Klein ISD’s Nitsch Elementary School became the first elementary school in the district to be named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, officials announced in a Sept. 19 news release.

The overview

According to the Department of Education, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors the nation’s top schools based on academic performance and academic progress in closing achievement gaps.

District officials said Nitsch Elementary joins Strack Intermediate School, Klein Oak High School and Klein Forest High School as the only schools in district history to achieve the distinction. Nitsch Elementary is also the only public school in the Greater Houston area to earn the designation this year, district officials said.

Nitsch Elementary, along with the other 352 National Blue Ribbon awardees, will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in November.

What they’re saying

“I know that this prestigious national recognition is the result of the hard work and fierce dedication of our incredible teachers with the guidance and support of the school’s outstanding leadership, especially Principal Frank Ward,” KISD Superintendent Jenny McGown said in the release. “Klein ISD is incredibly proud of Nitsch Elementary for their unwavering efforts in making learning a community effort, where students, families and teachers come together toward one goal—academic excellence for every student in their collective care.”

“Being named a National Blue Ribbon School means we are fulfilling our mission, which is at the heart of everything we do,” Nitsch Elementary Principal Frank Ward said in the release. “It is a simple mission paired with a huge task: every child, every day. Following this simple guiding principle, we know the possibilities are limitless for our students. Through the diligent work of a staff that believes, collaborates and moves with a sense of urgency, achieving is more than a dream.”