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Awards & Recognitions

California Distinguished Schools Award 

Encinal was awarded The California Distinguished Schools Award in 2018 and 2023. 

The California Distinguished School Award, according to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is given to schools that, "implement outstanding educational programs and practices that help California students realize their potential, and put them on the path to achieve their dreams,” Torlakson said. “Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity, and talents toward providing a great education for all their students.” (California Department of Education website) . 

In 2018, Encinal was also awarded the additional recognition of "Exemplary Visual and Performing Arts School." by the California Department and Education.  Four of our dedicated staff members, Principal Sharon Burns, fourth grade teacher Susan Preston who headed up our after school math club, art teacher Stephanie Noon, and music teacher Rachel Knight all attended the award ceremony in May 2018 to receive our school awards.

A California Distinguished School


California Gold Ribbon School

Encinal was awarded the California Gold Ribbon School award in 2016.  

"The California Department of Education (CDE) seeks to recognize outstanding educational programs and practices.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards."(

National Blue Ribbon School

Blue Ribbon


Encinal School is the recipient of a 2007 National Blue Ribbon School award.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.  The application process involves a great level of data analysis, which includes an examination of multi-year trends of student testing data.  STAR, the California State Test, and ERB, a nationally normed writing assessment program, were used to demonstrate that the student body as a whole is academically superior and that various subgroups of students made dramatic improvement.  Other criteria for the award include outstanding core academic programs and the high quality of professional development opportunities for the faculty.

State Superintendent Jack O'Connell recommended that Encinal School apply for the National Award following Encinal's receipt of the California State Distinguished School Award in the spring of 2006.  Superintendent O'Connell recommended Encinal and 34 other schools in the State because they had achieved the maximum score on the State Distinguished School Application.

Encinal was among 24 public schools in California that received the National Blue Ribbon Award and among 237 public schools nationally.  Another 50 private schools in the United States earned the award.

Former Principal Stacy Marshall was the primary author of the application beginning last fall and completing the application when on maternity leave almost a year ago.  Many faculty and staff members and parents provided necessary input into the application process.

Congratulations to the Encinal School staff and the entire Encinal School Community.  With this national recognition, the entire country now recognizes what we locally already know about the outstanding educational program at Encinal School. 

California Distinguished School

CA Distinguished School


In 2006 State Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell announced that Encinal School earned the Distinguished School Award. Encinal School is the first elementary school in the District to earn this State distinction. (Encinal won the award in 1990 as a middle school.)

The selection was based upon an evaluation of the application submitted by Principal Stacy Marshall and the Encinal staff followed by a site visitation of educators from outside the District. The following were the nine themes that were addressed in the evaluation process:

  • Vision, Leadership and School Planning
  • Standards and Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • Instructional Practices
  • Professional Development
  • Instructional Leadership, Support and Collaboration
  • Student Support Services
  • Safe and Healthy Schools and Coordinated Health Services
  • School Culture and Engaging School Community

Encinal School earned a score of 8.0 out of a possible score of 8.0, and extraordinary accomplishment. Out of 997 elementary school that applied from a total of 2,043 eligible schools, Encinal was one of 368 schools selected.

The following are examples of comments that were included in the evaluation. "There is clear evidence that all students have access to a rigorous, balanced, standards- aligned curriculum in all subjects that is enhanced by field trips and other learning activities. Many examples show that an extensive professional development program is available for all staff members...that has had a positive impact on student achievement. Evidence indicates that the entire staff has a huge investment in the governance, hiring new teachers and supporting each other’s work. Examples show Encinal to be a robust learning community whose positive culture is the foundation for an effective standards-based program. Parents have been empowered to make important contributions to the education of their children."

Congratulations to the Encinal School Community. It is evident that the teachers, support staff, administration, and parents are working collaboratively and effectively for the education of students. What we have always known about Encinal School, the State has now recognized. Encinal School is distinguished among all the elementary schools of the State.