After 52 years of educating students, Athens Academy, a private school serving grades K3-12, was nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for its overall academic performance.
Athens Academy was one of 349 schools nationwide and one of 49 nonpublic schools to receive this honor.
“So much goes into creating and sustaining a culture of academic excellence — from outstanding faculty and staff to committed families to motivated students — and national recognition like this is great validation for all of that hard work,” said Pat Cuneo, director of academic affairs at Athens Academy.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized elementary, middle and high schools since 1982, selecting from a pool of applicants.
Athens Academy had to submit average scores for a range of standardized tests, all of which had to be at or above the 85th percentile nationally, Cuneo said. The school also had to complete a 27-page application that included essays, statistics and other information about Athens Academy and its programs, which Cuneo worked on.
“Our faculty and students work hard each and every day to make magic happen on our campus, and it is great to be validated by the National Blue Ribbon School program,” said John Thorsen, head of school, in an Oct. 1 press release. “We are proud of our school and our accomplishments, yet still recognize that we must always strive to be even better.”
Athens Academy’s academics are characterized by high average SAT and ACT scores and a large number of students passing Advanced Placement exams, according to the school.
The average SAT score is 1265, and the average ACT score is 27.2, according to an Athens Academy admissions flyer. Additionally, 92 percent of students earned a three or higher on Advanced Placement exams over the past decade.
The 86 members of the class of 2018 have gone on to attend 43 different colleges and universities in 18 different states.
Cuneo and Kelley Cuneo, Athens Academy director of communications, will accept this award at a two-day ceremony in November in Washington, D.C., hearing from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and educators.