Another Blue Ribbon for Nanuet High School


Ella Donoghue

Principal Mike Mahoney is interviewed by New 12 minutes after announcing Nanuet HS’s Blue Ribbon award over the loud speaker.

Mr. Mahoney’s voice boomed through the loudspeaker in every classroom throughout the building. It was the middle of fifth period on Friday, Sept. 16, when the principal paused instruction to share the exciting news that Nanuet High School would once again receive the National Blue Ribbon Award this year. 

This is the second time that Nanuet Senior High School has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon school, the last time being 2016. However, it has been six years since the school received this prestigious distinction. 

After being interviewed by News12, Mr. Mahoney provided The Knight Times with some general information about the Blue Ribbon Award itself, along with his own personal excitement about the school becoming a two-time recipient of the award. 

Nanuet’s nomination category is called Exemplary High Performing Schools. A team of school administrators worked together to complete the application process, according to Mr. Mahoney. 

“We were contacted in December of 2021 by the US Department of Education,” he explained “We were eligible to apply for this award based on our approach to education as a school and our standing with assessments of New York State. By August 22nd of this year, I completed the last component [of the application] and was made aware we were in final consideration.” 

The application that Mr. Mahoney and his team worked for months to fill out is available for public viewing on the National Blue Ribbon website.

Mr. Mahoney was enthusiastic to have the chance to explain the parameters of this award, and was undeniably proud to share the news with students. 

“This is great for students,” he said. “It is something to be proud of that we are recognized at this level. It elevates the profile of our school for post-secondary plans.” 

He also included that it is especially unique to Nanuet, as “we are only one of two in Rockland to receive the award this year.” 

Mr. Mahoney was on the committee in 2016, when he never imagined  the school would become a two-time winner. But even after 6 years, according to Mr. Mahoney, he has not run out of things to love about Nanuet. 

“It goes beyond scores,” he explained, noting that the award sets Nanuet apart from other schools. “It looks at meeting the needs of students, and creating an environment that fosters engagement, rigor, and excellence.” 

These aspects of Nanuet are what Mr. Mahoney says he loves most.“We have a strong music program, fine arts program, athletics program, theater and performing arts, and many clubs and activities, especially for a school our size,” he said. “These are what enrich our learning experience. So this is super exciting for me and our high school.” 

Becoming a two time National Blue Ribbon recipient is undeniably an honorable feat for Nanuet. It is something for students, staff, and administrators alike to take pride in because it could not have been achieved without the diligence of all members of the Nanuet community. 

Mr. Mahoney will attend the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 3-4, 2022. 

“The United States Department of Education will be providing us with our ribbon,” he explained, as a representation of the school community’s hard work.