University High School will celebrate its 15th anniversary and National Blue Ribbon School designation in a rally at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 in the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State.

University High, an independent charter school located on the Fresno State campus, was one of three high schools in California to be honored by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School. University High has previously been recognized in rankings by U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, Newsweek and a University of Southern California study

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 337 schools nationwide as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2014 based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. University High will receive its award at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, the school will hold a rally with the entire student body to celebrate the latest designation and reflect on its 15-year history as a charter school on the campus of Fresno State. The event will include alumni from the previous classes, past and present board members and the showing of a “lip-dub” video the school created.

“The National Blue Ribbon designation is the icing on the cake for our school, celebrating its 15th anniversary,” said Head of School James Bushman. “Many years ago a music teacher at Fresno State pitched the idea for our school to his dean, who then turned the dream into a reality. Who would have guessed after 15 years we would be where we are today?”

University High, a free, public school in the Fresno Unified School District, was chartered in 2000. The 486-student music- and arts-enriched school serves youth in grades 9-12 with a college preparatory curriculum.

“I am so proud of what our alumni, parents, community and staff have created with this school over the years so that, here in Fresno, students have the chance to attend a free public school that truly is among the nation’s best,” Bushman said.

The school moved into a new, permanent facility on the Fresno State campus in November 2010. University High students have access to Fresno State facilities, attend college courses for credit and receive a small-school, accelerated-achievement high school experience.

For more information, contact James Bushman at 559.278.8263

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