Press Releases

Congresswoman Trahan Congratulates Luther Burbank Middle School and Paul P. Gates Elementary School on Blue Ribbon Awards

LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, applauded the recognition of two Third District-based schools as 2020 Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Luther Burbank Middle School in Lancaster and Paul P. Gates Elementary School in Acton were recently honored with the designation, an extremely competitive award given to a small number of elementary, middle, and high schools across the nation based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“Few awards highlight the combined efforts of faculty, teachers, and students at a school better than the Blue Ribbon Award. The presentation of this prestigious accolade to Luther Burbank Middle School and the Gates Elementary School is a testament to their commitment to setting high standards and working tirelessly to achieve them,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “At a time when schools are doing everything they can to persevere through the challenges presented by this unprecedented public health crisis, this award is an important reminder of the high quality education that teachers are delivering for our Commonwealth’s next generation of leaders and innovators.”

National Blue Ribbon School awards aim to celebrate the importance of strong academic achievements in schools across the nation. The Department of Education divides the awards into two categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. The school must either be among their state's highest standardized test performing schools or among their state's highest performing in closing inequity gaps between students.

Luther Burbank Middle School was named an Exemplary High Performing School and Paul P. Gates Elementary School was named an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. They are two of only six schools named Blue Ribbon Schools across the Commonwealth and 367 schools nationwide.

“On behalf of the entire Nashoba Regional School District, we applaud the tireless efforts of the staff, students and families of the LBMS and Nashoba communities on this well deserved honor. Both Principal Friend and I are incredibly proud of the efforts of the staff, students, and community every day at Luther Burbank Middle School,” said Brooke Clenchy, Superintendent of Nashoba Regional School District. “It is a caring, kind, and inclusive school that has high standards for its academic efforts. It is a school truly deserving of this Blue Ribbon honor.”

“We are all very proud of our students, staff and leadership of the Gates Elementary School for their tremendous work in closing achievement gaps and working toward more equitable outcomes for students,” said Peter Light, Superintendent of Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. “This is a testament to the work they do and the resources and support our students' families provide."


Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. The coveted National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. More information about the program is available on the Department of Education website at