Maritza Alvarez and Nancy Vargas are college bound and loving it at Travis Early College High School. Photo by Bekah McNeel.
Maritza Alvarez and Nancy Vargas are two college bound studentst at Travis Early College High School. Credit: Bekah McNeel / San Antonio Report

Travis Early College High School in the San Antonio Independent School District and Crestview Elementary School in the Judson Independent School District were among 28 Texas schools and 342 schools nationwide to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Schools can win the award for overall academic achievement or for progress closing the achievement gap for low-income students, minority students, and other population subgroups. Winners were announced Tuesday by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” DeVos said in a press release.

Both San Antonio area schools were nominated and recognized for overall academic performance. Both are Title I schools, meaning that at least 40% of the student population qualifies as low-income.

Travis Early College High School is a specialized school within SAISD. It serves 402 students in grades 9-12. Through a partnership with San Antonio College, students take college classes while still in high school, and have the opportunity to graduate with an associate degree, and the basic coursework needed to begin working toward their bachelors degree. This not only boosts their opportunities to attend a four-year college or university, but also yields substantial cost savings for students and their families.

Crestview Elementary School is a traditional neighborhood school located in Live Oak, Texas. It serves 625 students in grades pre-K-5. STAAR test scores at Crestview were 22 points higher than the State average on TEA’s achievement index, and the campus earned distinctions for student test scores in every subject in which it was eligible.

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog,, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.