The Twinsburg City School District announced Sept. 28 Samuel Bissell Elementary School is one of 329 schools nationally to earn a 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. made the announcement via video message.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers," King said in a video message to honorees. "Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices--professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems--making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."

The award is based on a school's overall academic excellence or marked progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

"The Twinsburg Board of Education and I wish to commend the Samuel Bissell Elementary School administrators - Misty Johnson, Principal and Scott Winter, Assistant Principal, teachers, support staff, parents, and most of all our students for this significant achievement," said Kathryn Powers, Superintendent of Schools. "At Samuel Bissell Elementary School, we know that visionary leadership, skilled teaching and a very supportive community coupled with high expectations result in a wonderful learning environment where all students succeed. I am very proud of Samuel Bissell Elementary School!"

"I feel tremendous pride that the Samuel Bissell Elementary School family has been honored with the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award," said Misty Johnson, Samuel Bissell Elementary School Principal. "It confirms all of the hard work of our students, families, and the entire Samuel Bissell staff. The whole team has a common goal of meeting students' needs and to know every child's story and it is wonderful to be recognized for our efforts."

Superintendent Powers, Principal Johnson and members of the Samuel Bissell staff will travel to Washington, D.C. on Nov. 7, when the U.S. Department of Education will honor the National Blue Ribbon Schools with a plaque and flag as symbols of their recognized status.

The 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award is the first ever received by the Twinsburg City School District. 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.

For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, visit