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We take a look at some of the best elementary schools in the city this week in our second of four Blackboard Awards special sections, and profile one of the top principals, Lily Woo, who was raised in a Chinatown tenement and grew up to lead P.S. 130, close to her childhood home. The Blackboards are selected by our advisory panel, made up of school insiders and Manhattan Media people who are focused on education. The awards are not meant in any way to be a ranking, nor are they a complete list of the best public, private, religious and charter schools in the city. They do help shine a spotlight on educational excellence, and are our way of honoring schools whose great work goes largely unnoticed by the broader public. P.S. 40 on East 20th Street earned the outstanding public elementary school award for its focus on hands-on education. School overcrowding has led to an expansion of our "new and noteworthy" category, and we profile several new schools, including P.S. 452 and P.S. 276, which opened in neighborhoods desperate for school space. Once again we have compiled our handy charts with important information about Manhattan public and private elementary and lower schools, and those can be viewed at And don't think we have forgotten about one of the most important factors that makes a school great-the teachers. Our annual Blackboard Awards for teachers will be in June. We have just begun to collect nominations, so please send info on an outstanding teacher you know to Submissions should be 400 words or less, and don't forget to include the teacher's grade, subject area (if applicable), school name and address. To read about the Blackboard Awards 2010 Elementary Schools winners, visit our [special section](http://nypress.comcategory/special-sections/blackboard-awards-special-sections/). -Josh Rogers Blackboard Awards Special Section Editor

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