Wood Oaks News

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National Blue Ribbon School Award

Northbrook School District 27 is thrilled to announce that Wood Oaks Junior High School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School Award recipient for the second time. Wood Oaks last received this award in 2011.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona made the announcement today. The program honors schools throughout the country where students achieve at high levels or have made great progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Specifically, Wood Oaks has been named an Exemplary High Performing School. 

“I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon School Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams,” Cardona said. “As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”

Wood Oaks Principal Mrs. Cari Beake said she is honored to receive the award on behalf of the school community.

“This award represents the hard work and dedication of our students and staff, and our community’s commitment to educational excellence,” Beake said. 

This year, 297 schools were named as National Blue Ribbon School Award recipients. In Illinois, Wood Oaks was one of only two junior high schools to receive the award. Statewide, only 16 public schools were recognized. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. Up to 420 schools nationwide can be nominated by their state each year to participate in the extensive application and selection process. 

“It is a great honor to receive this highest award from the U.S. Department of Education,” Superintendent Dr. John Deiter said. “I am very proud of our staff for their tireless efforts to provide the best education for our students. I am proud of our students for always giving their best effort, and I am grateful for our parents, who play a very important role in supporting education outside the classroom. This award is not only an honor for Wood Oaks, but for our entire District 27 community.” 

Beake and Deiter will be joined by last year’s principal, Dr. Rob McElligott, and Wood Oaks social worker, Mrs. Kirsten Brown, in representing the school Nov. 3-4 when the U.S. Department of Education honors award recipients at a conference and ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

Wood Oaks is one of three schools in Northbrook School District 27 and includes grades 6-8. The school has 478 students and 75 employees, 51 of which are teachers and administrators. Students who graduate from Wood Oaks continue on to Glenbrook North High School.