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Ridgewood High School named District of Distinction


In its July/August edition, District Administration magazine honors 34 school districts as “Districts of Distinction.” This is the ninth round of honorees for this national recognition program, which began in November 2014. 

Districts of Distinction was established by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that solve challenges. Honorees are selected based on quantifiable results and the replicability of their initiatives. The July 2019 Districts of Distinction honorees were selected by the magazine’s editors from numerous nominations.

The 34 school systems from 19 states honored in this round have launched programs that range from partnering with outside organizations for career training to improving literacy to using music to support at-risk students and English language learners. 

Ridgewood High School District 234 is being recognized for its “High-Quality CTE in Technology and Manufacturing” program, in which a partnership with manufacturing company QCC and the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) have established a base for a pipeline of trained students to become employees. Students go to TMA facilities to earn NIMS credentials for mill and lathe work. Then, QCC hires them for paid internships. Individually selected mentors guide students, and upon completion students may be offered full-time positions and future education opportunities.

“The days of categorizing CTE and non-CTE student populations are gone,” says Jennifer Kelsall, superintendent. “Replacing that perspective is a new lens of understanding that every student will be in a career, and the job of education includes helping students identify their interests.”

To view a full list of the 2019 honorees, and to apply for the 2020 round of the Districts of Distinction program, visit 

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