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June 18, 2015


MRH HS Honored with the 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award

National Excellence in Urban Education award logo









The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is proud to announce the MRH High School has been honored with the 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award from the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST). MRH is the only high school in the United States to be honored as a “gold” winner for 2015. The High School was initially named a finalist in December 2014 along with 22 other schools from across the country.

When announcing the finalists in December, Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., executive director of NCUST stated, “These schools are among the best urban schools in the nation. Although they serve low-income communities with an array of challenges, every finalist boasts achievement results that exceed state averages for all students.”

MRH High School chemistry classNCUST’s executive evaluation team of researchers and practioners flew all over the country doing site visits, meeting with principals and teachers, and observing lessons at the schools chosen as finalists for the 2015 award. After extensive conferencing, winners were chosen in bronze, silver and gold levels. All awardees were featured and honored in late May at the National Excellence in Urban Education Symposium held in Dallas, TX. As a gold winner, MRH also received a $5,000 check.

“We are thrilled the High School has received this important national honor,” said MRH Superintendent Karen I. Hall. “At the High School, and throughout the entire district, we strive to give all of our students the personalized and differentiated instruction, resources, and tools they need to grow both academically and personally.”

When asked about the key factors that are common across all high-performing schools, Dr. Johnson was emphatic, “It’s all about curriculum, instruction, and climate. Great urban schools offer challenging, rigorous curricula. They expect students to excel, even when they might have difficult home situations. Furthermore, in great urban schools, teachers provide a caliber of instruction that helps students learn challenging content. Instruction is clear, focused, and engaging. Teachers present content in ways that make it easier for students to relate and understand. Finally, the school climate is safe, positive, and supportive. School administrators and teachers work together to establish a climate that engages parents, supports students, and breeds success.”

To be eligible for the NCUST Award, schools must have high numbers of low-income students and may not have selective admissions policies. The school’s test results must be better than the state average for all students. Also, the school’s test results for every demographic group of students must be better than the state average for all students. All schools must have high attendance rates, low suspension and expulsion rates, high graduation rates, and evidence of excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“At MRH we recognize that education can both enhance individuals and strengthen communities,” added Hall. “Raising the academic achievement of all our students will continue to be our top priority at MRH.”

For more information on the National Center for Urban School Transformation, their findings, as well as their programs, visit

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.