thank everyone enough for their part in this outstanding accomplishment. Keep soaring, Crosswind!”
With its 40th cohort, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,700 schools. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement.
National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. A National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
The Department recognizes all schools 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 student groups and all students.
Crosswind Elementary is categorized in the Exemplary High-Performing Schools group.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year, and the State of Tennessee holds six of those possible nominations. The Department invites nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.