Two West Virginia Schools Honored Among America's Best

September 29, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today recognized two West Virginia schools as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels.

The recognized schools from West Virginia are Evans Elementary School in Jackson County and Gihon Elementary School in Wood County.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction, and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence—in vision, in implementation, and in results—and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award plaque affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The award flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

"I commend our schools who received this national honor which is a direct reflection of the hard work and commitment among the teachers, students and parents,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano. "This award exemplifies the fact that every student in West Virginia has the potential to succeed. I encourage our schools to remain focused on accelerating student achievement to ensure our students are prepared for success in college and careers.”

All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.

The U.S. Department will honor 285 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 9-10 in Washington, D.C. In its 33-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools.

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

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