Return to Headlines

U.S. Department of Education Announces Powdersville Middle School as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools



U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.


“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend this school and all of our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”


Powdersville Middle School in Anderson School District One was among five South Carolina schools recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for high academic performance. The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 


“I am so proud of our school, district, and community!” said Principal Todd Binnicker.  Congratulations to our teachers, staff, and parents who work tirelessly each and every day to ensure our students have the very best learning environment and are prepared for success.”


Anderson One Superintendent Robbie Binnicker added, "On behalf of our board and district administration, I am so very proud of this well-deserved honor for Powdersville Middle School!  This prestigious award is not possible without a full commitment to a superior educational environment by teachers, administration, staff, parents, and students."



Commenting on the announcement of five South Carolina Schools receiving this award, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman added, “We are extremely proud of these five South Carolina schools that have been honored nationally for their academic excellence. This award is testament to the hard work of students, teachers, staff, and families in these communities. These five schools are models of excellence for our entire state and nation.”


Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.  The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates:


  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.