Monroe, NC—Central Academy of Technology and Arts has been named a 2016National Blue Ribbon School. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. made the announcement today. This prestigious award recognizes high-performing public and non-public schools that are making great strides in education. Schools are honored for overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
CATA is one of 329 schools recognized nationally for the 2016 award. Now in its 34th year, the U.S. Department of Education has recognized more than 8,000 schools nationally with this coveted award.
“CATA is honored to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Dr. Kim Fisenne, principal of CATA. “Our staff, parents and students work hard each day to make sure we remain committed to high academic standards. Our goal is to prepare students to become effective citizens and provide them with tools to be college and career ready.”
CATA is a comprehensive magnet high school that incorporates rigorous academic and technical education using an innovative academy concept. In addition to core subjects, students are enrolled in the following academies: Information Systems, Medical Sciences, Performing Arts, Pre-Engineering and Transportation Systems.
Since opening in 2006, CATA has received numerous awards for academic excellence and performing arts. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, CATA earned a 100 percent graduation rate. The school also received an A+ rating from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In 2016, CATA received state and national awards in theater and music, including winning four Blumey awards.
“It is our goal to help students grow and excel academically while they are here at CATA,” Fisenne said. “Our teachers work together to make sure there is a certain level of rigor that is consistent throughout our school.”
In addition to academics, CATA has a variety of programs and clubs that provide students with social and emotional support. The school’s character development program was named “Culture of Respect” by the student council. Its main focus areas are awareness, kindness, acceptance and respect. Students participate in activities that show respect for other beliefs, promote healthy living and leadership skills.
“Congratulations to the students, staff, and parents at CATA on being named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan. “This is an exceptional award and it speaks to the leadership, rigorous instruction and collaborative work between teachers, parents and students.”
CATA will be formally recognized on Nov. 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, at an awards ceremony. CATA joins Weddington Middle and Shiloh Elementary as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
- A UCPS comprehensive magnet high school with a focus on technology and arts
- Enrollment: Approximately 800 students
- Demographics (2015-16 school year): Approximately 74 percent white students, 11 percent African American students, 11 percent Hispanic students and 4 percent students of other ethnicities
- 100 percent graduation rate for 2014-15 and 2015-16
- Designated as A+ school by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
- Received national and state awards for performing arts
- State recognition for Transportation Systems Academy