Kraemer Middle School Identified as a 2024 California Distinguished School

California Distinguished School

The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) is proud to announce that Kraemer Middle School in Placentia has been named a 2024 California Distinguished School, the state’s top award for campuses.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Kraemer community for this noteworthy achievement,” said Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss. “This recognition stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our teachers, support staff, and administrators to fostering a vibrant educational environment that is student-centered and geared toward success.” 

To select California Distinguished Schools, the California Department of Education (CDE) used multiple measures to identify eligible schools based on their performance on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Schools were selected through an analysis of data reported through the 2023 Dashboard, including assessment results, and suspension rates.

“Recognition as a CA Distinguished school is exceptionally meaningful to our entire Kraemer community including students, parents, and staff,” shared Principal Michael Young. “Our ability to collectively improve outcomes is made possible because of the strong partnership we share focused on the belief in the success of each and every student.”

Kraemer attributes its continued investment in developing its multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to improving student attendance and reducing the rate of school suspensions. Academic improvements were the byproduct of a continued, shared focus on AVID strategies across all content areas. 

“Our team’s work with MTSS and AVID requires the commitment of talented educational leaders who collaboratively develop a vision and belief in the success of every student,” Principal Young noted.

Kraemer is no stranger to the state’s top distinction, having earned the same award in 2021 and the California Gold Ribbon Schools Award in 2015. The award rotates between elementary schools and secondary schools on an annual basis.

“Excellent middle schools and high schools play a critical role in the life outcomes of our young people,” State Superintendent Thurmond said in a news release. “This year’s California Distinguished Schools celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our secondary educators and school staff who help our young adults discover passions and access college- and career-ready experiences that will propel them through life.”

This year, only 38 Orange County schools and 293 across the state were recognized as California Distinguished Schools. Kraemer and all other honorees are set to be celebrated at a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 3, 2024. They will joined by 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools, 2023 Civic Learning Award Schools, and 2023 and 2024 California Exemplary Dual Enrollment Award Schools.

To see the complete list of 2024 California Distinguished Schools or to learn more about the program, visit CDE’s website at

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