CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 297 schools nationwide as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022, including five schools in North Carolina on Friday.
The reward is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary is one of the schools identified as a national model of effective school practices.
Students and staff wore blue Friday in celebration of their hard work.
Weatherstone was recognized for its STEM-focused project-based learning system as well as its support for the physical, social and emotional needs of students.
"I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue-Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams," Cardona said.
According to the Department of Education, with its 39th cohort, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has given approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools. The award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for and attaining exemplary achievement.
Each school will receive a National Blue Ribbon School flag that can be placed at the school's entryway or on a flagpole as widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
The North Carolina schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:
- Cary - Weatherstone Elementary School, Wake County School District.
- Fayetteville - Seventy-First Classical Middle School, Cumberland County School District.
- Gastonia - W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gaston County School District.
- Lumberton - East Robeson Primary School, Robeson County School District.
- Lumberton - Southeastern Academy, Southeastern Academy Charter School District.