TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Some of the best and brightest are being recognized in Maryland. Several schools in the state have scored the coveted National Blue Ribbon award.
The schools first have to win at the state level before they’re even considered for a Blue Ribbon. That’s what makes it such a big honor.
Take a look around George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and it’s clear the school is special.
“Students break into song in the cafeteria, we have a grand piano,” said Karen Steele, who is principal at the high school in Towson.
George Washington Carver has a 100-percent graduation rate and recently received the National Blue Ribbon Award, a coveted honor based on academic excellence and a school’s ability to close the achievement gap among its students.
The students are encouraged to share their creative work, and all of the programs are connected. It’s all in an effort to foster shared learning and a sense of community.
“So if you’re in the dance class, you may be connecting what you’re learning in dance to what you’re doing in social studies,” said Steele.
“It’s been challenging, for sure, but I like it a lot because you can express yourself in whatever way,” said Miriam Greenberg, student.
“They’re talented kids. They’re also very smart kids, so their academics are excellent,” said Toni Greenberg, parent. “And I think we have some of the best teachers in the county.”
George Washington Carver is in good company. Ten schools in the state were named National Blue Ribbon schools for 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education. Half of them are in central Maryland.
“We didn’t search out the award, we just do what we do for students every single day,” said Principal Steele.
Hard work that’s paying off for the school now, and for the students in the future.
The Education Department will formally recognize the winning schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private, elementary, middle and high schools.