JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, four Mississippi schools were named as National Blue Ribbons Schools for 2022 by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The Mississippi schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

  • Florence Elementary School, Rankin County School District
  • Hayes Cooper Center, Cleveland School District
  • Petal High School, Petal School District
  • Oak Grove Lower Elementary School, Lamar County School District

“National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as exceptional models for improving student outcomes, closing achievement gaps and implementing effective teaching methods,” said Dr. Kim Benton, state superintendent of education, interim. “I congratulate Mississippi’s 2022 honorees, including all teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders, who collectively invest in students’ overall success.”

“I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams,” Cardona said. “As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”

Hayes Cooper Center and Petal High School were recognized as Exemplary High-Performing Schools. Florence Elementary School and Oak Grove Lower Elementary School were recognized as Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.