NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Ron Rice
    Jon Zlock

    Richard Vespucci
    609-292-1126

For Release: December 3, 2003


Commissioner Librera Presents the 2003 No Child Left Behind- Blue Ribbon Schools to State Board of Education

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today introduced New Jersey’s

five Blue Ribbon Schools for 2003 to the State Board of Education. The schools were among 233 public and private secondary schools selected for national recognition in a highly competitive program sponsored by the United States Department of Education.

"Blue Ribbon Schools represent successful schools that have shown remarkable progress through outstanding leadership and programs that exemplify the very best in educational excellence," Commissioner Librera said. "We honor them for their strong improvement."

State Board of Education President Arnold G. Hyndman praised the schools and their respective administrators on their selection. "Blue Ribbon Schools are models of excellence. I commend the school staffs, teachers, students and their parents for achieving this special distinction," he said.

New Jersey’s Blue Ribbon Schools for 2002-03 are:

- Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Wyckoff, New Jersey;

- Edward T. Hamilton School in Voorhees Township, New Jersey;

- High Technology High School (HTHS) in Lincroft, New Jersey;

- Pleasant Valley School in Mullica Hill, New Jersey; and

- Saint Patrick School in Chatham, New Jersey

Richard Ten Eyck, assistant commissioner for the Division of Educational Programs and Assessment, described the rigorous, multi-step process used to identify the schools for recognition in the program. Veteran educators conduct state reviews of prospective nominees and make recommendations to the New Jersey Department of Education. Each prospective school is scrutinized by the appropriate county office of education to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. The state education regional offices review the county recommendations and recommend the schools to be nominated.

The Commissioner considers the reviews and recommendations before he nominates schools for the national competition. At the national level, nominees are screened and recommendations are made after site visits verify the accuracy of the information the schools have provided and to gather any additional information the national panel has requested. The panel considers the reports and makes recommendations to Secretary of Education Rod Paige for final recognition.

Blue Ribbon Schools share the following common attributes:

- Strong leadership;

- A sense of shared purpose among faculty, students, parents and the community;

- A school climate conducive to effective teaching;

- Programs that challenge all students; and

- An environment that promotes and believes the message that "all students can learn"

Established in 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors elementary and secondary schools in alternate years. Since its inception, more than 4,000 schools have been recognized.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.