VICTORVILLE — University Preparatory School was named a National Blue Ribbon School on Wednesday, winning the prestigious award for the second time.
University Prep, a grade 7-12 public school of choice in the Victor Valley Union High School District, was the only High Desert school to win the award and one of only two in the Inland Empire.
“It’s a great honor,” UP Principal Valerie Hatcher said. “When a national organization recognizes the hard work that staff, students and parents put in, it makes me reflect on just how important it is to give your best to students every day.”
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. bestowed the honor on 329 schools (279 public and 50 private) across the nation in an announcement released Wednesday. Of the 33 California schools recognized, the only two from San Bernardino or Riverside counties were UP and Richardson PREP HI Middle School in San Bernardino.
Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices.
University Prep had previously won the award in 2010.
“National Blue Ribbon School recognition is the most prestigious national honor in our field, and only a handful of schools have earned the award even once,” Victor Valley Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Ron Williams said. “Winning this award twice puts University Prep in rare company, and it speaks to the hard work and dedication of our students, parents, teachers and staff, led by Principal Valerie Hatcher.”
King recognized the National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016 based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The Department of Education has bestowed this honor on fewer than 8,500 schools nationwide in 34 years.
School representatives will receive the award at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in early November, and the district will hold a local celebration in November or early December.
The award adds to a long list of accolades for UP, which has also been named a California Gold Ribbon School and was the top ranked school in the Inland Empire by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.