BANGOR, Maine — Two Maine schools are among 335 across the nation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York and Minot Consolidated School, part of RSU 16, are this year’s honorees from Maine.

The Blue Ribbon Award, which was first issued to schools in 1982, recognizes schools based on the overall academic performance of students or progress in closing achievement gaps faced by disadvantaged students. More than 8,000 American schools have received the award in its 33-year history.

Both Maine schools were labeled “exemplary high-performing schools” by the federal Department of Education.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a Tuesday news release.

Maine Acting Commissioner of Education Tom Desjardin called the recognition a “huge honor” for these schools. Last year, Turner Elementary School in Androscoggin County was the only Maine school to be included on the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon list.

“We have worked hard to polish our instructional model and bear down to teach more students better,” said Coastal Ridge Elementary Principal Sean Murphy. “Teachers stepped up, and now we can celebrate a model that serves all students effectively.”

“Minot Consolidated School staff, students and parents are thrilled to be receiving the Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence,” said Principal Kim Spencer. “We will continue to represent the Blue Ribbon standards of excellence in education in our learning environments every day by making sure that school is safe, challenging, and a fun place to learn and teach.”

In 2013, the Williams-Cone School in Topsham was the only Maine school to win the award. In 2012, Hope Elementary School and Solon Elementary School each won, and in 2011, Orono Middle School and Eliot Elementary School won.

Principals from both schools expect to travel to Washington, D.C., in November for a recognition ceremony and two days of workshops, presentations and discussions with other Blue Ribbon schools.

For more information on Blue Ribbon Awards, visit

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