OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge became one of just six Tennessee schools to receive a rare national honor on Tuesday when it was named a National Blue Ribbon School.

The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday unveiled their list of National Blue Ribbon Schools, which recognizes exceptional schools based on academic performance or progress toward closing achievement gaps among student groups on tests.

Linden, which serves over 500 kindergarten through fourth-grade students, was honored in the category Exemplary High Performing Schools for exceptional performance as measured by state assessments or national tests.

“Schools in Oak Ridge were among the first in Tennessee and the nation to go through a rigorous internal and external review process to maintain the prestigious Cognia STEM certification,” according to the school’s entry on the National Blue Ribbon Schools website.

According to their application for the program, every teacher at Linden is a STEM teacher. Linden’s state Success Rate has nearly doubled and their ELA Success Rate has increased from 32.7% to 68% since 2017.

“I am so fortunate to lead a school of inspiring educators and students who show up every day determined to succeed,” said Heather Jenkins, Linden Elementary Principal. “Our people and their commitment to fostering a relationship with the community is truly what sets Linden apart. The long tradition of caring, compassionate staff and overwhelming parental and community involvement continues to contribute to our success.”

A total of 313 public schools and 40 non-public schools receive the designation annually. Representatives from this year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized at a special two-day National Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C., November 16 – 17.