Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Two Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Richmond Designated 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Department of Education

September 22, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – Charlottesville Catholic School, Charlottesville, and Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School, Virginia Beach, are two of ten Virginia schools awarded the coveted National Blue Ribbon School Award in 2023. The awards were announced Sept. 19 by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s Office. Charlottesville Catholic and St. Gregory were recognized for academic excellence under the Exemplary High-Performing School category. They are the only Virginia Catholic schools to receive the award this year.

“The quality of education our schools provide is only one of many threads in the fabric of our Catholic schools,” said Bishop Barry C. Knestout. “Our schools remind students to develop and use their God-given skills and talents for their own good and for the good of society. This recognition elevates the awareness of the value of a good, Catholic education and the quality that we are able to offer in our Catholic schools. I congratulate St. Gregory and Charlottesville Catholic Schools for all the work involved on this achievement as a Blue Ribbon School.”

In all, the U.S. Department of Education recognized more than 350 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023. This award is granted based on each school’s progress in closing achievement gaps among students on assessments and overall academic performance.

“I am grateful to God for this wonderful opportunity,” said Kika Glass, interim principal at St. Gregory. “Our school is recognized for high standards in education, as well as, for the fact that our families, communities, instructors, administrative and support staff, all work together toward common goals. SGGS now serves as a model of effective and innovative teaching for our entire state and schools throughout the nation.”

For Charlottesville Catholic, this is the third Blue Ribbon Award. Previously, the school received the recognition in 2005 and 2014.

“We are beyond excited that Charlottesville Catholic School has been awarded a National Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence,” said Vada G. Fallica, principal of Charlottesville Catholic School. “This award is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our students, staff, faculty, parents, and all members of the CCS community.”

Interim Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Bigelow added that every year “a select group of private schools are awarded the Blue Ribbon in the Exemplary High-Performing School category.” She continued, “National Blue Ribbon schools recognize non-public schools as “Exemplary High Performing” if the student achievement in English and Mathematics is among the highest in the country (top 15%) measured by nationally normed tests.”

Recipients of the award represent the diversity of strengths in Virginia schools while also demonstrating core strengths of each school. A National Blue Ribbon School flag is flown at awarded schools to serve as a symbol of exceptional teaching and learning.

Since the first National Blue Ribbon award in 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has granted 10,000 awards to over 9,700 schools.