Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica is one of 261 secondary schools that have been selected as 2009 California Distinguished Schools, an annual award that recognizes some of the state’s exemplary public schools.

Malibu High School was the second Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District school to have been recognized as a California Distinguished School this year.

“I am pleased that Lincoln Middle School and Malibu High School are being recognized for their hard work in closing the achievement gap,” said Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Tim Cuneo. “It takes a team of committed teachers, support staff, and administrators to achieve such distinguished recognition.

School board president Ralph Mechur added, “The accomplishments of Lincoln Middle School and Malibu High School show the community the strength of our public schools in educating all of our students. We couldn’t be more proud of the individual and team efforts to reach this milestone.”

The list of 136 middle schools and 125 high schools can be viewed at

“These extraordinary middle and high schools have shown they are able to increase the achievement of all their students and have provided evidence that they are closing the achievement gaps that, unfortunately, exist at many schools,” state Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell said in a statement. “The Distinguished Schools program always identified schools that are leaders in academic achievement.”

An awards ceremony honoring the Distinguished Schools will be held Friday, May 29th at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

The selected middle and high schools represent about 10.9 percent of California’s nearly 2,400 middle and high schools. Of those, only 341 schools met the eligibility criteria based on their student achievement and were chosen from 170 school districts in 46 counties.