Dozens of ‘congratulations’ flooded social media on September 28 as news spread that Hereford High School and George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools.
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King made the announcement amidst a rainy afternoon, but from Team BCPS’ excitement, the day seemed bright!
Carver Center’s principal, Karen Steele, announced, “This is a tremendous honor and an affirmation of the hard work and perseverance of the faculty, staff, community, and students to ensuring that each and every student possesses the knowledge, skills, passion,
and attitudes to embrace new ideas to be courageous citizens in this dynamic world.”
The award, bestowed upon Carver Center and Hereford High, was based on one of two performance categories, Exemplary High Performing Schools – among the top schools in the state – or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education, and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Hereford High and Carver Center were among 329 honored schools, including 279 public and 50 private schools.
“Carver Center and Hereford are two great high schools by every measure,” boasted BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance, “and I am thrilled that they are receiving this national recognition. The strong principals at these schools, Karen Steele and Joe Jira, promote high academic expectations and create an atmosphere to empower teachers and students to excel.”
“This accolade just reinforces that this is a high-flying school where the staff, students, and community devote a great deal of energy toward pursuing excellence,” said Jira, principal of Hereford High. “We are truly honored to receive this award.”
And, boy, are Hereford and Carver Center high-flying schools!
In 2015, both Hereford High and Carver Center were named Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools. Currently, 20 Baltimore County schools hold the National Blue Ribbon title, and 23 are Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools.
Steele and Jira will represent their schools during a two-day recognition ceremony in Washington D.C. in November.