PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona was in northwest suburban Palatine Tuesday morning to recognize the country's 325 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.
Secretary Cardona made the announcement during a tour of his Return School Road trip while at Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School. It's one of this year's 18 Illinois Blue Ribbon schools.
"Now we're here at the beginning of a new school year. It's a time of possibility, a time opportunity a time of hope and few things are more hopeful than the smiles of the faces of the students that I see in front of me," said Cardona.
The recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups.
Secretary Cardona is currently on a bus tour of the country showcasing how students and communities are safely returning to in-person learning.SEE ALSO: Mayor Lightfoot 'disappointed' with CPS COVID-19 testing rollout
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
2021 Illinois National Blue Ribbon SchoolsCentralia - Raccoon Consolidated School District 1, Raccoon Consolidated School District 1.Chicago - Disney II Magnet High School, City of Chicago School District 299.Chicago - Prosser Career Academy High School, City of Chicago School District 299.Chicago - Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, City of Chicago School District 299.Clarendon Hills - Prospect Elementary School, Hinsdale Community Consolidated School District 181.Eldorado - Eldorado Middle School, Eldorado Community Unit School District 4.Highland Park - Braeside Elementary School, North Shore School District 112.Hinsdale - Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale Township High School District 86.Lake Forest - Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest Community High School District 115.Lake Villa - Prince Of Peace School, Archdiocese of Chicago School District.Mundelein - Carmel Catholic High School, Carmel Catholic.Northbrook - Maple School, Northbrook/Glenview School District 30.Oak Brook - Butler Junior High School, Butler School District 53.Okawville - Okawville Grade School, West Washington County Community School District 10.Palatine - Walter R. Sundling Junior High School, Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15.Park Ridge - Lincoln Middle School, Park Ridge-Niles School District #64.Taylorville - Taylorville Jr High School, Taylorville Community Unit School District 3.Westmont - Westmont High School, Community Unit School District 201.