Syosset High School and Harborfields High School in Greenlawn were...

Syosset High School and Harborfields High School in Greenlawn were named National Blue Ribbon schools on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education, among 20 schools in New York to earn the distinction this year. Credit: Newsday File

Harborfields High School in Greenlawn and Syosset High School were named National Blue Ribbon schools Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

They were among 20 schools in New York State to earn the distinction this year.

Nationwide, 329 schools received the designation after a survey that evaluated public and private institutions from prekindergarten through high school in 42 states and the District of Colombia, as well as Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Fort Benning, Georgia, Ramstein, Germany, and Seoul, Korea. Of the total, 279 are public schools and 50 are private.

The lists showing all National Blue Ribbon schools are available on the Education Department’s website at

Each of the Long Island schools was named an “Exemplary High-Performing School” by the federal agency. Formal recognition will come at an awards ceremony at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, on Nov. 7 and 8.

“I am extremely proud and congratulate Harborfields High School’s students, staff and administrators for being awarded the ‘Blue Ribbon School of Excellence’ designation by the U.S. Department of Education,” Diana Todaro, superintendent of the Harborfields school district, said in a statement.

The Harborfields district’s Oldfield Middle School and Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School have in previous years won the National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Award.

“Congratulations to the entire Syosset Central School District for this tremendous academic achievement and national recognition,” high school principal Giovanni Durante said in a statement. “It is an honor to see the many efforts of an entire school community be recognized.”

The Syosset district’s South Woods Middle School and Village Elementary School have earned the honor in past years.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which has existed for 34 years, has pegged fewer than 8,500 schools nationwide with the designation.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said in a news release and video message to honorees. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices — professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems — making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation.”

The program “recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” according to the program’s website. “Every year, the U.S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels.”

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