Metuchen’s Edgar Middle School earns prestigious National Blue Ribbon School Award

Edgar Middle School in Metuchen was one of nine schools statewide and one of 297 schools across the country to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced today.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“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 in a press release.

“As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”

The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement.

National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools nationwide. A National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing a school’s entryway is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

“It’s little wonder that Metuchen is referred to as the Brainy Borough,” Senator Patrick Diegnan said. “Congratulations to the teachers, administrators, staff and parents of Edgar Middle School for this incredible recognition.”

Metuchen School District Superintendent Vincent Caputo said the award reflects the dedication and efforts of all associated with Edgar Middle School, past and present, as well as supervisors district-wide and all who support the school district.

Caputo credited Edgar Middle School Principal Suzy Azevedo and Assistant Principal Neyda Evans for building upon the success of past administrators and positioning Edgar Middle School to earn the prestigious award.

“Being a National Blue Ribbon School is a huge deal,” Caputo said. “The award has been around for 39 years and this is a once-in-a-lifetime resume piece.”

Caputo said Azevedo and Evans navigated a rigorous application process to help Edgar Middle School, which currently has an enrollment of 763 students grades 5 through 8, secure the honor. Up to 420 schools nationwide may be nominated annually.

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

The U.S. 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.

“We are always incredibly proud of our schools, but especially on this day,” Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch said. “We are so incredibly proud to know that one of our schools has achieved this prestigious award.”

The U.S. Department of Education invites nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

“We are glad to celebrate the success of our New Jersey schools and acknowledge their commitment to teaching and learning, “Acting New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan said.

“New Jersey is one of the top states for education because our schools focus on improving the outcome for all students. I applaud the nine newest Blue Ribbon Schools for their focus on students’ well-being and achievement.”

Edgar Middle School offers students a challenging and enriching educational experience with the goal of supporting students’ academic, emotional and social growth and development.

Reflecting Metuchen’s diversity, Edgar Middle School prides itself on being inclusive with a focus on the growth of the whole child.

Edgar Middle School’s leadership and Caputo will be invited to a National Blue Ribbon Schools award ceremony in Washington D.C. The event will be held in early November.

Caputo said Metuchen School District will conduct a ceremony locally to recognize Edgar Middle School’s accomplishment.

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