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O’Malley Celebrates No. 1 at Jones Elementary

Gov. Martin O’Malley visited Jones Elementary Thursday afternoon to celebrate Maryland public school’s No. 1 ranking.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and other state and local officials celebrated Maryland public school’s top ranking at Jones Elementary School on Thursday afternoon.

Maryland’s public schools was certified Thursday as No. 1 in the nation for the fifth straight year by Education Week Magazine.

O’Malley addressed fifth-grade students, teachers, Superintendent Kevin Maxwell and others during a brief celebration in which he spoke of the importance of education.

“There is no better investment than education,” O’Malley told the crowd. “Thanks to tough choices and important priorities we made Maryland schools No. 1 for the fifth year in a row.”

O’Malley congratulated Jones Elementary's teachers and students—who waved foam fingers and Maryland flags—and credited their hard work and dedication to education for the state’s success. Jones Elementary principal Sara Pickens said it was an honor to have the governor at the school.

“It was quite an honor and quite a surprise. We only found out about it Tuesday evening,” Pickens said. “We didn’t find out until this morning why the governor was having the press conference. It was a really happy honor when we found out Maryland was nominated No. 1 for the fifth straight year in a row.”

State delegate and Severna Park native Cathy Vitale (R-District 33A) was also in attendance Thursday. She said she thought Jones was a perfect fit for the celebration.

“He couldn’t have picked a better school than Jones,” Vitale said. “It was the community around Jones that donated the land to the school. There’s a great representation of community here. It’s a little school tucked away in the community but they are so proud.”

House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Annapolis) and Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, also addressed the crowd Thursday. Busch said that he has two daughters in Anne Arundel County Public Schools and that he is very proud of that.

Jones Elementary PTA president Bonnie Levin was also in attendance for the celebration and she spoke of how proud the PTA is of the students and teachers.

“It’s really such a great honor and a privilege,” Levin said. “We are so proud of our teachers, staff and kids that help make Maryland No. 1. It’s an honor to have them celebrate at Jones.”

O’Malley concluded by asking the kids what classes they were missing. The group of fifth-graders responded by shouting out a myriad of subjects with enthusiasm and then lined up to pose for a photo with the governor.

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niallasaorsa January 10, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Crock of crap. Severna Park Gets NEW school, Arundel is like a hundred years old, and Crofton has been promised a new school for 25 years. The land is already there. I suggest you ask PG county residents what they think of the public school system.
Belinda Sloat January 11, 2013 at 03:10 PM
PG County has three schools that receive the highest Title 1 honors in the state (out of eight schools state wide), which gives them more resources than any other public school in Maryland, yet they still continue to rank at or below state averages. Severna Park has not been renovated since the 1970's while Arundel HS received its last renovations in 1992. Check your facts before you post.
cynthia January 11, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Just remember, it has nothing to do with the students. It is all and only about the teachers union and the politicians. Keep the indoctrination coming!
Amy Leahy January 13, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Cynthia, don't forget the $$$ that gets poured into the schools. That number figures into the ranking. Not that we really get our money's worth. P.G. County parents should be incensed though….the highest per capita income for a minority-majority county and their schools rank 23rd or 24th in the state out of 25 school systems. Pathetic…and they still vote the Dems in.

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