Marquette University High School was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School, the only Catholic school in Wisconsin to receive the recognition. (Submitted photos)

There are 23 private schools among the 325 schools across the United States who have been recognized as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Marquette University High School is one of them.

School officials will represent MUHS at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on November 4th and 5th.

“During the ceremony, we will receive a plaque and a flag. We will have a Blue Ribbon flag-raising ceremony at the school in November,” said MUHS Principal Jeff Monday. “This recognition does a few things. It is outstanding recognition of our school and highlights the powerful impact that our Catholic Jesuit education provides to our young men. It also acknowledges the dedicated faculty and staff who have worked incredibly hard to deliver outstanding education, despite the challenges of the pandemic over the last 18 months. Further, it places the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and MUHS in the national spotlight, something we can all take great pride in.”

Blue Ribbon Schools are on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems.

MUHS was one of only nine high schools in the state of Wisconsin and the only Catholic high school to receive the honor. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. Department of Education, and MUHS was honored in the Exemplary High Performance category for the school’s academic excellence.

The Department of Education recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates. Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

According to Monday, it is a complex process to be considered for the award.

“The process included a nomination from the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), an endorsement of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the submission of a rigorous application, analysis of standardized test data, approval of Superintendent Kathleen Cepelka, and a comprehensive review by the U.S. Department of Education,” Monday said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools praised MUHS and stated that a distinctive feature of the school is cura personali, which calls for individualized attention to the needs of students with distinct care for their well-being and the development as a whole person. “This program is designed to assist students with issues related to academic growth as well as the emotional, pastoral and social needs that arise in high school. Each student has an advisor who provides individualized care and support through biweekly meetings.”

Staff, students, and stakeholders were excited to receive the recognition. Superintendent Cepelka said to the archdiocesan school leaders, “We’re thrilled to share in the joy and honor of this prestigious award.”

MUHS junior Patrick McKenna was excited to learn of the award and praised the school for its exemplary education.

“The award has increased the overall Marquette High pride inside and outside of the halls, which has never been stronger,” he said. “The honor of receiving the award speaks highly of the hard work performed by all involved in Marquette’s mission.”