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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Receives National Education Innovation Award

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Lower School, located in Middle River, was awarded the 2011 Catholic Schools for Tomorrow Award from Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine. The award celebrates Catholic schools that develop innovative solutions to education issues.

Recognizing a down economy, Lisa Shipley, principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Lower School, wanted to be more creative with their school fundraiser and give back to their community. The school, located near the Chesapeake Bay and a new waterfront community, developed an engaging themed fundraising event called “Paddle with Purpose on the Chesapeake Bay.”

The school’s administrative team paddled a two-person kayak through the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay over a five-day span, landing at venues from the county’s waterfront parks to restaurants, and beaches for activities onshore. During the event families were able to ride alongside the kayak on a water taxi for a guided tour of the waterways. And at each landing venue teachers, parents, and students welcomed event visitors. Students also celebrated the event in the parish with a special liturgy featuring the children’s choir followed by a breakfast sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

Lisa Shipley, principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Lower School, said “Paddle with Purpose on the Chesapeake Bay did more than raise funds for the school. It fostered collaboration with the school, local businesses and organizations, and provided an opportunity to celebrate our community.”

Other NCEA honorees include the Home and School Association at Monsignor Slade Catholic School for contributing $200,000 per year to the operating budget of the school to offset tuition increases as well as provide scholarships, teacher supplies and technology items and cultural enrichment activities for the students. The 2011 NCEA Distinguished Home and School Association Award recipients – including four other school parent associations – will join Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the 2011 NCEA Convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana this week from April 26-28, 2011 to be formally recognized.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel includes a lower, middle and high school and educates students in grades pre-k through high school. They also have a children’s program or infants through three year olds. For more information, please visit or call 410-686-4972.