National Blue Ribbon 2012: 10 Maryland schools

The US Education Department announced the winners of the National Blue Ribbon Friday. In Maryland, 10 schools made the list, including six public schools.


Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement at Arlington Traditional School in Virginia. Principal Holly Hawthorne noted that the school’s focus on academics, behavior, and character is the foundation of its success.

“Behavior and dress standards help create a safe and inviting learning environment, and strong partnerships with families and the community foster each child’s whole development,” she was quoted on the US ED blog as saying. “Our students leave Arlington Traditional School as lifelong learners and future caring and contributing citizens.”

Writes Aba Kumi, the director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program at the US Education Department:

The 269 schools recognized this year represent 40 states, the District of Colombia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. National Blue Ribbon Schools are the “best in their class,” public and private elementary and secondary schools that produce outstanding results for all students. While all National Blue Ribbon schools have one thing in common–high or improving academic achievement –each great school has an inspiring story to tell about excellence in teaching and learning.

Maryland schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2012

Crofton Meadows Elementary School, Crofton (Anne Arundel County)
Principal: Mr. Derek Burns

Father Andrew White S.J. School, Leonardtown (Archdiocese of Washington)
Principal: Mrs. Linda Maloney

Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson (independent school)
Principal: Miss Laurie Jones

Pocomoke Elementary School, Pocomoke City (Worcester County)
Principal: Mr. Christopher Todd Hall

Rachel Carson Elementary School, Gaithersburg (Montgomery County)
Principal: Mr. Lawrence Chep

Ring Factory Elementary School, Bel Air (Harford County)
Principal: Mr. H. Earl Gaskins

St. Augustine School, Elkridge (Archdiocese of Baltimore)
Principal: Mrs. Patricia Schratz

Saint Peter’s School, Olney (Archdiocese of Washington)
Principal: Mrs. Mary Whelan

Whitehall Elementary School, Bowie (Prince George’s County)
Principal: Mr. Jerenze Campbell

Woodholme Elementary School, Baltimore (Baltimore County)
Principal: Mrs. Maralee Clark

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

6 Comments on "National Blue Ribbon 2012: 10 Maryland schools"

  1. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Crofton Meadows Elementary School

    At Crofton Meadows Elementary, 100 percent of tested students scored proficient or advanced on the math MSA and 99 percent of the students achieved the same in reading. Crofton Meadows’ teachers are constantly assessing their students, analyzing the results and using the data to drive and form instruction. The school is also proud of its effective mentor program from Force 3, the Cruising Toward Character guidance program, assemblies provided by a supportive PTO, and the Girls on the Run program. The students understand what it means to be a caring member of the community by raising money, collecting food and completing various community services. The next academic target is to have 50 percent of all student groups score advanced on the math and reading portions of the MSA.

  2. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Woodholme Elementary School

    Woodholme Elementary has 96 percent of its students proficient and above in both math and reading. With over 800 students, 42 percent of which participate in Free and Reduced Meals, a majority score in the advanced range. In grade 4 math, 91 out of 132 students scored advanced. In grade 5 reading, 103 out of 149 students scored advanced. When compared to other Maryland schools with similar demographics, Woodholme has been ranked first in math and reading for the past three years. Teachers provide exciting learning opportunities such as LEGO Robotics, MESA Club, TV Studio Crew, Math 24 Club and a school wide STEM Fair. The school is also home to Maryland’s 2010 Milken National Educator. In parent surveys, 98 percent of parents express satisfaction and Woodholme has a 99 percent professional staff retention rate. More than half the staff volunteers as mentors for students in other grade levels.

  3. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Ring Factory Elementary School

    Ring Factory, a high achieving school, excels with over 98 percent of its students proficient and above in math and 98 percent proficient and above in reading. The school has been designated a Maryland Physical Education Demonstration School for 2011-13 and is a recipient of the 2008 Maryland Character Education School of the Year Award. It has high family involvement and numerous corporate partnerships and is a Professional Development School (PDS) with Towson University. Students are consistently recognized for their volunteer and charity work in the community. The school is proud of its award-winning teachers and the fact it is the first elementary school in HCPS to have a Steel Drum Group which, with the school’s Fox Choir, have received numerous musical awards. The school’s Destination Imagination (DI) team competed at the Global competition in 2011.

  4. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Rachel Carson Elementary School

    Rachel Carson Elementary, a high achieving school, has advanced significantly in their performance on the Maryland School Assessments, reaching an all-time achievement high of 98 percent proficient and advanced in reading and 98.3 percent proficient and advanced in math. Beginning in Grade 2, 50 percent of its students are instructed one to two years above grade level in math. The school’s student Destination Imagination (DI) team most recently won the local and state competitions and represented Maryland in the 2011 Global DI competition. With a City of Gaithersburg grant and community partnerships, Rachel Carson staff provides weekly outreach and support to disadvantaged and second language students. This structured support and intervention enables them to foster stronger ties with families and is a key component in the school’s goal of eliminating the achievement gap. The school’s staff is highly qualified with seven current teachers achieving National Board Certification.

  5. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Whitehall Elementary School

    Whitehall Elementary opened its doors 7 years ago with the vision of “Educating Children Beyond Expectations.” As they continue on this quest, 97.9 percent of the students achieved proficient or advanced in both reading and math on the 2011 MSA, with nearly half, 42.6 percent (reading) and 49 percent (math) attaining advanced. The teachers are dedicated to seeing the students achieve and reach their full potential. They are a reflective group of teachers with eight of them having attained the designation of being Nationally Board Certified. Teachers volunteer their time before and after school to tutor groups of students and sponsor various clubs and activities. Whitehall had a team take first place in the Central Region of the Destination Imagination Competition in 2010. Whitehall has consistently placed as one of the top fundraisers for Jump Rope for Heart. The parents are extremely involved, partnering to ensure that Whitehall is educating the whole child.

  6. From the Maryland State Department of Education …

    Pocomoke Elementary School

    Pocomoke Elementary School (PES) serves a small rural town and 66 percent of its students participate in Free and Reduced Meals. However, 100 percent of third grade students were proficient or advanced in math (78 percent advanced) and 97.4 percent in reading (41 percent advanced). The school was honored in 2011 as a National Title I Distinguished School for sustained student achievement. It is the only school in Maryland to be recognized as a Panasonic National School Change Award Winner demonstrating exemplary growth in overall student academic achievement (2010). PES was honored by the Maryland State Educator’s Association as second place winner in the 2011 Closing the Gaps Contest and it earned the 2009 Maryland Character School of the Year “Emerging School Award.” It is a yearly recipient of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support System’s Gold Award and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its significant growth.

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