Irvine's Northwood High School is a California Distinguished School for 2013, State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Thursday.

The Irvine Unified School District campus is one of 218 middle and high schools across the state to be awarded with the honor, according to a news release from the California Department of Education.

"These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college," Torlakson said in a prepared statement. "Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools. Our future depends on meeting the needs of every student no matter where they come from or where they live."

To earn the award, administrators must submit a written application that details two of the school's signature practices.

A county-led review process then checks to make sure those practices are being followed.

Elementary schools and secondary schools are recognized in alternating years.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck