BPHS becomes National Blue Ribbon School

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Hawk Eye staff

The BPHS campus is seen through the letters BPHS on the gate that marks the transition from Broad St. to Black Hawk Dr.

At 10 a.m. on Sept. 16, BPHS received outstanding news. The U.S. Department of Education named it a National Blue Ribbon School, one of only two in Pennsylvania and 297 nationwide.

BPHS was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School. In 2022, the high school had a 99% graduation rate. Scores rose on the Keystone Exams by a minimum of five points over the past four years. Additionally, the school saw an increase in AP scores compared to the previous year.

Since 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Program has been selecting schools all over the U.S. for their outstanding academic behavior. During that time, 9,000 schools nationwide and only 37 from Pennsylvania have been given the title.

“When I got here five years ago, I knew from the beginning we had special people,” said Principal Joe Villani. He believes Bethel Park has the best people and the best lifestyle.

Villani explained that when he was first hired at BPHS, people were always talking about how other schools do this and do that, and he knew that he didn’t want to be like those other schools. He wanted to be better, and he knew the students and staff would make that happen. He is proud of that mentality and says that that is where “Built on tradition, focused on the future,” comes from.

Never be happy with where you are. Continue to excel and keep making this place as special as it deserves to be.”

— Mr. Villani

Villani said he is extremely proud of what Bethel Park has become. He said it is the best version and is bettering still. He would put our programs, people, academics, athletics, and electives against anybody.

Furthermore, he said he is working with the leadership team, a group of students at the high school, to develop a big school celebration.

“I don’t know if everyone knows the full gravity of how hard this is,” he explained.

“When I look at Bethel Park, it’s rooted in blue-collar, hard-working, good values, good morals. I love the kids and staff here. Aspire to those before you and continue to raise the bar. I want people to say that Bethel Park has something special.”