The U.S. Department of Education released its list of 2015 Blue Ribbon Schools, and two Acadia Parish schools are among the esteemed.

Both Martin Petitjean Elementary and South Crowley Elementary made the list of Blue Ribbon schools for "exemplary achievement gap-closing schools," which are designated as Louisiana's highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school's subgroups and all students over the past five years.

According to the Louisiana Department of Education release, Martin Petitjean Elementary's first- through third-grade students excel, as a result of the "Leader In Me" program. SOuth Crowley Elementary was recognized for its flourishing students despite a poverty level among students 113 percent greater than the national average.

"We want to congratulate these schools and districts for earning this distinguished honor, proving again our students are as smart and capable as any in America," said State Superintendent John White. "The outstanding efforts of the students, faculty, and administration at these schools demonstrate the high level of academic achievement that can be accomplished with hard work, determination, and a shared desire to succeed."

Only six schools in Louisiana were among distinguished Blue Ribbon Schools. The other four schools honored were: Pointe-Aux-Chenes Elementary School, Terrebonne Parish; Baton Rouge Magnet High School and LSU Laboratory School, East Baton Rouge Parish; and Ben Franklin High School, Orleans Parish.