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Westside Elementary

Three Wyoming elementary schools — including a Laramie-based charter academy — earned the distinction of being National Blue Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced Monday night.

Sheridan’s Sagebrush Elementary, Powell’s Westside Elementary and Laramie’s Snowy Range Academy won the national education award. They join the ranks of more than 30 Wyoming schools that have earned blue ribbons over the past 15 years. In all, 40 schools in the Equality State have won the award since it was first given in 1982.

Schools win the award either for “overall academic excellence” or “closing achievement gaps.” All three of Wyoming’s schools were judged to be “exemplary high performing schools.”

Sagebrush, located in Sheridan County School District No. 2, becomes the district’s third blue ribbon school in the past two years, after Sheridan Junior High and Woodland Park Elementary won last year. At least six Sheridan schools have won since 2005.

Westside is Powell’s second blue ribbon win, after Parkside Elementary in 2012.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a video message to the winning schools. “Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

Fort Caspar Academy was the last Natrona County school to win, in 2016. Five schools here have earned a blue ribbon a total of nine times.