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NYSPHSAA announces School of Distinction and Excellence Award winners

LATHAM — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced its Scholar-Athlete School of Distinction and School of Excellence Award winners for the 2018-19 school year.

The purpose of the award is to unite varsity coaches in challenging their teams to achieve a statewide honor. This year, 35 schools earned the school of distinction award and 135 schools earned the school of excellence Award.

An additional five schools received the School of Distinction Award and 19 more received the School of Excellence Award compared to 2017-18 school year. This year’s figures represent the highest number of NYSPHSAA member schools being recognized for their academic achievements.

Mexico High School got the nod for the school of excellence award. Other Section III schools receiving the honor were Cazenovia, Christian Brothers Academy, Cooperstown, Cortland, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt, Living Word Academy, New Hartford, Remsen, Skaneateles and Whitesboro.

Section III’s school of distinction award winners included Belleville Henderson and Manlius-Pebble Hill.

“To see the numbers of schools honored increase again is a true testament the kind of student-athletes we have here in New York State,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “We continue to be proud of this program that highlights and celebrates schools that value the importance of academics, as well as athletics.”

Schools can earn school of distinction status by having 100 percent of its varsity teams qualify for and receive the scholar-athlete team award during their respective sports seasons. To earn the school of excellence award, 75 percent of a school’s varsity teams must qualify and receive the scholar-athlete team award.