OPHS recognized as National Blue Ribbon School

McClenahan and Meskis go to Washington, DC

OPHS+recognized+as+National+Blue+Ribbon+School

OPHS twitter account

Zoey Mortazavi, Senior Staff Writer

Last month, Oak Park High School received word that it was granted a National Blue Ribbon Award. Principal Mat McClenahan and Assistant Principal Jason Meskis journeyed to Washington, D.C. to accept this award on our school’s behalf. The ceremony itself was held on Nov. 4-5, 2021. 

“This reward really reflects everybody’s work,” OPHS’s former principal Kevin Buchanan said. “Everything we did was reflected in our application.”

This year, Oak Park was one of only 325 schools nationwide to receive this prestigious award, 28 of these being California schools. 302 of the award recipients were public schools. OPHS was also recognized as one of only 5 Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing High Schools and was the only California school to be recognized in this category. 

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” the Department of Education wrote in an article on the 2021 Blue Ribbon Schools.

This was the 39th consecutive year of the Blue Ribbon Awards; the awards commended schools that are high performing, regarding student achievement. Up to 420 schools can be nominated each year, with this year’s winners taking down that number by nearly 100 schools. 

“It was a great story to tell, and I was happy to be able to put it down on paper,” Buchanan said about his experience writing the Blue Ribbon application. “To tell them the story of how this district and our school came together in one of the biggest catastrophes to hit schools in most of our lifetimes.”