Two new Blue Ribbon Schools named

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St. Mark School in Vienna and Our Lady of Hope School in Potomac Falls were selected as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. The announcement was made Sept. 29. Fifty private schools were honored.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.

"We are proud to have built a foundation of excellence for the first generation of students and their families," said St. Mark Principal Darcie Girmus. "This recognition validates the work of our faculty, students, and families for the past 12 years and provides a standard of excellence for continuing our work well into the future."

Our Lady of Hope School Principal Mary Beth Pittman said that she is proud of the faculty, staff, students and parents.

"It speaks well of our school community and the excellence that we strive for every day," said Pittman.

Sister Bernadette McManigal, superintendent for diocesan schools said, "We are so pleased that the schools have been recognized."

St. Mark School held a thanksgiving prayer service Sept. 29, while planning is underway for a celebration at Our Lady of Hope School.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015