School Nominated for Blue Ribbon


Conejo Valley residents have another reason to be proud of their schools. Redwood Middle School in Thousand Oaks has been nominated for a National Blue Ribbon Award by the state Department of Education.

State officials announced last week they had nominated 49 public schools across the state for the award, singling out Redwood as one of two schools in Ventura County to compete for the honor. The other was Valley View Middle School in Simi Valley.

Just being nominated is an honor because a prerequisite for consideration is that the school must already have been named a California Distinguished School.


Applications were submitted in October. Nominated schools will go through another round of selection. If a school is chosen, officials will inspect it during a two-day visit between February and April. The winners will be announced in May.

“I have a lot of pride in this school,” said Tim Carpenter, principal at Redwood. “We applied for the California Distinguished School [award]. We were fortunate enough to get it. And we applied for Blue Ribbon, and we were fortunate enough to move on.”

The screening process is tough. Committees of parents, teachers and students try to sum up their school in 30 pages, saying why it deserves the honor. They tackle questions ranging from standardized test scores to the level of community involvement and support from the school.

The last local school to win a National Blue Ribbon Award was Westlake Hills Elementary in April.

Carpenter said his students and teachers deserve the award.

“We have an active student body,” he said. “This year we collected food and adopted more than 30 families for Manna [Food Bank of Conejo Valley] and distributed food for Thanksgiving. Teachers really take a lot of pride in what they do.”