Press Release: Two OUSD Schools Named Among Best in Nation

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OUSD News Release

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Contact: John Sasaki
Communications Director


Two OUSD Schools Named Among Best in Nation

Hillcrest & Thornhill Elementary Schools Selected as Blue Ribbon Schools

OAKLAND, CA - U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced that two Oakland Unified Schools District elementary schools - Hillcrest and Thornhill - are each named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. The two schools are among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor. 

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. 

"I'm proud to see the academic success of these schools," Superintendent Antwan Wilson said. "This prestigious award affirms the tremendous work of the Thornhill and Hillcrest communities - from the administration and faculty to staff, students and parents - in creating environments where students feel safe, welcome, and nurtured, and where they can thrive."

The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning when displayed on school buildings across the country.

 "The Hillcrest family is honored to be named a 2016 Blue Ribbon School,” said Sherry Segura, Principal at Hillcrest Elementary. “This recognition is the result of a community united to support student achievement."

 “The high expectations, teamwork and collaboration we have at Thornhill are paying off,” said Thornhill Principal Steven Daubenspeck. “We earned this award thanks to all our hard-working teachers and their focus on content areas, differentiated instruction and targeted intervention, and our staff’s commitment to fostering strong relationships.” 

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools selected at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Educators from both Hillcrest and Thornhill elementary schools will attend the ceremony.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” King said to honorees. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices - professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems - making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation,” King added.

For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit