Saint Philip Neri Catholic School in Lafayette Hill (Montgomery County), Saint Mary Interparochial School in the Society Hill Section of Philadelphia, and Saints Philip and James School in Exton (Chester County) were selected as part of the 2023 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools in an announcement made by Miguel Cardona, Ed.D., Secretary of the United States Department of Education, on September 19, 2023.

They are three of only 353 total schools and among just 40 private schools selected nationally. The schools were chosen for this honor based on exemplary high performance. All three schools have received the recognition previously. Saint Philip Neri and Saint Mary Interparochial both received the award for the first time in 2016 and Saints Philip and James received it in 1989.

In a video message to the Saint Philip Neri, Saint Mary Interparochial, and Saints Philip and James School Communities, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez said, “Please join me in extending prayerful congratulations to the honorees on this joyous occasion! This distinguished honor is something all of us should be proud about!”

He continued, “The national spotlight is shining on our schools as examples of excellence and that’s outstanding!  As we congratulate the honorees, let’s pray for all those supporting the mission of Catholic education and strive to serve the world around us with the zealous heart of a missionary disciple.”

With the addition of the 2023 cohort, Blue Ribbon status has been awarded 51 times to parish and regional elementary schools in the five-county Archdiocese since the program’s inception in 1982. Saint Genevieve Catholic School in Flourtown (Montgomery County) has received this honor more times than any other school in the Archdiocese (2000, 2006, and 2016).

The United States Department of Education will hold a recognition ceremony for this year’s Blue Ribbon Schools on November 16 and 17, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Representatives from Saint Philip Neri, Saint Mary Interparochial and Saints Philip and James will be formally recognized at that time.

Additionally, all three schools were recently recognized by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education (OCE) as 2023 Archdiocesan Schools of Distinguished Instruction. These school were three of 62 parish and regional elementary schools to receive this honor at an award ceremony held in early September.

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