3 area schools win blue-ribbon status

September 23, 2006|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,sun reporter

Three Baltimore-area schools were among six in Maryland chosen as 2006 Blue Ribbon Schools under the national No Child Left Behind program.

Severna Park Middle School in Anne Arundel County, Ridgely Middle School in Baltimore County and Clarksville Middle School in Howard County joined the ranks of 250 schools nationwide recognized for high achievement or significant improvement.

Maryland's nominees filled out a lengthy application for the federal program after they were recognized in a statewide Blue Ribbon program. The six winning schools either were in the top 5 percent of all Maryland elementary or middle schools based on three years of state assessment tests or made significant gains on those tests while serving a large number of economically disadvantaged students.

Susan S. Evans, principal of Ridgely Middle, credited the accomplishment to teamwork among "the leadership in the building, the teachers, our parents, our students," adding that the 13 elementary schools that feed the school deserve credit.

At Clarksville Middle School, the announcement sparked cheering throughout the school.

Principal JoAnn Hutchens praised the efforts of students, staff, parents and administrators. "I think they all work together and all the pieces are there, and we all pull it off," she said.

Severna Park Middle School Principal Sharon Morell prepared five clues to read over the intercom, but her students guessed the news after two. Then she told the children to wave with pride the small American flags they had been given.

"The schools here have high standards for the children," Morell said. "There's a very, very strong parent [and] community relationship."

Bainbridge Elementary in Cecil County, Thomas W. Pyle Middle in Montgomery County and Glenarden Woods Elementary in Prince George's County also were recognized.

sandy.alexander@baltsun.com

Sun reporters Bradley Olson and Laura Barnhardt contributed to this article.

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