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Principals at three Salt Lake schools are busting their buttons with pride as their schools receive prestigious national recognition as examples to the rest of the nation.

West and Judge Memorial high schools and Northwest Intermediate have been cited by U.S. Education Secretary Lauro F. Cavazos in an annual recognition program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.Representatives of the schools will go to Washington next October to received flags of excellence from the secretary and President Bush.

"I'm not surprised, but very pleased in both cases (West and Northwest)," said Superintendent John W. Bennion of Salt Lake District, where both schools are located. "Both schools have been making remarkable progress in the past few years, and both have already been recognized in the last year as being drug-free."

Sister M. Joan Allem, CSC, superintendent of Catholic schools in Utah, also expressed pride as Judge Memorial was named in the private school category.

"We are very proud that the quality education program at Judge Memorial is being recognized for the second time," she said. "They were recognized as an exemplary school by the U.S. Department of Education in 1983-84."

The nominee schools were subjected to critical assessment, including lengthy applications and a site visit by the national education department.