Northern Garrett High School was named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School today by the U.S. Department of Education.
The award honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap. Schools are being recognized based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups as measured by their performance on state assessments or assessments referenced against national norms. The award recognizes that students can achieve to high levels.
Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent of Schools, expressed, "I am delighted that Northern Garrett High School students, staff and supportive community are being recognized nationally as one of the top high schools. I am proud of their commitment and dedication which is demonstrated every day in every way to encourage excellence.”
The entire faculty and students gathered in the gymnasium to watch the announcement made by United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Mr. Duncan designated 337 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2014. The announcement was broadcast live at 1:30 PM on ED’s USTREAM channel http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department
and subsequently will be made available on ED’s YouTube channel.
“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education—that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” Secretary Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”
During the assembly, Mr. Gary Reichenbecher, Principal, along with Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent, Mrs. Cynthia Downton, on behalf of the Board, Mr. Paul Edwards, Director of Secondary Education, Ms. Michelle Harman, Supervisor of College and Career Readiness, and Senator George Edwards congratulated the school for its outstanding efforts.
Mr. Reichenbecher indicated, “It is difficult to describe the level of pride that I have for the students and staff of Northern High School. Receiving an award such as this one demonstrates what can be attained through hard work and perseverance. In receiving the National Blue Ribbon Award, acknowledgment must be given to the elementary and middle schools as well as the parents, local community, and the Garrett County Board of Education for preparing our students to be successful at the high school level. To obtain this degree of recognition, it takes a total team effort, and we share this award with everyone involved. Garrett County citizens should be extremely proud of our educational system.”
Northern High School is the first National Blue Ribbon School in the history of Garrett County Public Schools
The Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels. Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.
Northern High School, one of six Maryland winning public schools, will join other national winners at an awards ceremony on November 10-11 in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Blue Ribbon Schools program, go to http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html
A school celebration for the staff and students will be held at a later date.