Blessed Sacrament School in Washington, D.C., was one of four schools of the Archdiocese of Washington and one of only 50 nonpublic schools nationwide to be named yesterday as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019 by the U.S. Department of Education. 

The award recognizes schools of overall academic excellence and schools that have progressed in closing achievement gaps. 

This is the second time Blessed Sacrament School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School, as it has previously won the award in 2012. 

During a morning assembly at the school on Friday, principal Chris Kelly announced the award amidst cheers. Students and those gathered watched a video about their mascot, Duffy the Bulldog, receiving the news about the Blue Ribbon. 

He spoke briefly about the distinction and the school’s 95-year legacy of “providing an excellent Catholic education to anyone who enters our doors.” 

Third grade teacher and faith formation teacher Susan Albertson also addressed the students, bidding them who have received so much to hear and follow the call of Jesus in the Gospel: “To whom much is given, much will be expected” (Luke 12:48). 

“Our most precious resource is right here in front of us - our children,” she said. “This Blue Ribbon is for you.” 

Father William Foley, the pastor of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish and an alumnus of the school, said the charism and tradition of education begun by the Holy Cross sisters who founded the school continues to this day and is manifest in the reception of the Blue Ribbon award. 

“We continue to be proud of you and of your families,” he said, before leading the school in prayer. 

The event ended with the Bulldog Pledge; “I pledge to live and act as a disciple of Jesus,” the students concluded. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced Sept. 26 that 362 schools across the United States had been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019, including 50 non-public schools and 312 public schools. 

Along with Blessed Sacrament School, three other Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington were also named as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools – St. Joseph’s Regional Catholic School in Beltsville, Maryland; St. Raphael School in Rockville, Maryland; and St. Peter School on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C on Nov. 14 - 15. 

Blessed Sacrament students celebrate their school's Blue Ribbon honor, the second time it has earned that distinction. (Archdiocese of Washington photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann)