Why Nicolet Didn't Make 'Blue Ribbon' Status for 2012

Nicolet has taken the Blue Ribbon award twice before and Patrick Gasper, with the Department of Public Instruction, tells why they're not on the list this year.

While Nicolet High School has been repeatedly referenced as a "Blue Ribbon School" and this local high school didn't make the list for the Blue Ribbon School nomination for 2012. 

The Blue Ribbon School award credits schools that demonstrate exemplary academics or show they've come a long way in student achievement. 

While Nicolet has taken home this award in 1990 and 2008, this year's Blue Ribbon School nominations, chosen by the Department of Public Instruction were Country Meadows Elementary School in the Muskego-Norway School District; Grafton Elementary School in the Grafton School District; Kohler High School in the Kohler School District; Ridgeway Elementary School in the Dodgeville School District; and Suamico Elementary School in the Howard Suamico School District.

Why didn't Nicolet make the cut? Patrick Gasper, communication's officer with the Department of Public Instruction, said schools can only be nominated once every five years. This means we may see Nicolet making the grade in 2013. 

"We do not have an explicit goal to be named a Blue Ribbon school, however,
if we achieve the District Goals that we do have, I believe Nicolet will meet the Department of Education's criteria," District Administrator Rick Monroe said. 

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But even without the Blue Ribbon nomination, Nicolet's Communications Specialist, Dan klemencic, said in the last six months alone Nicolet has racked up quite a list of accolades including:

  • Recognition by the College Boards as one of the top Advanced Placement (AP) districts in the nation by making the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll. 
  • In May, Newsweek magazine named Nicolet one of “America’s Best High Schools,” one of only 10 high schools in Wisconsin to receive that recognition.
  • In October, Nicolet had the fourth highest overall score of all high schools in Southeastern Wisconsin on the new school report cards issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Nicolet received a rating of “exceeds expectations.”
  • This fall, two Nicolet seniors scored a perfect ACT score of 36 (three students just missed perfection with a score of 35).
  • One out of every six seniors had an ACT score of 30 or higher this year.
  • There were 17 National Merit Scholarship student recognitions: Nine National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students, seven National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists, and one National Achievement Scholarship Program semifinalist, which recognizes outstanding Black American high school students.

"This community knows that Nicolet is a Blue Ribbon school," School Board President Marilyn Franklin said. "But the honor has to be shared by other schools."

The final Blue Ribbon School award will be announced in September. 

Jaime December 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Thanks for this article. It is good to have clarification to the rules of the Blue Ribbon Program!
Sarah Worthman December 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
No problem, Jaime! That's what I was thinking when I came across this. Just like Milwaukee Magazine's Top Schools (which omitted Nicolet as well, but for a diff. reason) I figured people would have questions. Glad I could help :)
Dave Koven December 11, 2012 at 04:55 PM
"Schools can only be nominated once every five years"? Excellence is excellence. Nicolet doesn't cease to be an excellent school simply because it wasn't "their turn". I shudder to think how teachers will be evaluated fairly.


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