MONONGAH, W.Va. – A small town in Marion County is celebrating a big award. Monongah Middle School was named a National Blue Ribbon School on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Monongah Principal Claude Malnick called it a great honor.

“I’m proud to be in Monongah. Totally proud to be an administrator with such great students and such great faculty,” stressed Malnick.

The principal knew the school was one of three nominated by the state for the award. But he said actually getting the news was a wonderful moment and they wanted to make it special for everyone. He and his staff rushed to get a special assembly set up Tuesday afternoon to make the announcement.

“It’s about the students. It’s about the faculty and it’s about the community. We wanted to let them know before they left school,” said Malnick.

So what’s the secret to their success? Malnick said it comes down to hard work and giving the students something to reach for.

“We set expectations very high here. We’ve been doing that for several years,” according to the principal. “The students really react to that.”

The school has just a couple hundred students and 29 faculty members. Malnick said that makes the honor that much sweeter.

“It’s a small town. It’s an old coal mining town. But we’re very proud because there’s a lot of great things that go on here in Monongah. This is just one more thing Monongah can add!”

West Virginia had two National Blue Ribbon Schools this year. Panther Creek Elementary in Nicholas County also received the honor.

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  • Joe

    I knew there would be no reponse to my question from the unions. If one gets a raise, we all get one, regardless of performance. Pathetic.

  • Joe

    Dovetailing on this article, a teacher has posted the best summay I have read on typical school operation and teacher accountability responding to a question I posted. You can find this in the last two comments in the Metronews article posted Monday 9-23 regarding WVEA's salary campaign announcement.

  • Paul

    The students and staff at Monongah should be very proud. I note the school is less than 300 students and was built about 90 years ago. Newer and bigger is not always best.

  • longbeards

    Well done indeed! I suggest that the state reward this staff with $$!~

  • Joe

    WVEA and AFT members....wouldn't you agree that a raise has been earned and be given to the team of these schools? This is performance, and I can't imagine that the parenting dynamics of Monongah are any different than any other part of the state.

  • Mike

    Great job.

  • Joe

    Congratulations. Gov. Tomblin, every teacher and staff member in this school has earned a raise. An incredible honor.

    I am sure both the WVEA and AFT members would agree with a raise for the team of this school.