LIVINGSTON, NJ - Aquinas Academy in Livingston has recently been named by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

“It gives me great pleasure to share this news with the Livingston community that Aquinas Academy has been awarded the 2013 National Blue Ribbon. I am so proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and students. What an honor to be recognized on the national level for all that we do at Aquinas Academy,” said Sister Lena Picillo, Principal at Aquinas Academy.

Aquinas Academy was one of 15 New Jersey schools out of 286 in the nation to obtain this honor and has been acknowledged in the “Exemplary High Performing” category, which means that it is one of New Jersey’s highest performing schools according to state assessments and nationally-normed tests.

The Department of Education will honor 236 public and 50 private schools on Nov. 18 and 19 in Washington, D.C.

“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education."

Aquinas Academy is the second Livingston school to receive a blue ribbon.  In 1998, Livingston High was also awarded the prestigious Blue Ribbon for Excellence by the United States Department of Education.

To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department requested nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education.

The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools and a total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated, with allocations determined by the numbers of K-12 students and schools in each jurisdiction. The Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.

Aquinas Academy, located at 388 South Livingston Avenue in Livingston, is a Middle States-accredited Catholic school serving students from Preschool through Grade 8. Its curriculum meets or exceeds all Common Core Standards and New Jersey State Core Curriculum Standards while providing individualized attention in a nurturing environment.  Personal tours can be arranged by calling the main office at (973) 993-1587 or the preschool at (973) 992-5181.  Further information is also available at