To recognise their efforts, the annual Scottish Education Awards are to be opened up to school snow heroes.
Mr Russell said: "The last two weeks has seen the heaviest snowfall to hit Scotland at this time of year since I myself was a schoolboy in 1965.
"I have spoken to directors of education, headteachers and school staff and I have heard about some of the hard work and effort that has gone into minimising this disruption.
"I have heard of parents, pupils and community volunteers helping to clear school paths and access; and several local authorities putting up children and staff overnight in schools last Monday.
"I want to make sure that this commitment is formally recognised on a national basis.
"That's why I've decided to ensure that our snow heroes can be recognised at next year's Scottish Education Awards, through the Educational Supporter of the Year category.
"This move will give the public an opportunity to highlight those who have gone the extra mile."