Caddo Parish Magnet High School commitment to academic excellence has solidified the school’s standing on the national stage as Magnet High on Monday earned its second National Blue Ribbon School distinction from the U.S. Department of Education.
Magnet High was recognized for its consistent commitment to student achievement through a proven record of quality including students earning perfect ACT scores, National Merit Scholarships and distinction as Advanced Placement scholars.
Monday’s announcement marks the 16th Blue Ribbon award for a Caddo school and the second for Magnet High in 10 years. This award also solidifies Caddo’s standing as the top school system in the state for schools attaining Blue Ribbon status.
“All of Caddo Magnet is honored to receive this award and very proud to be designated as one of the top high schools in the United States,” said Principal Michael Ilgenfritz. “This is a well-deserved recognition for all of the extra hours and weekends the teachers on this faculty put into educating their students and creating opportunities for them. It acknowledges the climate and culture on our campus created by the students themselves in their pursuit of our school motto of excellence in education. This has been a total team effort between the students, support staff, faculty, counselors and administrators. Of course, it would not be possible without the unwavering support of engaged parents. We would be remiss not to acknowledge and thank Dr. Goree and the departments of the Caddo Parish Public Schools system for their continued support and help in achieving this award.”
Presented annually by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes outstanding schools across the country for their commitment to student success. The program is designed to celebrate systemic excellence as well as stories of turnaround as schools work to close student achievement gaps. The Blue Ribbon honor is the highest award a school can receive. Less than one-third of 1 percent of schools who are eligible for the award receive it each year.
In November, Magnet High will be recognized at the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where the school will be awarded a plaque and flag to signify its exemplary status.
“Caddo is a district like none other and in that we know each school works diligently to meet the unique needs of their students and families,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “Magnet High is the perfect example of a school where students are inspired by their teachers and administrators to dream their wildest dreams and to bring those dreams to reality. As Superintendent, I am immensely proud of Magnet High for this momentous achievement and am thrilled for the opportunity for districts across the country to see Magnet High highlighted in the national spotlight.”
Since the Blue Ribbon program’s inception, the U.S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,500 schools. National Blue Ribbon Schools represent the full diversity of American schools recognizing excellence in public schools including charter schools, magnet/choice schools, Title I schools and non-public schools including parochial and independent schools. Honorees include urban, suburban, and rural, large and small, traditional and innovative, and serve students of every social, economic and ethnic background. For Magnet High, this recognition offers an opportunity to not only recognize the teachers and students who make excellence a reality, but also to tell the school’s story.
“There is a misconception sometimes that every student at Caddo Magnet is a genius and that this award just came naturally. This could not be further from the truth,” Ilgenfritz said. “The teachers on this campus challenge all students and have the same high expectations for all students regardless of their academic level – be it general, enriched, honors or gifted and talented. Every level of student on this campus is given the attention they deserve and is expected to grow toward reaching each student’s full potential.”
Furthermore, Ilgenfritz said there is a spark evident when walking on the campus of Magnet High that sets it apart from other schools.
“There is an excitement about learning at Caddo Magnet that is unparalleled,” he said. “A little over four years ago, I challenged everyone working at our school to make a great school even better. They have exceeded my wildest expectations. Two of the four years we have been designated a Louisiana Top Gains School and now this award. In reality, the awards don’t even come close to the accomplishments that I see each and every day. That is why I am so proud that the teachers and students have received national acclaim.”