APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – An Appleton elementary school was one of the 353 schools across the nation to receive a prestigious national award for 2023.

According to a release, Houdini Elementary School with the Appleton Area School District received the Blue Ribbon Award, which is a distinguished recognition of the school’s exceptional commitment to academic excellence and its dedication to closing achievement gaps among student groups.

Houdini Elementary was recognized in the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools category. Schools recognized in this category are among their state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

The National Blue Ribbon School program, established by the U.S. Department of Education, annually honors schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement and significant progress in closing achievement gaps. 

Houdini Elementary School’s selection is a reflection of its unwavering commitment to providing a high-quality education to all its students, regardless of background or circumstances.

“We are immensely proud of our dedicated educators, students, and families who have worked tirelessly to make Houdini Elementary School a beacon of educational excellence,” stated Houdini Elementary School Principal Katie Hardesty. “This recognition is a testament to their dedication and hard work. It affirms that our school community is on the right path towards nurturing well-rounded, accomplished students.”

Additionally, Appleton Area School District Superintendent Greg Hartjes was thrilled to see Houdini Elementary recognized for its hard work and dedication.

“This recognition showcases Houdini Elementary School’s unwavering commitment to educational excellence and student success,” said Hartjes. “We are immensely proud of their accomplishments and are grateful for the dedicated educators and staff members who continue to inspire and support our students.”

Houdini Elementary School was one of eight schools in Wisconsin to receive the award. Fond du Lac’s Evans Elementary School was the only other school in northeast Wisconsin to receive the award.