LINCOLN PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The A.E. Phillips Laboratory School, located on Louisiana Tech University’s campus, was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education. This recognition is one of the highest honors in education.

“I’m excited because my peers get to be on TV. I’m just thankful that I get to be a part of this school,” first-grader Kingston said.

The recognition is for schools with high academic achievement or success in closing achievement gaps among the diverse group of students in schools. A.E. Phillips director at Louisiana Tech University Jenny Blalock says these achievements would not be possible without their faculty and staff.

“Most of our teachers have masters. Some have a doctorate, a special certification, and of course, our high performance. They look at LEAP data and the performance data that is available. Our school has been growing over the last few years, as far as not only enrollment but also achievements.”

This K through 8th Lincoln Parish School is one of the 353 schools across the country to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A.E. Phillips students share their passion for math and the arts.

“I feel good because we studied very hard to get it. Doing math, I worked very hard,” first grader Addie said.

“I like math because you write a lot, and you have to sound out the words. But you have to do it by heart. You have to listen to them very closely,” Kingston added.

“Our teachers bring so much to the table. I love a good challenge. My math teacher is just amazing,” another student, Eliana, said.

Blalock says building a team among educators, students, and parents contributes to the student’s success.

“They have the spirit of wanting to learn and wanting to work hard. Then the Sky’s the limit.”

“This milestone is not just about the numbers; it’s about the potential and aspirations of the students we serve,” said Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University. “This University has always been a place of innovation and opportunity. As we welcome our largest-ever freshman class, we reaffirm our committment to providing accessible, quality education and fostering academic excellence.”

Overall, total enrollment for the 23-24 year stands as 11,612, up 5.2 percent over last year and the highest number since the COVID pandemic negatively affected university enrollment totals nationwide.