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Archbishop celebrates Blue Ribbon honor at St. Augustine

Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori joined students, staff and parents at Elkridge's St. Augustine School Friday to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving and their achievement of being named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori joined students, staff and parents at Elkridge's St. Augustine School Friday to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving and their achievement of being named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

"For him to come and be with them, especially to preside over Mass, really affirms their achievement," St. Augustine principal Patricia Schratz said.

St. Augustine was one of 10 Maryland schools to be named a National Blue Ribbon School in September, and the only selection from Howard County. Four private schools and six public schools in the state were honored.

The National Blue Ribbon award is the highest honor given by the U.S. Department of Education and recognizes each state's highest performing schools based on state or national assessments.

On Friday, Lori joined St. Augustine's 274 students in celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving, which coincided with the feast of St. Ambrose, inside the neighboring St. Augustine Church.

Lori congratulated the school's staff, students and parents for their efforts, but also reminded students of the relationship between St. Augustine and St. Ambrose.

It was St. Ambrose who brought Jesus into St. Augustine's life, Lori said, and students should set an example to attract others to Jesus, just as Ambrose did.

He added that the best way to celebrate Christmas is to become the kind of person whose faith attracts others to Jesus.

Howard County council member Calvin Ball presented Schratz with a honorary resolution from the council celebrating their achievement and wishing the school continued success. After the Mass, Lori visited with students in their classrooms.

Schratz said she was "so elated" the day staff members raised a flag honoring the school's achievement.

"It's such a public statement of what we already know and the potential we see in each student," she said.

Founded in 1857, St. Augustine enrolls students in grades kindergarten through eight.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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