7 area schools win National Blue Ribbon

Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill is the only Philadelphia school among the seven area schools to win a National Blue Ribbon. Other winning schools are in the Philly suburbs and South Jersey. (Photo from omcparish.com)

Seven area schools have been recognized for their excellence by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the announcement Tuesday.

In Philadelphia, Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill won the coveted distinction. No Philadelphia public schools made the list.

In the Pennsylvania suburbs, Holicong Middle School in Doylestown won the honor, as did Radnor Middle School and St. Norbert Elementary School in Paoli and St. Agnes Elementary in West Chester.

In New Jersey, Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School in Haddonfield and Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Moorestown earned the honor.

"This honor recognizes your students' accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success," Duncan said in a video message to the awardees. "Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence - in vision, in implementation and in results - and we want to learn as much as we can from you."

Representatives from the schools will travel to Washington D.C. in November to be honored by the education department.

Schools are recognized for either strong learning standards or making remarkable strides on closing achievement gaps.

The award is given annually to schools around the country. In total, 420 schools can be nominated - public schools by the state education secretary, and priavte schools by the Council for American Private Education. This year, 335 schools - 285 public schools and 50 private schools - won the award.