Skip to content


September 19, 2022

Prairie Trail Elementary Named 2022 National Blue Ribbon School

PT blue ribbon school

Prairie Trail Elementary in the Ankeny Community School District has been named a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School. The school was chosen for the Exemplary High Performing School category. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized 297 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Road to Success Back to School bus tour.

“It is an honor to have Prairie Trail Elementary recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, affirming our efforts to provide a high-quality education for each and every student,” noted Principal Ben Muller. “The award truly goes to the staff of Prairie Trail Elementary, who invest countless hours to ensure student success. Their passion for education is proven through this national recognition of their work. Congratulations, Prairie Trail!”

Built in 2012, Prairie Trail Elementary serves a rapidly-expanding development in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Family involvement in the school community contributes to a local character of service and commitment to kids. Parent volunteers are often in classrooms assisting staff and working with students at Prairie Trail Elementary. 

The staff who serve at Prairie Trail Elementary exemplify this community spirit of commitment and service. High expectations and collaboration are core values of the staff at Prairie Trail Elementary. Each staff member is viewed as a leader, whether a teacher, custodian, or teacher’s associate. 

“We are thrilled for Prairie Trail Elementary to receive this recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Superintendent Dr. Erick Pruitt, “We are fortunate to live in a district where the school staff, students, and parents are aligned in their dedication to ensure our students have the skills to flourish and engage in an ever-changing world. The future is bright for students in Ankeny Community School District.”

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  •  Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. 

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available here.