This morning, Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, and other officials recognized Urbana High School in Frederick County (UHS) as one of only six 2018-2019 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools, and the only high school winner in the state.
At Urbana High, 1,785 students and nearly 150 staff members learned the exciting news from the school’s Public Address system announcement just after Principal David Kehne received the Governor’s citation in the State House Governor’s Reception Room in Annapolis.
“It is a privilege to accept the Blue Ribbon School recognition and the Governor’s citation on behalf of the exemplary faculty and staff, hardworking students, and supportive family and community members at Urbana High School,” said Principal Kehne, who was accompanied by Board of Education of Frederick County president Brad W. Young and FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban.
The Blue Ribbon award honors UHS as an exemplary high-performing school where students achieve at very high levels. Maryland has joined the U.S. Department of Education each year since 1982 in seeking out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals or have made significant progress closing gaps in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students. Urbana High was selected for the exceptional educational opportunities the school provides.
UHS students in the Class of 2018 earned $6.5 million in scholarship offers. By their senior year, 97% of students have taken rigorous offerings in International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses or career-technology courses leading to industry certifications. UHS students have a long-term track record of giving back to the community, having raised over $150,000 for pediatric cancer research and $100,000 to support special education programs such as the Rock Creek School. Scholar athletes and coaches earned UHS the Spires Division Principal’s Cup a third consecutive year in 2018 for sportsmanship and athletic achievement. Overall, according to Principal Kehne, school-wide emphasis is on scholastic achievement along with rigor, relevance and relationships through the school’s “Core 4” values of respect, unity, integrity, and pride.
“Frederick County public schools are exceptional. Every one of our schools offers students an outstanding education. This recognition for Urbana High is the latest evidence of that,” says Superintendent Alban. “Urbana High and all of our schools balance outstanding academics with caring leadership and meaningful community engagement. I am so proud of the UHS students, parents, teachers, and administrators!”
Urbana High will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon School flag, gifts and prizes for classroom use, a school-wide celebration and honors from the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate at a State dinner in Annapolis. The State Superintendent, elected officials, corporate sponsors, and other dignitaries will visit UHS during a Blue Ribbon School Tour of Excellence.
Twelve Frederick County public schools have received national Blue Ribbon School awards: Urbana Elementary—2018, Centerville Elementary—2017, Kemptown Elementary—2015, New Market Elementary—2010, Windsor Knolls Middle—2002, Middletown Middle—1998, Yellow Springs Elementary—1994, Frederick High and Linganore High—1993, Gov. Thomas Johnson High—1991, Middletown Elementary—1990, and Middletown High—1987.
Urbana High is in the running for national Blue Ribbon School recognition.