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On Thursday, September 24, 2020, Saint Paul of the Cross School was named by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2020. Saint Paul of the Cross School is 1 of 7 non-public elementary schools in Illinois (all 7 are part of the Chicago Archdiocese) to receive this honor. This award was given to Saint Paul of the Cross School for being an exemplary high performing school.

“This is an exciting day for the St. Paul of the Cross community. I am so proud of the faculty, staff, and students for all they have done to make this award a reality,” said SPC Principal, Dr. Erika Mickelburgh. This is the second time Saint Paul of the Cross School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The first National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award was in 2011. “This prestigious recognition is a validation of the commitment, dedication, and collaborative efforts of the faculty and staff, parents, and parish community, both past and present, to ensure our mission of academic excellence in Catholic education.”

"SPC is the place to be," is a motto you'll hear children, parents, and faculty consistently declare at St. Paul of the Cross School, a vibrant community where joyful learning and spiritual and personal growth have transpired for 95 years. Located in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb bordering the City of Chicago's northwest side, SPC attracts families from Park Ridge and the surrounding area who desire academic excellence and faith-filled education for their children.

SPC strives to provide an inclusive, collaborative, and differentiated curriculum, instilling a strong faith foundation for its 620 students in preschool through eighth grade. The dedication of SPC's highly educated and trained faculty members makes this possible. Core and practical fine arts teachers collaborate to support interdisciplinary learning at each grade level in Spanish, physical education, art, music, and STEM. Grade-level unit teams work together to implement a rigorous and inclusive vertically aligned curriculum.

This collaboration, along with support from the dynamic parent and parish community, has allowed SPC to innovate continually, further enhancing the curriculum, instruction, and overall school programs since being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2011.

Beyond the classroom, SPC takes a comprehensive approach in advancing students' social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth by providing a variety of co-curricular service, learning, and athletic programs. As a result of SPC's holistic approach, graduates are faith-filled leaders equipped with 21st-century skills, prepared to succeed in an evolving global society as committed Christians and loyal citizens.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education 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). Due to COVID-19, the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. During this ceremony, the Department of Education will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees.