Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School was honored by the U.S. Department of Education last week for its high-achieving student body — the only school in Sonoma County and one of just 29 schools in California.

This is the first time in six years a school in Sonoma County has been named a National Blue Ribbon School, and first-year Principal Ed Navarro couldn’t be more thrilled.

The news was met with cheers Thursday when school administrators gathered students on the field to announce the honor.

“We’re very excited,” he said.

Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School, a school of 128 fifth- and sixth-graders on the Rincon Valley Middle School campus, is geared toward providing a challenging learning environment for talented students, Navarro said.

The award recognizes high-achieving elementary, middle and high schools across the nation. This year, 279 public and 50 private schools were recognized. Representatives from the winning schools will be flown to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony in November.

Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School was nominated by the California superintendent of public schools after its students scored in the top 15 percent of California schools on standardized tests.

In the 34 years since the creation of the blue ribbon program, Sonoma County schools have been honored 12 times, according to the Sonoma County Office of Education. Two Rock Union School was the county’s most recent winner, in 2010.