NIXA, Mo. – For the second time in a decade, Nixa High School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022 based on its academic excellence.
The National Blue Ribbon designation is known as the Oscar of school awards and is the highest honor a school can receive in the United States.
The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools for “their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” the website says.
NHS first received the prestigious award in 2013, and is one of 297 schools nationwide to receive the honor in 2022. NHS Principal Dr. David Kelly told The Heartlander the school’s average GPA sits around 3.13 and says last year’s senior class had a four-year average of 3.2.
Kelly said the “End of Course” average scores for NHS in 2021 were in the top 10 compared to other schools with a similar number of students, and were the best scores in the school’s history. Part of that, Kelly said, is attributable to having a clear standard of excellence and belief in the students.
“We teach the whole curriculum but we focus on those essential standards when it comes to certain assessments. I think that is what has helped, just being clear on those standards and knowing what we want our kids to learn,” he said. “Holding our kids to a high standard. A belief of all of our staff is that all of our students can learn at high levels. We’re going to give them all the support they need to make that happen.”
Nixa High School’s vision statement is to empower student success. If a student begins to struggle with a subject, the school has appropriate interventions in place to help the student improve and get caught up academically.
Kelly also credited Nixa Elementary and Middle schools for doing a flawless job at preparing their core students with foundational learning skills before high school.
Should a student want to attend a four-year college or trade school, Nixa High loads that student with the tools they need for the next level.
“The students are the ones who determine their success, then we as educators come together and make sure they have what is necessary for success,” Kelly said. “We are fortunate to live in a community that supports us. Our kids come ready to learn every single day here at the high school. That goes back to their parents and their parents supporting the schools.”