A middle school in Oakland Gardens recently celebrated its status as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School, one of only 325 schools across the country to earn this distinction.
On Wednesday, Nov. 17, local elected officials joined students, parents and staff at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 for a special ribbon-cutting and ceremony. The U.S. Department of Education-run program recognizes a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The federal recognition got its start 39 years ago and has been awarded 10,000 times to more than 9,000 schools.
You’ll see a TON of media coverage coming about our @NatlBlueRibbon celebration today. The festivities kicked off with our SO Executive Board, Advisors, and our very own Nate Harvey :scissors: a blue ribbon to signify @TEAM74Q as a nationally recognized school of excellence! pic.twitter.com/kkUdl02Ppn
— Middle School 74 (@TEAM74Q) November 17, 2021
M.S. 74 was one of 18 schools in New York City to earn the Blue Ribbon distinction. The program places schools in one of two performance categories based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduations rates. The first is exemplary high-performing schools, based on state assessments or nationally normed tests. The second is exemplary achievement gap-closing schools, which are institutions that have closed achievement gaps between student groups and all students.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, who was in Washington at the time of the ceremony, issued a statement about her alma mater’s achievement.
“As a graduate of Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74, I am extremely proud that it has been named a National Blue Ribbon School. This is a tremendous achievement and it underscores the hard work that the entire school team does in making students succeed and flourish. Congratulations to the entire M.S. 74 school community!”
Other elected officials took to social media to celebrate the Oakland Gardens middle school.
Thrilled to literally cut the Blue Ribbon @TEAM74Q as we celebrate their new status as a national blue ribbon school. My heartiest congratulations to all who have worked so hard to make this incredible accomplishment happen. @D26Team @NYCSchools @FollowCSA @UFT @DistCouncil37 pic.twitter.com/ql9cDFzWPh
— Barry Grodenchik (@BarryGrodenchik) November 17, 2021
We had a great time today celebrating @TEAM74Q receiving the National Blue Ribbon Award today! Despite last year’s challenges, MS74’s students, teachers, and parents prioritized academic achievement and set an example for all of Queens. Congrats! pic.twitter.com/z5I2BDyVnW
— Linda Lee for NYC (@LindaLeeforNYC) November 17, 2021
Congratulations @TEAM74Q on earning the National Blue Ribbon School award! Despite going through a pandemic, it was determination, hard work and a positive attitude that has earned everyone this award. Continue to shine MS 74, and keep making us proud! pic.twitter.com/jEGp0JGHnE
— Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (@QnsBPRichards) November 18, 2021