Vienna, Virginia — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today presented the Fairfax Christian School with the “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. 

The Fairfax Christian School has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion.  The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with The Fairfax Christian School’s dedication to providing quality education to students from around the world.  The school’s adaptation of its curriculum to accommodate non-English speakers was also particularly notable. The Fairfax Christian’s School’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker in her congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection as an award recipient.  

The Fairfax Christian School is a kindergarten through twelfth grade university-prep school.  While most of their students in the school are American, the school has been accepting international students since 1963.  The Fairfax Christian School has an intensive English as a Second Language program and homestay program for international students.  

“It is a great honor to be the first K-12 school to receive this award for our work with our international students,” said Jo Thoburn, the President and CEO of the Fairfax Christian School.  “Education has been overlooked as an “export.”  Providing the highest quality education and teaching international students American principles and values insures stronger relationships and influence around the globe.”

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Today, Secretary Pritzker honored 123 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world.

In 2015, U.S. exports totaled $2.23 trillion, accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. Nationally, exports contributed to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 11.5 million jobs.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, with offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries.  Record years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in selecting the winners.