Urbana High School earns the Blue Ribbon Award


Alyssa, Reporter

Urbana High school is in the top 1% of high schools in Maryland. According to the 2019 U.S. News and World Report, UHS is a “national badge” school, ranked 20th in Maryland and 1st in Frederick County.

This year, Urbana High school was given the opportunity to represent Frederick County Public Schools in the  2019 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools. UHS was the only high school awarded the Blue Ribbon in Maryland. As this school year is coming to an end, students and staff are taking time to reflect on these monumental achievements.

The purpose of the Blue Ribbon Schools Awards is to recognize the schools with major accomplishments. According to the Blue Ribbon Schools Program website, schools are selected “based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.” Each year, six schools, whether they are public or private, are chosen to represent their county and state. Urbana met the standards to receive this award in several ways.

Jennifer Diallo, a sophomore at UHS, commented that “the teachers at Urbana keep up with students’ education so that they can graduate.” This is reflected in our high graduation rates: 96% of all students graduate, and 98% of current 9th graders are on track to graduate in 2022.

UHS students help our teachers by being the type of students that put hard work into their education and extracurricular activities to set our school at a Blue Ribbon standard. In 2018, graduating seniors earned $6.5 million in scholarship offers, and 97% of students had taken International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, dual enrollment courses, or courses at the Career and Technology Center.

On March 25th, UHS representatives attended a dinner at the State House in Annapolis along with the other Blue Ribbon Schools. Renee Ferrante, a staff member at UHS, said that “it was an honor to be a part of the Blue Ribbon School Recognition State dinner.”  The dinner was meant to gather all awarded schools and celebrate their accomplishments together. Dinner was held, speeches were given, and another monumental night was in the books.

On April 24th, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban and several other members of the FCPS education board came to an assembly in the UHS auditorium to congratulate UHS students and staff for the accomplishments of our school. A total of thirteen guests arrived to witness this assembly and tour the campus of UHS. Board members gave speeches about our school’s accomplishments, upcoming changes that may be happening to our school system because of this award, prizes our school will receive, and congratulations. Students cheered loudly for their accomplishments throughout the years that earned them The Blue Ribbon Award. Shea Mcarron, a sophomore at UHS, said that the award “reflects the hard work put in by both students, teachers, and staff members at Urbana,” and she cannot wait for our school to continue and exceed these accomplishments in the future. Overall, UHS is grateful to receive this award from the state and that their hard work has finally paid off.

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