Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that work. We’re looking to recognize established initiatives that are yielding quantifiable benefits, and that could be replicated by other districts.

If your school district is engaged in an innovative project that is improving student outcomes, streamlining operations or meeting the needs of your community, it could be a District of Distinction.

Honorees for the third round of the “Districts of Distinction” program will be announced in the July 2015 edition of District Administration. 

Districts of Distinction honorees will:

  • Be identified in District Administration magazine and on the magazine’s website
  • Be included in a nationally distributed press release and in The District, a newsletter distributed to superintendent-members of the District Administration Leadership Institute
  • Receive a District of Distinction plaque along with a letter of commendation from the Publisher of District Administration
  • Receive a press release template to promote their recognition to local media

The nomination period for the July 2015 round is now closed. Honorees will be announced in early July. Districts of Distinction will have multiple opportunities for participation in 2015 and 2016. For the November round, you can apply starting July 1 through Aug. 14 and for March 2016, you can apply starting Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. 

Featured Honorees

2015 Honorees

Public/private partnerships

Organization: Alden Hebron School District State: Illinois
Organization: Elmsford Union Free School District State: New York
Organization: Lake Wales Charter Schools State: Florida
Organization: Madison-Oneida BOCES State: New York


Organization: Arlington Public Schools State: Virginia
Organization: Montgomery County Schools State: Kentucky
Organization: Owensboro Independent Schools State: Kentucky


Organization: Baldwin Senior High School State: New York
Organization: Chartiers Valley School District State: Pennsylvania
Organization: Lawton Public Schools State: Oklahoma
Organization: Niagara Falls City School District State: New York

College/career readiness

Organization: Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District State: Massachusetts
Organization: Eminence Independent Schools State: Kentucky
Organization: Lyndonville Central School District State: New York
Organization: Michigan City Area Schools State: Indiana

Student achievement

Organization: Compton Unified School District State: California
Organization: Howard-Winneshiek Community School District State: Iowa
Organization: Napa County Office of Education State: California
Organization: Natick Public Schools State: Massachusetts
Organization: New Buffalo Area Schools State: Michigan
Organization: Prince William County Public Schools State: Virginia
Organization: Saginaw Township Community Schools State: Michigan
Organization: Solon Community Schools State: Iowa
Organization: The School District of Lancaster State: Pennsylvania

BYOD 1-to-1 or other district-wide technology initiative

Organization: Corinth School District State: Mississippi
Organization: Haverhill Public Schools State: Massachusetts
Organization: Suffield Public Schools State: Connecticut

Graduation rate

Organization: Davenport Community School District State: Iowa
Organization: Franklin Pierce School District #402 State: Washington
Organization: Gowanda Central School District State: New York
Organization: Spokane Public Schools State: Washington

Innovative staff leadership model

Organization: Geneseo Community Unit School District 228 State: Illinois

Strategic planning

Organization: Goochland County Public Schools State: Virginia

Innovative Operational Transformation

Organization: Kingsport City Schools State: Tennessee

Global learning

Fostering principal leadership

Organization: Mt. Lebanon School District State: Pennsylvania

Efficiency and operations of the district, reducing costs

Organization: North Penn School District State: Pennsylvania

Health and wellness

Organization: North Tonawanda City School District State: New York

Personalized/individualized learning

Organization: Owsley County Schools State: Kentucky
Organization: Taylor County School District State: Kentucky
Organization: Utica Community Schools State: Michigan

Serving students with special needs

School climate

Blended or online learning

Organization: Putnam County Schools State: Tennessee

Professional development

Organization: Socorro Independent School District State: Texas

Early learning

Organization: Sioux City Community Schol District State: Iowa

Behavior management

Organization: Township High School District 211 State: Illinois

Innovative building design/philosophy