Nine Illinois public schools honored with national
Blue Ribbon award

May 24, 2001

(217) 782-4648

Springfield – Nine Illinois public schools have achieved a mark of excellence that’s easy for everyone to see: they have been named 2000-2001 Blue Ribbon Schools.

The award, given annually by the U.S. Department of Education, honors schools nationwide that excel in academic leadership, teaching and teacher development and school curriculum. Blue Ribbon schools also display exceptional community and parental involvement, high student achievement and rigorous safety and discipline programs.

The program has honored over 4,000 public and private schools nationwide over its 18 years, including 264 this year. Counting this year’s nine winners, 171 Illinois schools – 135 public and 36 private -- have won the Blue Ribbon awards.

“This is such a significant honor for our schools because the Blue Ribbon award honors the entire community for its work to support their local schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee.

“Of course, we at the State Board know that Illinois has many excellent schools. The Blue Ribbon awards are a way of reinforcing what these schools do, sharing their good practices and letting everyone else know what their communities have probably known for a long time,” McGee said.

To be nominated, schools must conduct a thorough self-evaluation involving administrators, teachers, students, parents and community members. The evaluation helps the school assess its strengths and weaknesses and to develop strategic plans.

The State Board of Education then uses outside readers, including local school principals, retired administrators, teachers and others familiar with the program, to evaluate the nominations. This year, 15 nominations received by the State Board were deemed sufficiently successful to be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal education agency reviews all nominees’ applications and then visits those schools that best meet the Blue Ribbon criteria. Finally the federal review panel is reconvened to choose the actual winners.

"These schools represent pockets of excellence in education that can be found in communities all across the country," said U. S. Secretary of Education of Education Rod Paige in unveiling the list of award recipients. "Blue Ribbon Schools can serve as examples of what is possible under the president's plan to create a system of education that gives every child access to a quality education."


Illinois’ 2000-2001 Blue Ribbon Schools


Adler Park School
1740 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048-1317
Ph: (847) 362-7275
Fax: (847) 362-8158

Half Day School
239 Olde Half Day Road
Lincolnshire, IL 60069-2904
Ph: (847) 634-6463
Fax: (847) 634-1968

Henry Winkelman School
1919 Landwehr Road
Glenview, IL 60025-1243
Ph: (847) 729-5650
Fax: (847) 729-5654

Hilda Walker Intermediate School
19900 South 80th Avenue
Tinley Park, IL 60477-3631
Ph: (815) 464-2285
Fax: (815) 469-9201

Jones-Farrar Early Learning Center
1386 S. Kiwanis Drive
Freeport, IL 61032-6908
Ph: (815) 232-0610
Fax: (815) 235-9220

Pleasant Hill School
434 W. Illinois Avenue
Palatine, IL 60067-6799
Ph: (847) 963-5900
Fax: (847) 963-5906

Taylor Park Elementary School
806 East Stephenson Street
Freeport, IL 61032-3499
Ph: (815) 232-0390
Fax: (815) 232-0399

Thomas Jefferson School
3805 Winston Drive
Hoffman Estates, IL 60195-1851
Ph: (847) 963-5400
Fax: (847) 963-5406

Union Ridge School
4600 N. Oak Park Avenue
Harwood Heights, IL 60706-4823
Ph: (708) 867-5822
Fax: (708) 867-5826

In addition to these nine public schools nominated by the State Board, two Illinois nonpublic schools achieved the designation by a separate nominating process through the Council for American Private Education:

Palatine, Immanuel Lutheran School, Principal Karen Bauder, 847-359-1936
Chicago, Near North Montessori School, Principal Jacqueline Bergen, 773-384-1434