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Sabino lauded as 'National Blue Ribbon' school
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Sabino lauded as 'National Blue Ribbon' school

  • Sabino High School Principal Matt Munger (at lectern) announces that Sabino has been named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School. TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez (left), Assistant Principal Russell Doty (center) and Sabino student leaders participate in the announcement.
    TUSDSabino High School Principal Matt Munger (at lectern) announces that Sabino has been named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School. TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez (left), Assistant Principal Russell Doty (center) and Sabino student leaders participate in the announcement.

Sabino High School on the Northwest Side was the only public school named a "National Blue Ribbon Schools" award winner in Arizona, and one of only four schools in the state to receive the award, officials said Tuesday.

Sabino is among 286 schools nationwide to receive the honor, Tucson Unified School District spokeswoman Cara Rene said in a news release.

"As the new principal of Sabino and a former Sabino student, it is a tremendous honor to receive the Blue Ribbon Award," Principal Matt Munger was quoted in the release. "This recognition from the U.S. Department of Education validates our staff's, students', and parents' commitment to excellence in education."

Rene said the school, 5000 N. Bowes Rd., has been an Excelling or "A" school for 12 consecutive years and is being recognized as an "Exemplary High Performing" school due to overall academic excellence.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in student achievement, she said:

Sabino was nominated for the recognition by the Arizona Department of Education. Sabino students' SAT and ACT scores exceed state and national averages, and 92 percent of students enroll in college.

"Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers," said Secretary Duncan. "National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education."  

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is "Exemplary High Performing," in which schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is "Exemplary Improving," in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

Across the country, 236 public and 50 private schools were recognized with the award this year.

According to the TUSD release:

  • 92 percent of Sabino graduates immediately enroll in a two-year or four-year college
  • Graduates have earned between $6-$13 million in scholarships and awards annually
  • In 2012, students took 417 Advanced Placement exams, 61% of those earned a 3 or higher
  • AP Calculus AB scores are in the 90th percentile in the nation ... students scoring 3 or above
  • Sabino's population is made up of 53 percent open-enrollment students (students who come from around the community to attend the school)

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