• News Release: Whitehall Elementary Receives National Blue Ribbon Schools Award

    September 7, 2012
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications

    UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Whitehall Elementary School in Bowie was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new Blue Ribbon Schools on Friday. Whitehall Elementary was the only Prince George’s County public school to receive the honor.

    “This is incredible recognition for a most deserving school,” said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., Chair of the Prince George’s County Board of Education. Jacobs represents District 5, which includes Bowie. “I join the Bowie community in celebrating this award.”

    “Whitehall Elementary is an example of everything that is right in Prince George’s County Public Schools,” said Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, Interim Superintendent of Schools. “I would like to commend Principal Jerenze Campbell, his talented faculty and staff, and our students on their success. We could not be more proud of their hard work.”

    Whitehall was one of the highest-performing county elementary schools in reading on the 2012 Maryland School Assessment (MSA). On the 2011 MSA, 97.9 percent of students achieved proficient or advanced in both reading and mathematics, with nearly half – 42.6 percent in reading and 49 percent in math – attaining advanced.

    The school opened in the fall of 2005 with the vision of “Educating Children Beyond Expectations” through dedicated teaching and committed parents. Its faculty includes eight National Board Certified Teachers.

    “I promised my students and staff that we would bring home a National Blue Ribbon Award this fall,” said Campbell. “We appreciate everyone’s support in helping us to achieve this honor.”

    In addition to Whitehall Elementary, the Maryland State Department of Education named five schools from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Montgomery and Worcester counties as state Blue Ribbon Award winners last spring. All six schools received the national award.

    “All six of these schools stand as shining examples of Maryland public education, and we’re proud to share their work with the rest of the nation,” said Maryland State Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery. “Maryland’s National Blue Ribbon Schools exemplify outstanding teaching and learning. We congratulate the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members of these outstanding schools. It takes cooperation and hard work to win this coveted award.”

    Duncan recognized 269 schools this year based on overall academic excellence or for making progress in student achievement levels. The schools will be honored at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. Nearly 7,000 schools nationwide have received Blue Ribbon Awards in the program’s 30-year history.

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. The school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.