CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two West Virginia schools have been recognized as among America’s best. Monongah Middle School in Marion County and Panther Creek Elementary School in Nicholas County are two of only 286 schools nationwide named by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels. The schools will be honored later this year in Washington, D.C, where they will receive an award certificate in recognition of the progress they have made.
“The students, teachers and parents from these schools deserve to be commended,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “Their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving teaching and learning can serve as models for others. Their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning.”
To qualify, public schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and dramatically improve student performance on state tests or have students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
Approximately 7,000 public and private elementary, middle and high schools have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program’s inception in 1982. The U.S. Department of Education looks to honor schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education Communication Office at (304) 558-2699.