BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Three Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore received the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award on Tuesday.

St. Joseph School in Cockeysville, St. Margaret School in Bel Air and St. Mary’s School in Annapolis bring the total number of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to receive this honor to 18.

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“I am extremely proud of these three schools, whose accomplishments reflect the commitment to excellence of their teachers, students and parents and of all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” said Dr. Barbara Edmondson, superintendent of schools.  “Our schools today continue to build upon the outstanding legacy of Catholic education that began over 200 years ago by providing an academically excellent, faith-based education and an unparalleled foundation for every child they serve.”

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The Blue Ribbon program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels.

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The award is the highest academic honor bestowed upon a school by the U.S. government.  The schools will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18-19.