Ghidotti Early College High School honored as National Blue Ribbon School |

Ghidotti Early College High School honored as National Blue Ribbon School

Melissa Madigan, director of educational and pupil services for the Nevada Joint Union High School District, Janet Mason, a teacher at Ghidotti Early College High School, Louise Johnson, district Superintendent, and Noah Levinson, Ghidotti principal, at the National Blue Ribbon School ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Submitted Photo |

Ghidotti Early College High School was honored as one of the country’s most academically successful schools earlier this week in a two-day ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Ghidotti was one of 335 schools nationwide to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education at the ceremony, which was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on Nov. 9-10 and featured speeches from key education officials and workshops with administrators and educators from around the country.

Ghidotti Principal Noah Levinson and teacher Janet Mason joined Nevada Joint Union High School District Superintendent Louise Johnson and Director of Educational and Pupil Services Melissa Madigan at the ceremony to accept a flag and engraved plaque to bring back to the school.

“It was the highlight of my career,” Mason said. “I just thought, wow, I don’t know how you can get anything better than that.”

The Blue Ribbon distinction recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools for attaining high student achievement or for making significant progress in closing achievement gaps among its students.

In California, schools are nominated for the award by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. To be nominated as a high-performing school, students must score in the top 15 percent of all state schools on English Language Arts and math assessments for the most recent year that tests were completed. Test scores from that year are also broken down by student subgroup; student test scores in each subgroup must be in the top 40 percent of all state schools when compared by subgroup.

Ghidotti, which opened in 2006, allows high school students to attend classes at Sierra College at no cost; students can graduate with a high school diploma as well as an associate’s degree or credits toward college.

“We’ve created a place where students can thrive in learning,” Mason said.

And that atmosphere is the result of hard work by Ghidotti’s students as well as the administrators and staff at both Ghidotti and Sierra College, Levinson said. He said he wished he could have chartered a private plane to bring everyone involved in the school’s success to the ceremony.

“It takes a village to do what we do,” Levinson said.

Mason said the school’s 160 or so students are proud of the distinction; they’re already working on creating school T-shirts that will feature a blue ribbon on the sleeve.

She said the recognition is motivation for the school’s staff to continue to work hard to ensure students are college and career ready when they graduate from Ghidotti.

“You don’t stop here, you keep moving forward and keep trying new things,” Mason said.

Levinson agreed, noting he’d like the school eventually be viewed as a model for early college high school education.

“It would be nice to bring some educators in to see what we do and share what we do and share our experiences to help other schools,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email or call 530-477-4230.

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