EVANS, WV (WOWK) – Three West Virginia schools were nationally recognized as 2022 Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

The following schools were among 297 in the country to receive the distinction: Evans Elementary in Jackson County, Culloden Elementary in Cabell County and C.W. Shipley Elementary in Jefferson County.

“We are extremely proud of our schools that have achieved the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Award,” said State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach. “The principals, teachers, staff, students and families are to be commended for setting a standard of excellence.”

All three schools were recognized as “Exemplary High-Performing Schools,” meaning they ranked among the state’s highest performing schools in test scores.

“It really is an honor to be recognized,” said Jennifer Doss, Evans Elementary principal. “We’re doing really great things here.”

This is the second year that Evans Elementary and C.W. Shipley received Blue Ribbon status, but it’s the first year for Culloden Elementary.

“We set that high expectation for our students,” said Charmin McCarty, a teacher at Evans Elementary. “And because we have that relationship with them they strive to achieve that and I really believe that is what makes them have that academic success.”

McCarty, who has taught at Evans for nine years, attributes their school’s success to a number of factors.

“Our staff members, we are like a family, and we care about the students,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether they’re our students now or they’re our students five years from now, they’re our students and our students know that.”

As for Doss, she says the school will continue to excel.

“I think we’ll continue to do the things that we do here and continue to work hard and have those good relationships with our students and our staff and our families,” she said. “All those things really go into creating this great place that we have.”

The U.S. Department of Education will formally recognize these schools at an awards ceremony in November. Additionally, the schools will receive a plaque and flag with the official seal and year of the award.