Governor Martin O’Malley joined Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast, and high ranking county elected officials in a visit to College Gardens Elementary School (CGES) this morning. They were hosted by principal Dr. Albert DuPont and warmly welcomed by staff and students. College Gardens received substantial state and county construction funding and the visit underscored the current administration’s support for education. CGES opened its new building in January 2008.
At College Gardens, O’Malley and group stopped first in the Media Center. They were greeted in Chinese by students from the Chinese immersion program. This was followed by a presentation and speeches. The Governor gave a State of Maryland flag to the school. In his brief remarks, he noted that CGES was the only Primary Years Program (PYP) in Maryland and how this extended the International Baccalaureate Program to the elementary level. He also noted that the school would soon be receiving solar panels.
From there, the entourage proceeded to a 3rd grade classroom, a Chinese immersion classroom, then to the courtyard where they were serenaded by about 80 third graders. O’Malley and company then planted a native Maryland Redbud tree.
Other people I recognized included State Senator Jennie Forehand, Delegate Kumar Barve, County Executive Isiah Leggett, and cluster superintendent Dr. Sherry Liebes (former principal of CGES). It was a well-run affair and the delegation kept to the schedule like clockwork. Weast, DuPont, Leggett, and Barve all spoke briefly at one point or another. O’Malley seemed to go out of his way to praise Barve on at least two occasions. To some extent it seemed a credit-taking event; nevertheless the school community was thrilled to have the visit.