WEST ORANGE, NJ – Our Lady of the Lake School Principal Benjamin Ronquillo recently led a Blue Ribbon Celebration highlighting the school’s second-consecutive Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award. West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi acknowledged Our Lady of the Lake (OLL) with a Mayoral Proclamation and Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan issued a Certificate of Achievement to the school.

Also present during the ceremony were Dr. Dames, Superintendent for Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Newark, and OLL alumnus Jack McEvoy, Verona Township Council Member. 

“The Department of Education presented Our Lady of the Lake School with its second-consecutive National Blue Ribbon Award in a special ceremony in Washington D.C.,” said Ronquillo. “We are grateful to be one of only 50 private schools in the country to receive this award and now we not only celebrate, but also we begin thinking about our vision for the next five years.”

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In his remarks, Parisi applauded OLL for its hard work and acknowledged that many West Orange residents send their children to the school. According to OLL, more than 60 percent of the OLL students are from West Orange. Ryan noted that OLL is also an integral part of the Verona community.

“The faculty, students and staff of Our Lady of the Lake School have set a strong example for other schools, through their combination of rigorous academics and compassionate teaching,” said Dames.

OLL won its first National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award in 2011. According to the school, National Blue Ribbon Schools are on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems.

Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may be nominated as Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state—or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in the their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

For more information about Our Lady of the Lake School, contact the office at 973-239-1160 or visit www.myollorg. For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, click HERE.