US Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona is on a tour of the Midwest, celebrating schools of excellence.
On Tuesday, he celebrated the accomplishments of Walter Sundling Junior High School in Palatine, one of 325 schools honored nationwide.
The schools that are honored fit into two categories: schools that are among the state's highest performing, and schools that among the best at closing achievement gaps.
- Chicago – Disney II Magnet High School.
- Chicago – Prosser Career Academy High School.
- Chicago – Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.
- Clarendon Hills – Prospect Elementary School, Hinsdale Community Consolidated School District 181.
- Eldorado – Eldorado Middle School, Eldorado Community Unit School District 4.
- Highland Park – Braeside Elementary School, North Shore School District 112.
- Hinsdale – Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale Township High School District 86.
- Lake Forest – Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest Community High School District 115.
- Lake Villa – Prince Of Peace School, Archdiocese of Chicago School District.
- Mundelein – Carmel Catholic High School, Carmel Catholic.
- Northbrook – Maple School, Northbrook/Glenview School District 30.
- Oak Brook – Butler Junior High School, Butler School District 53.
- Okawville – Okawville Grade School, West Washington County Community School District 10.
- Palatine – Walter R. Sundling Junior High School, Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15.
- Park Ridge – Lincoln Middle School, Park Ridge-Niles School District #64.
- Taylorville – Taylorville Jr High School, Taylorville Community Unit School District 3.
- Centralia – Raccoon Consolidated School District 1, Raccoon Consolidated School District 1.
- Westmont – Westmont High School, Community Unit School District 201.
During his trip on Tuesday, Cardona urged the community to keep the school safe.
"That means wearing masks, even when we don’t want to," Cardona said. "Getting vaccinated if you’re 12 years or older. Ask friends, if they’ve had a chance to get vaccinated yet. Help keep each other safe and make sure that the Sundling community can stay together in person, uninterrupted all year long."
The National Blue Ribbon School awards have been given out for 39 years. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.