School Notes

National AP Scholar Awards

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) students took 5,460 of the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) exams last May after completing the challenging college-level courses at their local high schools. Among them, 26 achieved national distinction, earning the highest commendation: the National AP Scholar Award.

National AP Scholar Awards go to students who earned average scores of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scored 4 or higher (on a 5-point scale) on eight or more AP exams. In Frederick County, students took AP exams in 29 courses.

FCPS high school students achieving the 2012 National AP Scholar Award include Urbana graduates Seo-Hyun Cho, Jessica Crouch, Mary Galuardi, Andrew Li, Anirudha Nahar and Kenyon Wagner.

According to the College Board, most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both for students who have performed successfully on AP exams. A student earning this score on eight exams could be eligible to skip an entire year of college courses.

“Our students’ success on AP exams is simply remarkable. I’m so proud that 26 of our students received the highest national distinction possible. I’m prouder still that hundreds more FCPS students were recognized for their exemplary performance. These results are further testament to the fact that students, teachers and administrators in Frederick County will settle for nothing less than the highest standards of excellence,” said FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban.

National Merit Scholarship Students

Ten high school seniors who attend Frederick County public schools achieved semifinalist status in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Three of these students were from Urbana High School — Jiaqi Jiang, Cody Smith and Ellen Wang.

Nationwide, about 16,000 high school seniors were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2013. More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2013 National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as the initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Semifinalists may advance to finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and other requirements to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship. Finalists continue in the competition for National Merit $2,500 scholarships in addition to corporate-sponsored and college-sponsored merit scholarships. Winners are chosen on the basis of the candidates’ academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, potential for success in rigorous college studies and other criteria. Details are online at

Green Valley Montessori School

Green Valley Montessori (GVMS) is a new preschool that started on Aug. 27 in Hyattstown, about four miles south of Urbana on Rt. 355, located at 1896 Urbana Pike. This preschool is for ages 2 – 6 and follows the Monntessori approach to education, which is famous around the world started by Dr. Maria Montessori. Sangi Krishnaswamy, who ran a small center called Urbana Montessori in Villages of Urbana for several years, started Green Valley Montessori due to increased demand for alternative preschool education in the surrounding areas of Urbana, New Market, Ijamsville and Clarksburg. Currently GVMS has with two Primary rooms (Age 3 – 6) and one Pre-Primary (age 2 – 3) room. There is room to expand up to six classrooms in the future. All the lead teachers are degree holders with Montessori certification with several years of working experience. More information and admission process is available at

Energetic Start to the FCPS Year

On Aug. 27, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) opened all 64 schools on schedule and welcomed nearly 41,000 students. The teacher total across Frederick County reaches about 3,000, in addition to administrators, office staff and other FCPS employees.

Superintendent Terry Alban and other senior school administrators visited schools on Aug. 27, starting the day at Linganore High, where she joined Principal Dave Kehne in welcoming 1,511 students.

“I’m deeply impressed with how smoothly the first day is running,” she said. “Our bus drivers, teachers, parents and administrators all pulled together for a remarkable opening day for our students.”

To launch the year, the Transportation Department reported a remarkably organized return to the road for the county’s 438 buses. Staff reported that the day went remarkably well with only a few minor glitches, such as late buses.

Frederick Mayor Visits UMS

In honor of Constitution Week, an annual commemoration that celebrates the United States Constitution, Frederick’s Mayor Randy McClement spoke at Urbana Middle School (UMS) to a combined group of 6th and 7th graders.

At 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 19, McClement spoke about the charter for the city of Frederick and the role of the federal government and the municipal government.

Senator Barbara Mikulski sent her staffer Julianna Albowicz to speak to another combined class about how the Constitution defined the legislative branch of government. She also gave the students their own copy of the Constitution and gave UMS a senatorial commendation for honoring Constitution Week.


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