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The Calvert County Public Schools Citizen Advisory Committee was awarded one of the first ever Comptroller’s Golden Apple Awards on Tuesday afternoon.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) presented the award personally at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick. The awards are designed to honor volunteers throughout Maryland’s public school system in all 23 counties and Baltimore city. Nominations were accepted through last December.

“Those unsung heroes, they don’t get a lot of recognition,” said Franchot of the 33 individuals on the CAC. “They do a tremendous amount.”

The CAC is a group of volunteers who must be Calvert County residents, but who cannot be employees of CCPS. The group studies and makes recommendations on system-related items, at the request of the Calvert County Board of Education. Members of the CAC are selected based on an application and the high school district in which they reside.

Franchot said he always enjoyed visiting Calvert County, which he lauded for having a government that is loyal to the taxpayers and spends county dollars like its their own.

“Frankly, those are the values of Calvert County,” Franchot said.

The award was accepted by CAC President Jack Fringer, who said the group’s membership “represents a broad cross section of Calvert County residents.”

He said these members include current students, current and former CCPS parents and Calvert County citizens who have no direct connection to the school system but want to be involved, nonetheless.

Fringer said he already knew most of the CAC’s work did not go unnoticed, as its recommendations were usually accepted and adopted by the Calvert County Board of Education.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, the CAC was also praised by CCPS Superintendent Jack Smith and Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ President Pat Nutter (R).

“The work you do is impressive, and it makes a significant difference,” Smith said.

Nutter, who joked that he wished he was presenting at Calvert High School “on behalf of the class of 1961,” thanked the CAC “from the bottom of the five hearts of the county commissioners.”

Current CAC member Yolanda Evans attended Tuesday’s ceremony. She said the CAC meets on the last Monday of every month for two hours.

Evans said the CAC spent a lot of last year preparing a report on the results of the school system’s “What Counts” community forum from 2011. Evans said to prepare the report, CAC received input “from everybody who’s involved or touches a student’s life,” ranging from teachers to cafeteria workers to bus drivers.

Evans said the CAC is currently researching the best communication method to alert parents of curriculum changes due to the State Common Core Curriculum.