Ramsay High School is now a National Blue Ribbon School.
The school is one of five in the state to receive the award. 53 schools across the country received the honor in 2013.
"It just shows me how much potential our school has," Jordan Kurtz said.
Kurtz is a senior at Ramsay. She says with all of the negative publicity with Birmingham City Schools in the past year, the award is much needed.
"This is exactly the kind of thing that the state and the nation needed to see from Birmingham City Schools," she said.
Kurtz believes the award highlights Ramsay's teachers, the high expectations and the quest for excellence.
"I don't know if we're doing anything different, but we focus on high achievement," Principal, Dr. Evelyn Nettles said.
Nettles says Ramsay stands out because of college prep curriculum and AP exams, saying more than 400 students of the schools 750 students are taking part. The school also has a 100 percent graduation rate.
"I cannot tell you how encouraged I am," State Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice, said.
Bice says Ramsay is the example that proves the school system can work. He has no doubt other Birmingham schools can do the same.
"These folks are ready for this," Bice said. "Kids are resilient and can live up to whatever we expect of them. It's just up to us now."
"This certainly can be replicated in other schools in the district," Birmingham City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Craig Witherspoon, said.
Kurtz says, ultimately, it's not up to the school system. It's up to the students, teachers and faculty to make a positive change.
"School is always what you make it," Kurtz said. "And if you come to Birmingham City Schools wanting to succeed, wanting to be above the rest, wanting to strive for excellence...than this is the place for you and you have to make it that."