Three Orange County schools will be honored today for winning national awards from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Tustin Unified School District is the only one in the state to have two schools selected as National Distinguished Schools in the 1989-90 Elementary School Recognition Program.
Helen Estock Elementary School and Arroyo Elementary School in Tustin and Dr. Jonas E. Salk Elementary in Anaheim's Magnolia School District were among 221 schools nationwide, 16 in the state and three in Orange County to be honored.
The Orange County schools will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Anaheim Hilton along with winners at the state level.
Representatives from the schools will receive plaques and flags at a ceremony this fall in Washington.
"It's really phenomenal," said Maurice Ross, superintendent of the Tustin Unified School District. "It's a tribute to the schools, but it's also a tribute to the district.
Distinguished schools are honored for overall programs, including school environment, attitude of staff members, how the school interacts with the community and parental involvement.
"We have good kids, an excellent staff and interested parents," said Gerry Aust, principal of Arroyo.
Roberta Pantle, director of instructional services for the Magnolia district, said the school has been honored for its drama program, among others.
"I think it's a reward for a staff that has worked hard and has worked together to implement a very successful program," Pantle said.