Hidden Valley High School is Named the Latest Blue-Ribbon School in the Nation


Kaitlyn Dillon, Editor

Hidden Valley High School was deemed a 2020 National Blue-Ribbon School as a result of their academic excellence. 

Hidden Valley was granted the honor on September 24, of being named a National Blue-Ribbon School. We are the only High School in the commonwealth to get this award this year, and the only school in Roanoke County to have this title.  

The National Blue-Ribbon Award is an award that is presented to schools that demonstrate commitment to excellence and closing achievement gaps in their work environment. Hidden Valley was recognized for their innovative learning experiences that incorporate communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking into the learning environment.  

This award is not the first Hidden Valley has received for its academic excellence, we have also been recognized by the US News and World Reports as one of the top high schools in the Roanoke Valley, Virginia, and United States. Virginia’s Board of Education has also recognized the school’s accomplishments by granting us the Continuous Achievement Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award. 

When Beverly Newbern (History/Psychology Teacher) was asked what this award means to her as an educator she stated, “It is wonderful to be recognized by the national education secretary, I work with a group of amazingly talented individuals that are so good at what they do.”  Mrs. Newbern continues to praise her fellow co-workers saying, “We are so blessed to have such an amazing staff that are dedicated to presenting creative lessons and teaching to the needs of each student.”  

Although the teachers and the Roanoke County School Board have taken great pride in this achievement, many students have little to no idea about what it means to be “a Blue-Ribbon school”. When asking Morgan Flynt (11) about what she knew concerning the Blue-Ribbon award she explained, “Yes, I have heard of the award before, but never really took interest in what it was about. I never would have expected Hidden Valley to get this award, much less be recognized nationwide.”  

Regardless, this is a remarkable achievement to be recognized for, that students and teachers should be extremely honored to receive. Ken Nicely (Roanoke County Superintendent) declared Hidden Valley an exemplary school stating, “Hidden Valley is just one more example of how we are working in Roanoke County to encourage deeper learning so that our students become opportunity ready.” Hidden Valley has and continues to aid student’s to strive not only in the classroom, but in the real world, and the Blue-Ribbon Award is just one way of showing their success over the years.