The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


Glenbrook North named 2023 National Blue Ribbon School

School recognized for its service to community
Rep. Jan Schakowsky speaks to a Civics class about the formerly vacant House speaker seat, gun control and the importance of young voices. Schakowsky presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition during her visit. Photo by Euben Ko

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognized Glenbrook North under the Exemplary High Performing Schools category for the 2022-2023 school year.

GBN was one of 353 schools nationally to receive this recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition on Oct. 6. in acknowledgment of the school’s “outstanding and invaluable service to the community.”

“The community itself now sees a real validation of what parents hope for [and] expect from a quality education for their children,” Schakowsky said.

Each year, the department works with each state’s Department of Education to nominate schools based on academic achievement, performance on state assessments in reading and math, high school graduation rates and other indicators in the state’s accountability system, such as schools’ ability to close achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Nominated schools can submit an application for recognition to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, said Ed Solis, associate principal for curriculumand instruction.

“We had to submit information about our accolades from all different areas in the building, so I was really involved in the academics,” said Solis. “And that could be from our programming of course selections to our grade point averages to our college rates.”

The fine arts, athletics and student activities were also part of the submission process, Solis said.

Solis and social studies teacher Sarah Ilie plan to attend the National Blue Ribbon Schools Recognition Ceremony scheduled for Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 inWashington, D.C.

“We could have chosen a team of teachers who had significant impact from any year, but it seems that it made sense since we only were allowed to have one teacher representative, that we took the Distinguished Teacher Award winner,” Solis said.

According to Ilie, a lot of studentsat GBN come from supportive families, and because of that, the school has a rich and positive learning environment.

“I don’t want to say unique, but we are certainly a community where parents care and respect what staff members do, and I think staff members genuinely do try to teach in a way that is best for kids,” Ilie said.

According to Schakowsky, education is the basis of democracy and the key to providing students with the opportunity to be the best they want to be.

“This Blue Ribbon designation is a reflection that this school has achieved a tremendous goal and has made the opportunity for an excellent education available to all the students here in the district, in this particular school,” said Schakowsky. “So it’s very meaningful. It’s very precious and should be treasured.”

About the Contributor
Misha Maryan, Editor-at-Large
Misha Maryan (‘24) is the Editor-at-Large and has been a member of Torch since his sophomore year. Previous positions: Staff Writer (21-22), Editor-at-Large (22-23), Copy Editor (22-23).