On September 7, 2012, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Immaculata Catholic School in Durham as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School winner. Immaculata is one of 269 schools in the United States and the only Catholic school in the state of North Carolina to receive the honor this year.
This year marks the 30th year the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award has been bestowed. The program has recognized nearly 7,000 public, private elementary, middle, and high schools. The award is based on overall academic achievement excellence or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels.
“This award affirms what we already knew: we have highly qualified teachers who teach every day using differentiation, project-based learning, integrated technology, and cutting edge curriculum,” said Mrs. Dana Corcoran, Principal and Director of Immaculata Catholic School and Early Childhood Center.
“I extend sincere congratulations to all associated with Immaculata Catholic School on receiving this prestigious award,” said The Most Reverend Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. “Father McLellan, Mrs. Corcoran, the staff and the students and their parents are to be commended for this achievement. Receiving this recognition is a great honor for Immaculata Catholic School and the entire Diocese of Raleigh.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program evaluates schools based on one of two criteria: (1) schools whose students are high performing. These are schools ranked among each state’s highest performing schools as measured by their performance on state assessments or, in the case of private schools, that score at the highest performance level on nationally normed tests; or (2) schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state assessments or nationally normed tests.
“Immaculata joins a growing list of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Raleigh that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,” said Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Superintendent of Catholic Formation and Education.
The five other schools that have received previous recognition are St. Michael the Archangel in Cary, St. Francis of Assisi, Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Our Lady of Lourdes, all in Raleigh. Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Burlington has received the Blue Ribbon twice. “It is an indication of the quality of leadership and instruction that exists at Immaculata Catholic School,” said Dr. Fedewa. “I join Bishop Burbidge in congratulating the Immaculata Catholic School community for this well-deserved honor.”
The U.S. Education Department will honor the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C.
“Immaculata is not just an educational site, it is a home for students, made comfortable by the surroundings of our faith, reliable friends and understanding adults,” said Mrs. Corcoran.