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 27 Local Schools Earn Coveted 2008 California Distinguished School Awards

​Twenty-seven San Diego County public elementary schools have been selected as 2008 California Distinguished Schools, and each received a personal phone call of congratulations from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

Statewide, a total of 343 California public elementary schools were among those awarded. The honored schools came from 189 different school districts and 39 counties throughout the state.

Among the 27 local schools was Chet F. Harritt School in Santee, where Principal Stephanie Pierce expressed pride in the students and staff. "Since receiving this wonderful news there has been a boost in our schools morale, and an increase in the enthusiasm for learning," she said. "I am very proud of this achievement and the dedication of our staff, who are all driven to make every student successful."

Pierce and representatives of the 26 other 2008 Distinguished Schools will be honored at an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Orange County on May 16.

The selection criteria for the Distinguished School program was more extensive than previous years. Schools were required to complete a comprehensive application, and were subject to a thorough site visit by teams of educators from across the state.

Harritt School has become a veteran to California Distinguished School recognition. They were previously honored in 1989, 1995 and 2002. "Each year our students continue to excel academically," said Pierce. "Our entire staff, parents and students have each done something to make this possible. Chet F. Harritt Elementary has amazing district support."

A total of 839 elementary schools submitted applications and were identified for eligibility for Distinguished School status on the basis of their Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress results. Schools with the highest scoring applications are selected as statewide nominees. The statewide nominees then received a site visit to validate their applications.

San Diego County 2008 Distinguished Schools

Cajon Valley Union ElementaryFuerte Elementary
Cajon Valley Union ElementaryJamacha Elementary
Carlsbad UnifiedHope Elementary
Carlsbad UnifiedKelly Elementary
Chula Vista ElementaryOtay Elementary
Del Mar Union ElementaryAshley Falls School
Encinitas Union ElementaryCapri Elementary
Encinitas Union ElementaryFlora Vista Elementary
Escondido Union ElementaryBernardo School
Mountain Empire UnifiedClover Flat Elementary
National ElementaryIra Harbison School
Oceanside UnifiedChrista McAuliffe Elementary
Oceanside UnifiedSouth Oceanside Elementary
Oceanside UnifiedStuart Mesa Elementary
San Diego UnifiedAndrew Jackson Elementary
San Diego UnifiedKumeyaay Elementary
San Diego UnifiedLa Jolla Elementary
San Diego UnifiedOcean Beach Elementary
San Diego UnifiedTorrey Pines Elementary
San Diego UnifiedWilliam Penn Elementary
San Marcos UnifiedKnob Hill School
San Marcos UnifiedRichland Elementary
Santee ElementaryChet F. Harritt School
Santee ElementarySycamore Canyon Elementary
Spencer Valley ElementarySpencer Valley Elementary
Valley Center-Pauma UnifiedValley Center Elementary Upper School
Valley Center-Pauma UnifiedValley Center Primary School