iAcademy at Athens Elementary named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

NBRS ATHENS, Alabama, October 1, 2018 --- iAcademy at Athens Elementary (AES) has been named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School (NBRS) of Excellence by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. AES is one of five Alabama schools recognized as a NBRS.

The coveted NBRS award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.


Cindy Davis, AES school principal, praises the work of the staff of AES. “This prestigious award demonstrates that the students who attend AES have the privilege of being taught by educators who are equipped to help them succeed academically, no matter their background and income level. The educators of this high performing school are committed to student success. No matter the circumstances faced by a student, AES teachers bring out the best in their students; preparing them for success in their next grades.”


This award comes as no surprise to Athens City Schools superintendent Dr. Trey Holladay who sees firsthand the teacher commitment and student outcomes at AES year after year.


“The teachers at AES work tirelessly to give their students the very best chance possible AES Teachers to learn, grow and succeed. They exemplify the purpose of the blue ribbon recognition by working everyday to celebrate the idea that all students, regardless of background, ability or location, deserve an excellent education. They are outstanding educators who work together to bring out the best in their students.”  


Athens City Schools congratulates the other NBRS honorees from Alabama:

Arab Elementary School – Arab City Schools System
Liberty Park Middle School – Vestavia Hills City Schools System
Mountain Brook Elementary School – Mountain Brook City Schools System
Rock Quarry Elementary School – Tuscaloosa City Schools System


This is only the second time an Athens City school has received this prestigious recognition since the program began. Julian Newman Elementary is a 1987 NBRS. A school's NBRS status does not expire. Once a school receives the award, it remains a NBRS in perpetuity.

Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. On November 7 and 8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with all honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.


AES Students “I'm pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students' accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

All schools are honored 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 subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).