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Graduating senior Madelyn Schwartz receives a rose from Superintendent Joe Sabo at NorthWood's graduation ceremony June 7, 2013. NorthWood was one of four schools in Elkhart County named a "four-star school" for the 2012-13 school year. (Julia Moss)
Schools in Middlebury, Nappanee, Elkhart and Goshen earn 'four-star' distinction from state

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 1:03 p.m.

Getting four stars from the state department of education isn't easy. 

To earn that rating, students at the school have to be in the top 25th percentile when it comes to test scores. 

Four local public schools — Middlebury Elementary, Orchard View Elementary, Northridge High School and NorthWood High School — made the cut for the 2012-13 year, according to a release from the state Tuesday, April 15.

Two private schools, St. Thomas the Apostle in Elkhart and Clinton Christian in Goshen, also made the list.

“Winning this award required excellent work by teachers, administrators, students and parents throughout the year," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said in a release. 

Wa-Nee Superintendent Joe Sabo said he's proud of NorthWood staff, students and parents for contributing to "this well-deserved honor."

Hard work, dedication and a focus on learning led to NorthWood's success, Sabo said.

Jane Allen, superintendent of Middlebury Community Schools, said she is "extremely pleased" that three Middlebury schools earned the four-star award.

She credited hard-working students, supportive parents and staff that provides "a strong and supportive learning environment."

Just 311 Indiana schools made the four-star list released Tuesday. Schools near Elkhart County that received the award include seven in the Penn-Harris-Madison district and one in the South Bend Community School Corp. 

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks