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This is Praise Harvest
Our Work Video
May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

Third Blue Ribbon Award for Trinity School at River Ridge

Three Trinity students hold the Blue Ribbon award and a flag celebrating it. Photo courtesy of Trinity School at River Ridge

by Catherine Bulger

On November 15, at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Education recognized Trinity School at River Ridge as a National Blue Ribbon school for the third time.

River Ridge was the only private high school in Minnesota to win the award in 2019. It’s also the only high school in the state to have earned three Blue Ribbons, and it was one of only 50 private schools in the United States to win the award in 2019.

This is the ninth time a campus of Trinity Schools has won the Blue Ribbon.

“The award is not just a recognition of the school and educational outcomes, but also a recognition of the hard work and dedication of the administration, staff, parents, students, alumni and many generous benefactors who form the River Ridge community,” said Jon Balsbaugh, the president of Trinity Schools.

The Blue Ribbon helps spread the word about the school to prospective parents. About 5,500 people viewed the school’s Facebook post announcing the award. That’s ten times the views any other post has ever received, according to Head of School Beth Schmitz.

“One of our goals as the People of Praise is to educate as many young people as we can in a ‘true and integral Christian humanism,’ as The Spirit and Purpose of the People of Praise says,” noted Craig Lent, the overall coordinator of the community and chair of Trinity’s board of trustees. “We hope that the Lord will use news of this award to help us attract more students to Trinity. We are so grateful to God who called us to open Trinity nearly 40 years ago and continues to sustain us and bless us.”

“Part of the reason we considered sending our kids to Trinity, when we’d never heard of Trinity, never heard of the People of Praise, was because it had just won its second Blue Ribbon,” said parent Christin Croll Carlson.

Christin hopes that the award can be a tool that will allow more parents to experience the blessing that Trinity School is. She says, “Parents need to know that this is out there, that you can graduate from high school without alcohol or sex. That you can learn to think for yourself. That you can hold your own in an argument. That you can develop manners, and intelligence, and still be a teenager. People don’t believe that this is possible. But it is.”

When the award was announced in September, Beth told the students during an assembly, “This award is an acknowledgment of excellence that for us is ordinary life. It’s appropriate that it’s ordinary because that’s what we’re created to do, but it does cumulatively add up to something that is extraordinary.”

And so the students and faculty ate cupcakes, celebrated their recognition, and then went back to their math problems and recorder playing and drama productions and spirited discussions and MATLAB programming—back to their ordinary work of learning together.


  1. Sarah Whittenburg says:

    To have had a son in the first graduating class in South Bend means there has been ample time to rejoice in what the last 40 years have been a blessing. In the continuing care facility in Indy there are 650 people...As I share about Trinity and a classical education and Latin, and , and, and. , their faces light up with understanding. And when I talk about the fine arts and recorders and choirs, you can almost see their feet tapping in approval. And by the time I get to where they go to college, it is amazing how many people here went to the same or similar is rather like Homecoming. One last observation is that they listen when I describe the Senior Prom...a trip down memory lane. Thanks to everyone who contributes to building a school that transcends so many years to help us talk to each other with love and respect...P.S. Thanks Kerry Koller for memories

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