, Provo School District
Canyon Crest Elementary School

SALT LAKE CITY — Three Utah schools have been named 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, officials announced Friday.

Canyon Crest Elementary in Provo, Dixie Sun Elementary in St. George and Quail Hollow Elementary School in Sandy were among the 269 schools nationwide recognized for academic excellence and improvement in student achievement.

The Blue Ribbon award is the highest achievement an American school can receive. It is given to public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at high levels or where significant improvement has been achieved. Approximately 7,000 schools have received the award in its 30-year history.

"Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."

Blue Ribbon award recipients are selected from a pool of schools nominated by the top education official in each state.

Pat Anderson, principal of Canyon Crest Elementary, said the teachers at her school deserve full credit for the award.

"It's vitally important that every classroom at Canyon Crest is a happy, nurturing place where our teachers and I would want to place our own children and grandchildren," Anderson said. "As a faculty, I think we love coming to school each day and being part of the satisfying work of educating children. Maybe in receiving this award, that shows."