Deerfield High Named National Blue Ribbon School


Noah Meyerhoff, Editor-in-Chief

Students ended Homeroom on Friday, September 16 by hearing a surprise announcement: Deerfield High School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the department of education. The National Blue Ribbon Award is given to schools that show overall academic excellence, especially schools which demonstrate that “all students can achieve to high levels.” More information on the purpose of the Blue Ribbon Schools Program can be found on the Department of Education website. 

Principal Anderson characterized the award as a “confidence booster.”

“It is something that makes us feel confident in how we are moving forward,” she said, “We should all be very proud of this award and know that we continue to strive toward great things.”

In the Spring of 2022, the Illinois State Board of Education indicated DHS as an academically top-performing school in the state, nominating the high school to apply for the National Blue Ribbon Award. The goal of this application was to “focus on the whole student,” showing excellence in all parts of student life at DHS. As a result, the application highlighted DHS academics as well as other elements. 

“We were able to talk about the other things that make us special and unique: social-emotional learning, our focus on mental health, and our extracurriculars,” Principal Anderson explained. 

Principal Anderson mentioned that School Chest and other volunteer efforts were also showcased in the application. 

Although the public announcement was made that Friday, the principal was informed earlier in the week. 

“I was under strict orders to not say anything,” said Anderson. She used the advance notice to plan a week of celebratory activities with her team, which included her Administrative Assistant, Bettie Liberles, the Assistant Principals, and Activities Director Brian Verisario. Among these activities were games and music in the Courtyard, a celebration of Gratitude Day on September 21, and a staff breakfast.

The Blue Ribbon Award came with no specific feedback. However, the high school is invited to a conference in Washington, D.C., taking place in early November, where Principal Anderson expects that there might be an opportunity to learn what attributes of DHS were most impressive to the awards committee. She also sees it as an opportunity to learn from the other National Blue Ribbon schools.

Principal Anderson maintained that students, staff, and parents are all responsible for the award: “This is a school-community effort.”