Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity school awarded Blue Ribbon

By Michelle Martin | Staff writer
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Students, faculty and staff at Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity School were feeling blue Sept. 19. Or, rather, they were feeling like Blue Ribbon winners.

The Winnetka school was announced as the 23rd archdiocesan school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, and the 50th such school in the last 10 years. The school was recognized under the category of “Exemplary High Performing Schools,” meaning it was among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“We are a smaller community where people are all aligned for the mission of providing an exceptional, challenging educational program that aligns with our Catholic traditions,” said principal Thomas Meagher. “Our kids will go on to Loyola Academy and New Trier, and go on to be the best of the best in those schools.”

“Faith, Hope and Charity has been providing its students with an excellent education for generations,” said Greg Richmond, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago. “This Blue Ribbon is a wonderful recognition of the teachers and students who work so hard and with such dedication year after year.”

Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity School celebrated by gathering students at noon to watch the announcement video from Washington, D.C. Then, outfitted with blue sunglasses and beads, students enjoyed an afternoon of blue-themed activities, Meagher said.

The award was the second for Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity, which was last honored in 2014.

“It’s a great achievement,” said Meagher, noting that the school was one of 40 non-public schools honored nationwide. “We’re proud of students, our teachers and families who have been committed to maintaining a high standard of education.”

Addam Piazza, president of the school board, said he and his wife have no regrets about choosing Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity when their oldest child, now in seventh grade, was starting school. Piazza also has children in fourth and seventh grade.

Both parents wanted a Catholic education for their children, Piazza said, and Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity was their local parish school and conveniently located just down the street.

“We’d also heard fabulous things from other parents and parishioners about the school, about the community, the consistency of education and the leadership,” Piazza said. “It’s been a great decision, and we’ve never looked back.”

The education provided by the school “is paramount,” Piazza said, with small class sizes that allow teachers to get to know each student and challenge and support them as needed.

“But also, just the overall community is great,” Piazza said. “If there’s some kind of tragedy in the community, or someone just needs a helping hand, everyone pulls together. If someone needs a ride to football practice or just needs their kid picked up, you can send a text and get four or five responses.”

While his older son, in fourth grade, appreciates being pushed academically, his younger son is more excited about the opportunities to participate in sports and activities, he said. His oldest child, a daughter, falls somewhere in between.

A small team put together the lengthy application for the Blue Ribbon, Meagher said.

Meagher and Piazza said the timing of this Blue Ribbon demonstrates the success faculty members had in navigating their students through the COVID-19 pandemic, and Piazza said that he hopes the award brings attention to the quality of education offered at Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity.

“When you’re in a great area with great public schools, there’s no shortage of options,” he said. “But the second Blue Ribbon in less than 10 years says something about the high standards we have.”



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