Lincoln Elementary School in Alexandria has been named a National Blue Ribbon School.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the announcement Thursday, recognizing 362 schools across the country as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Only eight Minnesota schools were nominated as eligible to receive the honor.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories – Exemplary High Performing or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.

Lincoln Elementary was listed as an Exemplary High Performing School, which means it was among Minnesota’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“I am so proud of our Lincoln School community. I am privileged to witness day-in and day-out the growth mindset and positive spirit of our students, parents and staff,” said Brendan Bogart, Lincoln Elementary principal.

“I feel the work that they do is extraordinary – they all work so hard to achieve Lincoln’s mission of ‘Working as a team to ensure all students learn and grow.’ The National Blue Ribbon distinction is a reflection of the culture they have created but is in no means an end.”

It’s not the first school in the Alexandria School District to be named a Blue Ribbon School. In 2013, Garfield Elementary School received the honor and in 2017, Woodland Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon school.

“This is a wonderful honor for Lincoln as well as our school district,” said Superintendent Julie Critz. “This great accomplishment highlights Lincoln’s tradition and reputation of supporting students and families by developing authentic connections to ensure the success of each child.”

Lincoln serves about 455 students through fifth grade.

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized more than 9,000 schools. On Nov. 14 and 15, DeVos, along with the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Each school will receive a plaque during the ceremony.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” said DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”