Six Minnesota schools were recognized Tuesday as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their overall academic performance or success in closing achievement gaps among student groups.

The annual honor was announced by the U.S. Department of Education and applauded by state leaders.

"I am so proud of these six Blue Ribbon awardees — the hard work and dedication of these school communities reminds us that the future is bright for Minnesota's students," Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement.

Education Commissioner Heather Mueller said: "The educators, staff, leaders and families in these schools exemplify student-centered communities and I am thankful they are being acknowledged for their important work."

The Minnesota Blue Ribbon Schools are Barnesville Elementary School in Barnesville, Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine, Twin Lakes Elementary in Elk River, Minnetonka West Middle School in Excelsior, McKinley Elementary in Ham Lake and St. Croix Preparatory Academy Middle School, in Stillwater.

The six schools were among 325 to be honored nationally this year.