Wilmette, Community

Wilmette’s Romona, Winnetka’s FHC earn coveted Blue Ribbon School designation

Local schools are a common attraction to North Shore living, and Tuesday delivered more support of that assertion.

Romona Elementary School in Wilmette and Saints Faith, Hope and Charity School in Winnetka were among 353 schools nationwide — 14 in Illinois — recognized as 2023 National Blue Ribbons Schools from the U.S. Department of Education.

Both schools are multiple Blue Ribbon winners. Romona, a Wilmette District 39 school, earned the honor in 2006 and 2017 and FHC in 2014.

Romona Elementary teachers at a school celebration after hearing about the Blue Ribbon award.

“We are incredibly proud of all of our students, faculty and staff for their hard work and excellence,” said Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent of District 39, in a press release. “Our Romona students demonstrated academic excellence while also serving as outstanding examples of D39 Scholars who are preparing to lead academically successful, socially responsible, compassionate and purposeful lives. Thank you, teachers, staff and students!” 

School Principal Cindy Anderson added, “It is a testament to the continued hard work and dedication from our students, staff, and families. We are so proud of our entire Mustang community!”

In a post on social media, FHC said, “We are extremely proud of this distinction and grateful to our entire community for this accomplishment.”

The Blue Ribbon Schools program began 40 years ago and recognizes “overall high academic achievement” in schools throughout the country, working with state education departments to select schools with students who achieve at a high level in English, math and state assessments.

Schools submit a 20-page application (Romona | FHC) in the hopes of earning the honor. Other local Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023 include Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook Junior High and Prospect High School.

The North Shore is no stranger to the recognition. New Trier High School has won it twice, in 1990 and 2009, while Regina Dominican High School won it in 1992 and Christian Heritage in 2003. Winnetka’s Sacred Heart (2018) and The Skokie School (2013) were once Blue Ribbon Schools, as were Glencoe’s Central (2007) and Rockwood Valley (2001; no longer active).

Highland Park schools Braeside Elementary (2021) and Indian Trail (2020) recently earned the honor, ad numerous others — including Elm Place, Ravinia and Edgewood — were awarded in the 1980s.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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