WAUSAU – Thomas Jefferson Elementary School has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2020 Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing National Blue Ribbon School, the Wausau School District announced today.

“I commend your dedication and recognize the essential work that you do in helping students prepare for successful futures,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos said in a letter to the school staff. “Our country needs more dedicated educators like you.”

School Principal Brent Johnson said he is honored by the recognition.

“I am so proud to be the principal of such an amazing group of staff, students, and parents here at Thomas Jefferson,” he said in a news release. “We are honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award, the National Blue Ribbon Award for Closing the Achievement Gap. This award is a reflection of the hard work and passion of many amazing people.

“We are one of only eight recipients in the state of Wisconsin and 317 public schools in the United States, putting us in very distinguished company.”