Prince George’s recognizes students with achievements in academics and athletics

Five National Merit semifinalists, a dozen International Baccalaureate diploma recipients and a cheerleading team that won a national competition were among the students celebrated this week by the Prince George’s County school system for their achievements in academics and athletics.

The Board of Education held an awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale and then held a luncheon on Wednesday at the Marriott in Greenbelt to honor high school graduates who received their IB diplomas last year.

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“We have a lot of kids doing great things,” said Kevin M. Maxwell, the district’s chief executive officer. “While we have our issues, we do have a lot of kids doing some great things.”

The Board of Education gave presentations to the national merit semifinalists and the 10 students who are national achievement scholarship semifinalists. All but one student attends Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. The other student attends Oxon Hill High School.

Robert Goddard French Immersion School was honored for being named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, which is given to schools that show exemplary performance. And the cheerleading squads at Gwynn Park High School were recognized for participating in a national competition.

On Wednesday, Maxwell presented awards to students who participated in the IB program at their high schools. Maxwell said Wednesday that he plans to expand the IB program into John Hanson French Immersion, Melwood Elementary School and Dwight Eisenhower Middle School next year. He also plans to hire a coordinator for the district’s IB program.

Sherita Ray, who graduated from Suitland High School last year, said she participated in the IB program because she was looking for a challenge in high school. She said through the IB program she wrote extensive essays, conducted internal assessments and made oral presentations.

“It really gave us an advantage in college,” said Ray, who is a freshman at the University of Maryland at College Park, noting that some of her classmates struggle with writing papers.

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