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Inside Ed Education news and issues
Mother of four is AACC valedictorian in class with largest number of graduates in school's history

Heather Most was at work when found out she was going to be giving the commencement address at Anne Arundel Community College.

She was in the middle of a conference call when she noticed the AACC phone number, and walked outside to pick it up. That's when Vice President Karen Hays informed her that she was selected from a pool of high-achieving students to give the commencement address as the school's valedictorian.

Most cried. She couldn't breathe. Then, she had to go back to her meeting for her federal human resources job. So, she pulled herself together. Her boss put the conference call on mute and asked if she was OK. Then, she delivered the good news.

"I never dreamed that I would be here," she said before the graduation ceremony began Thursday night.

Most dropped out of high school in the late '90s and got her GED a year or so later. She began working after that, but decided to attend AACC in 2010. She decided she couldn't advance any further without a degree.

She actually graduated...

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Dance's magnet plan boosts art, trims some offerings in Baltimore County schools

Baltimore County school officials will strengthen arts programs at three high schools but phase out magnet programs at three elementary schools as part of a reorganization of magnet offerings over the next five to seven years.

The George Washington Carver Center for the Arts in Towson, which moved into a new $88 million facility in 2012, will add instrumental music to its course offerings. Patapsco High School in Dundalk will phase in a literary arts program and Milford Mill Academy in Windsor Mill will boost its current arts class offerings.

Superintendent Dallas Dance said the county is known for its arts programs, which have received national recognition in both music and the visual arts.

"If that is what you are known for, don't change the brand, expand it," he said.

Changes, announced at a school board meeting Tuesday, will start in the 2016-2017 school year and are part of a major realignment of the more than 100 magnet offerings throughout the county. Dance said he will move slowly...

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Dance to unveil plan to alter Baltimore County schools' magnet program

Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance is expected to announce changes to the county's magnet programs at the school board meeting Tuesday night.

Parents and students have been protesting changes they expected to be made at Eastern Technical High School and Cromwell Valley Elementary. A task force of 90 people from the community — whose names were no revealed — have been working for more than a year to present findings to the superintendent. Dance said he did not divulge the names because he believed they would be pressured by the community.

Dance will present recommendations to the board based on the task force findings, which he received last month. Those findings have not been made public until now.

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Power outage closes Baltimore County elementary school

Baltimore County Public Schools has announced that Middlesex Elementary School on Bennett Road in Essex will close early at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday,

School officials say the closure is due to a power outage.


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New president named at Coppin State University

The University System of Maryland has turned to a veteran college administrator from New York to take over as president of Coppin State University, the historically black West Baltimore institution that has battled financial problems and poor graduation rates.

Evelyn Maria Thompson, 53, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Oneonta, will become Coppin's seventh president and the first woman to hold the position when she takes over July 1.

Thompson, who uses her middle name, Maria, will replace Mortimer H. Neufville, who has served as interim president since 2013.

Thompson spent 13 years helping to direct research and sponsored programs at Tennessee State University, a historically black institution in Nashville, before taking her position at SUNY Oneonta in 2011.

"Dr. Thompson has had such an impressive career in higher education," said William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, who praised her work at SUNY Oneonta...

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Broadneck students' winning video carries an environmental warning

Two Broadneck High School juniors with a passion for environmental science and a flair for filmmaking have taken top honors in an international student video contest.

Catherine Knox and Katherine Selley, both 17-year-olds from Arnold, won first place in the World of 7 Billion video contest, sponsored by Population Education. More than 1,600 students from 23 countries submitted entries, which were judged by a panel of educators, filmmakers and professionals in the field of agriculture.

What began as a creative way to meet the requirements for the Science National Honor Society evolved into the award-winning video — plus a $1,000 prize to boot.

"I thought it was just a cool, fun thing to do. I didn't think we had any shot of actually winning the competition," said Knox. "We just wanted to put something out there that we were proud of, that we worked hard on. But we had no expectations."

Population Education is a national organization aimed at developing curricula and academic resources in the...

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