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2022 NJ Blue Ribbon Schools include Metuchen, Scotch Plains-Fanwood

Two schools in Central Jersey are among nine statewide to be awarded 2022 Blue Ribbon status by the US Department of Education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Friday recognized 297 schools as National Blue Ribbons schools, including Edgar Middle School in Metuchen and William J. McGinn Elementary School in Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing performance gaps in student subgroups.

Metuchen School Superintendent Vincent Caputo said the award reflects the dedication and efforts of everyone associated with Edgar Middle School past and present, as well as district-wide supervisors and everyone who supports the school district. Caputo commended Edgar Middle School Principal Suzy Azevedo and Assistant Principal Neyda Evans for building on the success of previous administrators and positioning Edgar Middle School to receive the prestigious award.

Edgar Middle School in Metuchen was one of 297 schools across the country to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022.

“Being a National Blue Ribbon School is a big deal,” Caputo said. “The award has existed for 39 years and this is a unique CV.”

Celebrating the award, Scotch Plains-Fanwood School Superintendent Joan Mast said the National Blue Ribbon School Award is a reflection of the way McGinn’s teachers and staff help each student reach their potential for intellectual and personal growth. McGinn’s approach to the core curriculum, instruction and assessment reflects the district’s focus, and each child is unique and valued as an individual with different abilities, inclinations, interests, needs and potential for growth, she said.

“We are proud that the US Department of Education has recognized what we always knew: McGinn Elementary is a very special school that provides exceptional support to students and their families,” said Mast. “My warmest congratulations to the McGinn school community and everyone who made this possible.”

William J. McGinn Elementary School in Scotch Plains was one of 297 schools across the country to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools since 1982. In the Garden State, more than 293 schools have received National Blue Ribbon status over the life of the award.

“We are pleased to celebrate the success of our New Jersey schools and to recognize their commitment to teaching and learning,” said Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education. “New Jersey is one of the top states for education because our schools are focused on improving outcomes for all students. I applaud the nine newest Blue Ribbon Schools for their focus on student well-being and achievement.”

Both the McGinn and Edgar schools have been recognized by the DOE in the Exemplary High-Performing Schools category.

“We are honored to be among the top schools nationwide to receive this recognition,” said William J. McGinn Elementary School principal Sasha Slocum. “Our school’s mission to provide ‘The Foundation to Grow, The Compassion to Give, The Imagination to Dream’ drives our work every day. McGinn students develop compassion for others, enthusiasm for diversity and the foundational skills, independent learners and To be problem solvers and thoughtful citizens of the world.”

Metuchen Superintendent Caputo said Principal Azevedo and Assistant Principal Evans went through a rigorous application process to help Edgar Middle School, which currently has 763 students in grades 5 through 8, secure the honor.

“They must first be identified as a potential blue ribbon school,” Caputo said. “There’s a bit of luck involved and a lot of hard work behind it.”

The other New Jersey schools to receive Blue Ribbon status in 2022 are:

  • Cliffside Park School 4 of the Cliffside Park School District
  • Englewood Cliffs School District High School
  • Glendora Elementary School in the Gloucester Parish Public School District
  • Frank Defino Central Elementary School of the Marlboro Township Public School District
  • Stony Brook Elementary School in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District
  • Center Grove School of the Randolph Township School District
  • Redwood Elementary School west of the West Orange School District

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Cheryl Makin is an award-winning features and education reporter, part of the USA Today Network. Contact: [email protected] or@CherylMakin. For unlimited access, subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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