U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized the Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School as one of 5 schools in Iowa receiving a National Blue Ribbon Schools award for 2022. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Road to Success Back to School bus tour.


“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “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.”


Shelly Petersen, VS Middle School principal since 2010, shared her thoughts on the award, saying, “Our middle school team has been working for the past ten years to ensure all students receive the supports they need. We are very fortunate at Vinton-Shellsburg to have such an outstanding school system and community support that puts students first. All buildings today can celebrate in the success, as it took everyone K-12 working together to get where we are as a district today!”


Kyle Koeppen, Vinton-Shellsburg district Superintendent, also spoke of the teamwork it took to achieve this award. “I am proud of the work Mrs. Petersen and the middle school team have put in over the years to develop systems and protocols to meet the needs of all students. The National Blue Ribbon School recognition is truly a celebration of their dedication and hard work.”


In 2017, Tilford Elementary school received a Blue Ribbon School Award for its accomplishments with students. Since its inception in 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has invited National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The national education department accepts a maximum of 420 nominations each year.