Pyrtle Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

During a virtual online announcement on Thursday, Pyrtle Elementary School was named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Pyrtle joins 367 schools across the nation being recognized based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Pyrtle joins six other schools from Lincoln Public Schools to have received the award since 1982. 

“This is an extraordinary honor for Principal Kristen Finley and the Pyrtle Elementary staff, students and families,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “We are extremely proud of their hard work and dedication to quality teaching and learning.”

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates. Pyrtle received the Exemplary High Performing School award. Schools in this category are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

Pyrtle will hold a virtual school-wide celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. A livestream of the event will be available on the LPS website ( and the LPS and Pyrtle Facebook pages. Below is a video of Thursday's announcement.

Published: September 24, 2020, Updated: September 24, 2020