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On Wednesday, York Suburban High School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

According to a news release sent out by the school district, the school is among 279 public schools and 50 private schools that received the award this year.

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes private and public schools based on overall academic excellence or their work in closing achievement gaps. More than 7,500 schools have become Blue Ribbon Schools since the start of the program in 1982.

To choose the schools, the program looks at student achievement measures and research-based indicators of school quality, according to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program website. The schools receive a plaque and a flag to place at the school.

This year's schools will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C. According to the release, Superintendent Shelly Merkle, high school principal Brian Ellis and mathematics department chair David Wickenheiser will attend.

According to the program's website, the schools are nominated by the chief state school officer in each state. The schools can win awards as "exemplary high performing" schools or "exemplary achievement gap closing" schools.

This isn't the first time this school year that York Suburban has been recognized for its academics. In mid-August, York Suburban High School was ranked 457th in the nation by Newsweek, with its college readiness rate at 73.2 percent and the graduation rate at 98.6 percent. Out of the 30 Pennsylvania schools that were ranked, York Suburban High School came in 29th. In 2014, the school was ranked 67th in the nation.

Newsweek also ranks schools based on child poverty levels and academic achievement. On that list, York Suburban ranked 357th in the nation, something Merkle said was even more exciting for the district at the time. Being recognized for work with the achievement gap again has made Merkle extremely happy.

"The district is thrilled with this," she said in an interview. "It’s very much an effort of the entire community. We think we have the best students around and an outstanding staff that provides a fantastic education and tremendous support for our students."

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