September 24, 2020

Charleston, W.Va. – The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) today recognized three West Virginia schools as 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Kenna Elementary in Kanawha County; Panther Creek Elementary in Nicholas County; and Williamstown Elementary in Wood County all received the distinction as exemplary high performing schools. They join the ranks of 317 public schools nationwide that earned the coveted recognition this year.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

As National Blue Ribbon Schools, the three West Virginia elementary schools are among 9,000 to earn the award over the past 38 years. The USDE has issued nearly 10,000 awards during this time, and schools are eligible to be considered for a nomination again after a five-year period lapses. This year marks the second award for each of the schools as Kenna Elementary won in 2012; Panther Creek Elementary won in 2013 and Williamstown Elementary won in 2008.

“The West Virginia Board of Education and Department of Education join the rest of the state in honoring the hard work and dedication of these three elementary schools,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “This award not only reflects the commitment of administrators, educators and staff, but also of our students, families and extended communities.”

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on November 12 and 13, and honorees will each receive their plaques and flags via the U.S. Postal Service.

For more information, contact Christy Day at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or

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