2014 National Blue Ribbon School
O’Gorman scores THREE-PEAT!!!
THE NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS PROGRAM RECOGNIZING
GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOLS SINCE 1982
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools on their overall academic excellence. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. The 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 content. This year, O’Gorman is one of only 48 high schools in the entire nation (public and private) to be named a Blue Ribbon School.
Since the inception of the Blue Ribbon School program in 1982, only seven South Dakota high schools have received this distinction. Only ONE school in the state has received it three times – O’Gorman High School! “Winning this award once is a tremendous accomplishment,” says Sioux Falls Catholic Schools’ Director of Instruction Joan Mahoney. “Winning it three times puts us in a very elite group. Few schools in the nation can claim this honor.”
O’Gorman first won the award back in 1985, then received it a second time in 2005 after the guidelines were made more stringent, allowing the school to re-apply.
O’Gorman administrators say the motivation to seek the award again was to reaffirm that the school and students continue to move forward and that high standards are being maintained. “Maintaining the rigor is not easy. It would be so much easier to let it slide. Our teachers refuse to compromise, even though the challenges in the classroom grow each year,” says Mahoney.
New SFCS President Robert Wehde is pleased with the announcement of the award. “O’Gorman High School will continue to provide leadership for school reform and improvement in the region and throughout the country. We are a model for others to learn about outstanding leadership and instruction.”
“This recognition also validates the investment our parents are making in Catholic education for their students because it shows that our students are ready for post-secondary education,” says O’Gorman Principal Kyle Groos.