The Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly received the prestigious Governor’s award for educational excellence, one of 36 Fairfax County schools to garner achievement honors, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced Wednesday.

“We are blessed to have some of the finest schools and teachers in the nation,” McDonnell said in a statement. “We must continue to ensure that all students have access to the high quality education they deserve.”

McDonnell’s announcement comes as critics say the governor’s efforts to reform Virginia’s education system have fallen short.

The Virginia index of performance awards are given to schools that meet state and federal benchmarks for achievement for at least two consecutive years, including enrollment in Algebra I by eighth grade high school graduation rates.

Rocky Run Middle was one of two schools in the state to receive the highest award. In addition, a total of 18 Fairfax schools received the 2013 board of education excellence award and another 17 won the board’s distinguished achievement award.

In neighboring Arlington County, six schools received the excellence award. Two schools each in Loudoun and Prince William counties won the same.

The Fairfax County schools that earned the excellence honors included: Archer, Canterbury Woods, Chesterbrook, Colvin Run, Floris, Great Falls, Greenbriar West, Haycock, Hunt Valley, McNair, Oak Hill, Spring Hill, West Springfield, Westbriar, and Wolftrap elementary schools and Cooper, Longfellow and Thoreau middle schools. Those that earned distinguished awards included Camelot, Forest Edge, Fox Mill, Kent Gardens, Kings Glen, Mantua, Oakton, Olde Creek, Sherman, Springfield Estates, Stratford Landing, Sunrise Valley, Vienna, Westgate and Willow Springs elementary schools and Franklin and Frost middle schools.