Two of the Union County Vocational-Technical High Schools in Scotch Plains - the Academy for Information Technology and Union County Magnet High School - were announced as winners of the Blue Ribbon School Awards from the US Department of Education yesterday.
Blue Ribbon Schools are nominated by state education officials, and the US Department of Education makes the final selections. The program recognizes schools that are consistently high performing as well as schools that demonstrate exceptional improvements in student achievement.
This is the second Blue Ribbon Award for UC Magnet; the school also won in 2004.
"Twice is nice,” UC Vo-Tech Superintendent Peter A. Capodice told Patch on Tuesday. “We’re extremely proud. It’s the staff, students and parental backing we
get that makes what we do possible. I can’t stress how important that is. And I just can’t
speak highly enough about our staff. Their performance combined with the
students and parents is a beautiful relationship. I am also thankful to the
Board of Chosen Freeholders who support us financially and allow us to be so
current and up-to-date with our equipment.”
Fourteen other NJ schools won Blue Ribbon designations today (but no others in Union County) including four other county vocational-technical schools. In all, nine New Jersey public high schools and six New Jersey parochial elementary schools won Blue Ribbon awards this year. Nationally, 286 elementary, middle and high schools were recognized.
“A Blue Ribbon School designation is the most prestigious honor in the United States’ education system,” said Dr. Howard Lerner, President of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools and Superintendent of the Bergen County Technical Schools. “It signifies strong school leadership, excellent teaching, and outstanding student achievement.”
The other four vo-tech schools chosen were: High Tech High School in North Bergen (Hudson County Schools of Technology), Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics & Engineering Technologies in Edison (Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools), Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) at Sandy Hook (Monmouth County Vocational School District), and Morris County School of Technology in Denville (Morris County Vocational School District).