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Darnestown Elementary School Wins National Blue Ribbon Award for Educational Excellence

May 23, 2001
Darnestown Elementary School, nominated as one of seven public schools representing Maryland in a nationwide competition for the country's highest educational honors, has been named a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education after undergoing a rigorous review and on-site visit.

Darnestown Elementary was selected for the national award on the basis of a critique of a wide variety of factors that encompass a successful elementary school program, including not only its instructional program but also its support of students, outreach to parents, and training of staff. The school received a state Blue Ribbon award last fall from the Maryland State Department of Education.

"The award signifies the outstanding efforts of the school's principal, Lawrence Chep, and his entire staff in creating an excellent educational program," said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools, in announcing the award to the Board of Education.

The selection for the national award centers on a school's success in student focus and support; school organization and culture; challenging standards and curriculum; active teaching and learning; professional community/professional growth and development; leadership and educational vitality; school, family and community partnerships; and indicators of success and student achievement.

Senator Paul Sarbanes telephoned the school's principal, Mr. Chep, with the news of the award this week. An award ceremony will be held next fall at the White House. Darnestown Elementary is one of nine schools in Maryland, along with St. Bernadette School in Silver Spring, to receive the award this year.

Since the award program began in 1982, schools in Montgomery County have won the national Blue Ribbon awards 28 times. The national Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Program honors elementary and secondary schools in alternate years.

Information about the award program can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of Education at the link below:

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