Return to Headlines

Zillah's Hilton Elementary is a U.S. Dept. of Ed 2019 National Blue Ribbon School!

Zillah School District logo Zillah’s Hilton Elementary School was named on Sept. 26 as one of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s elite group of National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019.

Since the National Blue Ribbon Schools program started in 1982, only two schools in the entire ESD 105 region have ever been chosen for this recognition.  The first was Selah’s John Campbell Elementary School back in 1984-85, and the most recent came the following year to West Valley Junior High, for 1985-86.

Hilton Elementary is one of 362 schools in the nation that the U.S. Dept. of Education recognized with National Blue Ribbon School status for 2019. 

The Zillah school is one of just four in the state of Washington to receive the Blue Ribbon recognition this year, and is the only elementary school among that statewide group.  The other Washington schools on this year’s National Blue Ribbon list are Davenport High School, International School in Bellevue, and Northshore Christian Academy in Everett.

Hilton Elementary was recognized for the school’s work in the U.S. Dept. of Education’s performance category of Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools, which acknowledges schools that are among their state’s highest performers in closing achievement gaps between various student groups and all students.  The U.S. Dept. of Education also provides National Blue Ribbon status to schools in the category of Exemplary High Performing Schools, for schools that are among their state’s highest performers as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“Our Smarter Balanced test scores are far and above the state average,” said Hilton Elementary principal Ryne Phillips.  “We have kids who just work hard, which is a reflection of the work of our staff.  We have an amazing staff of educators who go above and beyond what’s expected of them for the students, and our students encounter this on a daily basis.”

Phillips added:  “I’m happy for our teachers and our certified staff.  This achievement is a building-wide effort.  They’re highly motivated and it’s a reflection of all the work they’ve put in over the years.  This building has been a leader in our district, and this is a great thing for Zillah’s schools.”

Zillah School District superintendent Doug Burge commented:  “There are so many people who celebrate in this success – all levels of the staff here.  Some of the initiatives we’ve put in during the last few years have really made a difference.”

Superintendent Burge said there will eventually be celebrations planned at the school and community level to recognize Hilton Elementary’s National Blue Ribbon achievement. 

The U.S. Dept. of Education will be hosting its national award celebration activities during Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.  There, Harrah Elementary School will formally be presented its national award during a luncheon that will be held on Nov. 15.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos congratulates this year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools in this video that is posted on YouTube (with the slide recognizing Zillah’s Hilton Elementary appearing at the 18:09 mark):