Montgomery County Public Schools came oh-so-close to winning one of the largest and most prestigious education awards in the country.
The Maryland county was one of five school districts across the nation selected as a finalist for the Broad Foundation Award, which honors the nation's most improved urban school districts.
This year's top prize was a cool $1 million in college scholarships. In the end, the big award went to the Gwinnett County school system in suburban Atlanta, Ga.
Still, Montgomery County and the other finalists didn’t walk away empty-handed. They’ll each get $250,000 in prize money.
“It’s more than nice because, truthfully, bringing home $250,000 in scholarships for our students is an incredible celebration of the work that we’ve done and will be an enormous asset to our students who are looking to that next step once they graduate from college and (begin their) career,” said Shirley Brandman, Montgomery County Board of Education member.
The announcement was made Tuesday morning during a ceremony in New York City. Montgomery County school leaders held a “viewing party” and watched a live feed of the ceremony at the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville.
The scholarships will go to graduates from the class of 2011.