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2 Area Schools Get U.S. Blue Ribbon Honor

Education: Crescenta Valley High and Lindero Canyon Middle School are among 41 campuses recognized in state.


Two area public schools will receive one of the U.S. Department of Education's most prestigious academic distinctions, the 2000 Blue Ribbon award.

Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta and Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills were among 41 California schools recognized for their high academic achievement, parental involvement, helping struggling students and promotion of technology and the arts.

"It symbolizes that we are one of the best schools in the U.S. It's a great tribute to our staff, our students and our parents," Lindero Canyon Middle School Principal Ronald Kaiser said. "We are worthy of this kind of award."

Lindero Canyon was also a Blue Ribbon school in 1984, and "I'm sure we will win it again," Kaiser said.

The National Blue Ribbon School program, begun in 1982, this year recognized 266 schools in 37 states, including six in Los Angeles County and eight in Orange County.

The schools that receive the California Distinguished School award must complete a 30-page application and undergo a site visit before winning the Blue Ribbon.

The honor brings prestige to the school, attracting corporate sponsors and increasing neighboring home values, said Gary Talbert, co-principal at Crescenta Valley.

"It's a very humbling experience, to win a national award," he said. "You have to achieve all-around excellence, [you] can't be good in academics and not involve parents."

Talbert said Crescenta Valley's 2,400 students have access to 31 campus clubs, ranging in interest from language to drama and chess. About 400 students are involved in sports activities. The school's staff members, teachers, students and parents are involved in the decision-making process, he said.

"We are a school with pride. We have staff who attended school here," he said. "The school has only had four principals since it was founded in 1960. A lot of people work here until they retire."

Lindero Canyon teachers work to ensure that most of the campus' 1,270 students are involved in such activities as drama, arts, music and science, Kaiser said.

"That's what helped us get the award this year," he said. "Students learn and have fun.

"Our school focuses on its students and on creating and maintaining a caring family culture," he said. "This is a school that students joyfully attend and parents are proud of."

Officials from winning schools will travel to Washington in September to accept the awards, Kaiser said.

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