LHS Named National Blue Ribbon School

The United States Department of Education (USDE) recently named LHS as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School, which is the highest honor a school can be awarded. Schools are recognized based on one of two categories: high achievement or for advancements in closing achievement gaps; LHS won for the former. The distinction was awarded to only 297 schools across the country, with 20 of them being in the state of New York and four of those being on Long Island.

“Working here every day, I get to see how wonderful of a place this is. We know it’s welcoming; we know it’s inclusive; we know that when we have problems, we don’t just look the other way,” said Principal Matthew Sarosy. “We know it’s a great place to go to school, and we take a lot of pride in what we do. What makes the Blue Ribbon special is that people whom we’ve never met, from the federal government, read our application and came to that same conclusion.” He continued, “In the world of education, the Blue Ribbon is the paramount. It does not get higher in terms of recognition. It’s the pinnacle, and we should be very proud.”

To be considered for the award, administration had to fill out an extensive application last year, which Sarosy said former Principal Joseph Rainis was “instrumental” in doing. “[The USDE] wants a very in-depth view of what the school is. Everything from the courses we offer to the results we get are considered,” Sarosy said. “Graduation rates are also very important, and we have an extraordinary graduation rate.” Community involvement is another deciding factor. “They want to see how the school gets involved in the community at large. For us, you name it, we do it: Key Club, student government, drives, et cetera; we take our spot in the community very seriously, which definitely puts us ahead,” he added.

Sarosy explained that while a Blue Ribbon award never expires, it is standard for schools to reapply for the award every few years. “Once you get it, you get it, you got it. However, once enough time goes by, schools begin the application process again.” He continued, “LHS was last named a Blue Ribbon School in 1990, and we started reapplying for the award as time went on.”

When asked how LHS would commemorate the award, Sarosy said, “The biggest thing we get from it is the ability to publicize that we are one of the 297 best schools in the entire country. There are tens of thousands of schools in the United States—elementary, middle, and high–both public and private. That puts into perspective how much of a recognition it is.” He continued, “We already have the flag flying out on the flagpole, and we have a big sign out front.”

The award was also commemorated with a celebratory Blue Ribbon Day on Friday, Sept. 30. The kickline team welcomed everyone to school with pom-poms, the band performed, and the SGA decorated the cafeteria. In addition, students and staff wore blue and wrote down what they felt made LHS Blue Ribbon worthy.

On Blue Ribbon Day, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch said, “Being named a Blue Ribbon School might be the best day in LHS history. It’s a proud moment, for sure. It’s all thanks to the students and staff who do such a great job!” Assistant Principal Sal Brescia shared in Lynch’s pride and said, “What sets us apart is the incredible support we have with our parent community. Lynbrook is filled with families that value education and want the best for their children. Our parents are willing and able to get involved and participate in so many wonderful ways. That partnership is what our Blue Ribbon success is built on.”