The U-S Education department has named a Catholic school in downtown Des Moines a national school of excellence. Principal Anita Westerhaus says the “Blue Ribbon School” designation marks Sacred Heart School as unique.Of 234 public, 41 private schools in US, this is the only one in Iowa. Principal Westerhaus says it took a year just to fill out the application. They look at academic excellence, parent involvement, safety, curriculum and discipline. The award doesn’t carry any monetary benefit, but Westerhaus says it points up the school’s strengths even in a state already known for excellence. The Blue Ribbon School designation was awarded today in a ceremony at the Sacred Heart School.