News Release

October 1, 2018


Four Nebraska schools have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized the four Nebraska schools for demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels.

The Nebraska schools that were honored are:

  • Hitchcock County Elementary School, Hitchcock County Schools in Culbertson
  • Maude Rousseau Elementary School, Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln
  • North Bend Central Elementary, North Bend Central Public Schools in North Bend
  • Osceola Elementary School, Osceola Public Schools in Osceola

“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

“The four Nebraska honorees are a shining examples of hard work and determination,” said Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt. “These schools are demonstrating what it takes to complete the important work of closing achievement gaps to ensure all students have an equitable opportunity to succeed and to be college, career, and civic ready.”

“Congratulations to the students, teachers, parents, and families of the four 2018 National Blue Ribbons Schools in Nebraska,” said Governor Ricketts.  “These four schools should be very proud of this prestigious recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary DeVos.  Blue Ribbon schools are setting the standard of excellence for schools across the state and the nation as we work to deliver the best education possible to our youth.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The 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).

The Department will honor all of the public and private schools on Nov. 7-8 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education