U.S. Department of Education Names Three Schools as Blue Ribbon Schools

September 26, 2019

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The U.S. Department of Education today recognized three schools in Nevada as National Blue Ribbon Schools in the Exemplary High Performing Schools Category. They are:

  • Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) in the Clark County School District (CCSD)
  • Charles & Phyllis Frias Elementary School in CCSD
  • Hunter Lake Elementary School in the Washoe County School District

“The students, teachers, administrators and parents at these schools should all be proud to be recognized for being among Nevada’s highest performing schools,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “These schools have achieved academic excellence and will serve as models to all Nevada schools.”

The Nevada Department of Education identified each of these schools for high academic achievement and graduation rates. The U.S. Department of Education verified the data and recognized the accomplishments of these schools by inviting representatives from these schools to attend the 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 14-15.

"We are extremely proud of our two schools being honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools," said Dr. Jesus F. Jara, Clark County School District Superintendent. "Advanced Technologies Academy and Charles and Phyllis Frias Elementary School prove yet again that CCSD is quickly becoming the number one choice for parents and students to receive a rich and rigorous education in Clark County. This is a true testament to the hard work of our teachers, support professionals, administrators and students. Congratulations to them for achieving this tremendous recognition."

Amanda McWilliams, principal of Hunter Lake Elementary School said the Hunter Lake Community is extremely proud and excited about this honor.

“We are proud of the achievements of our students, staff members and families at Hunter Lake Elementary School, and grateful for this tremendous recognition,” Dr. Kristen McNeill, Washoe County Interim Superintendent said. “A National Blue Ribbon designation is a true honor, and it speaks to the ongoing dedication of our school family and our district in helping all of our students reach their full potential. I congratulate Ms. McWilliams for her leadership and dedication to the students, staff and families of Hunter Lake Elementary School.”

Advanced Technologies Academy:

Since 1994 Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) has been an example of how a diverse student body, innovative teachers and a 21st century curriculum can infuse to change the trajectory of students’ lives. Due to having a blind lottery and free transportation for all students, A-TECH is the school that most closely mirrors Clark County’s extremely diverse demographics with students from every zip code represented and no ethnic majority. A-TECH is a three-time Blue Ribbon Award winner (2003, 2011, 2019) and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this school year.

A-TECH provides a comprehensive curriculum in three pillars: Advanced Placement (AP), Career and Technical Education (CTE) and “connector” courses (Debate, Band, Orchestra, etc.). The three pillars allow students to explore various disciplines through a well balanced high school experience. In five years, A-TECH has added seven AP courses for a total of 25 courses. This expansion has led to greater equity of access with 83 percent of the students in the class of 2018 passing at least one AP examination and half of the exams being taken by students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

Charles & Phyllis Frias Elementary School:

Charles & Phyllis Frias Elementary School is a suburban school located in the southwest region of Las Vegas. Frias Elementary opened in 2003 in honor of Charles and Phyllis Frias‘s belief that every child could sail, soar and succeed. Mr. and Mrs. Frias exemplified what every school dreams of having in a namesake: kindness, generosity, commitment and willingness to provide students and staff with the support to achieve greatness. To keep legacy of Charles and Phyllis Frias alive, the school honors students who display positive attitudes and demonstrate a growth mindset.

The staff of Frias is dedicated to providing high-quality instruction with a focus on student diversity through collaboration and intentional academic discourse. Frias has a diverse population, which brings excellent opportunities for peer interaction and learning. The students benefit from highly skilled staff members who facilitate a rich learning environment where students thrive. The teaching staff provide opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning through lessons that promote critical thinkers to use layered levels of knowledge. Staff members provide a wide range of assessments from performance based tasks to constructed responses that allow for self-monitoring, reflection and goal setting.

Hunter Lake Elementary School:

Hunter Lake Elementary School opened in 1955 and is located in southwest Reno. The school serves 400 students, many of whom live in temporary housing. Over the past several years, Hunter Lake has seen drastic change in school demographics and poverty and the number of students eligible for free and reduced price lunch has exceeded 50 percent for several years.

Hunter Lake Elementary School strives for academic excellence through collaboration and a shared vision of student success. Learning is a joint effort between students, teachers and parents. “It takes teamwork to make the dream work” is Hunter Lake’s motto and each day they create a collaborative network of support to ensure that every child grows and achieves their individualized potential.