Julie Smith

Julie Smith, principal of Ocean City Elementary School

Elementary school joins nation’s best once again, also recognized in 2006

(Oct. 4, 2019) Ocean City Elementary was recognized as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School, school officials announced last week. 

Principal Julie Smith said she “crowded around” with fellow staff members last Thursday, Sept. 26 to watch as they awaited the results. She said was “over-the-moon elated” when she learned that Ocean City Elementary School received the distinction of being a National Blue Ribbon School. 

“It’s just such an honor,” she said. 

This isn’t the first time the school received this recognition. Smith said the school was first awarded the blue ribbon standard in 2006. 

“It is a pure standard of excellence, and to be quite honest it really just shows that schools in Worcester County … a small county on the Eastern Shore of Maryland – look at what we are able to do with scores, and students, and how we can push them to succeed,” Smith said. “So Worcester County Public Schools is just a great, great place to be.”

She added that the county’s school district strives for excellence across the board. 

“I think what sets Worcester County apart from the rest is that it’s close-knit, but also [has] that yearn for high achievement. There’s never a doubt that our children can do it,” Smith said. “Our children can, and they will, and here’s how they’re going to.”

Smith said that Ocean City Elementary School was recognized as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School last year. 

Smith added that Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Maryland Dr. Karen B. Salmon designate these educational institutions based on a variety of factors including test scores. 

Smith said school officials then applied for the 2019 National Blue Ribbon School distinction. 

Smith said that there are 88 staff members and 592 students at Ocean City Elementary School. 

“Everybody just works so hard, so when you’re named a National Blue Ribbon School, it’s such a feeling of gratitude, but also what we’re doing is working, and we really are making a difference here,” Smith said. 

While the staff plays an integral part in student success, Smith emphasized the important role of the overall community. 

“We’re so supported here by our community. Parents, businesses, all of the volunteers, anybody we ask for help just jumps at the opportunity to help this school,” Smith said. “I’m so, so appreciative of that.”

Lou Taylor

Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Lou Taylor

Smith also said she appreciates the support her school receives from Superintendent Lou Taylor.

“Especially our superintendent, Mr. Taylor, is behind us 110 percent, and there is never a doubt that anything we need, he’s there and willing to give it, and I think that also is a big part of what makes this county so successful,” she said.

Taylor praised Smith and former Principal Dawn Rogers for their efforts in making this recognition possible. 

“We are all incredibly proud of Ocean City Elementary School for being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School; that they are receiving this prestigious recognition for the second time makes this even more exciting,” Taylor said in a statement.

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