School in Gaston County achieves coveted national honor Highland School of Technology chosen as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School Highland School of Technology in Gaston County has been chosen as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School, a distinction presented by the United States Department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos officially announced the winners, bestowing the coveted recognition upon only 342 schools in the nation. Public and private K-12 schools receiving the honor have shown either outstanding academic performance or progress in closing the achievement gap. Highland is one of only six schools in North Carolina to earn the distinction this year. “This is a significant award for Highland, and we are so very proud,” said Denise McLean, principal. “We have always known that Highland is a model school with world-class students and teachers, and now, with this national recognition, everyone will know it.” McLean continued, “Being chosen as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School is one of the highest, most prestigious honors a school can receive. For us, it recognizes our students, parents, teachers, staff, and this community for our unwavering commitment to high academic standards and superior student achievement.” Highland has consistently ranked as one of the most successful schools in North Carolina.