County High School Diplomas Include Misspelling

The diplomas of all 8,000 Prince George's County Public School high schools' graduates contained a misspelling of the word "program."


Hot on the heels of the Scripps National Spelling Bee held last week in Oxon Hill comes an epic spelling gaffe out of Prince George’s County Public Schools. 

The diplomas of 8,000 PGCPS high school seniors contain a blatant spelling error, misspelling the word “program” as “progam,” omitting the second “r.”

Lynn Bryant’s daughter, Heather, graduated from  in Upper Marlboro about two weeks ago. Bryant's daughter brought the error to her attention after her friend noticed it last Thursday.

The rest of Heather’s friends, also recent Douglass grads, checked their diplomas and all found the same spelling error.

“That’s kind of embarrassing,” Bryant said.

When called for comment, Frederick Douglass Principal Rudolph Saunders said he was unaware of the diploma misspelling.

Patch also received an email from Vickie Walker of Bowie, whose son John graduated from last week, reporting that “program” was also misspelled on her son’s diploma.

Prince George's Public Schools Communications Director Briant Coleman confirmed Wednesday that the misspelling, which appeared on all county high school diplomas, was the result of a vendor error. He also said PGCPS became aware of the misspelling sometime last week, and that all students and parents have been notified of the error.

However, parents of PGCPS graduates have commented on this article that they have yet to receive any notification of the misspelling, or information on new diplomas being issued.

The vendor, National Quality Products, located in Fairfax, VA, will pay for the reprinting of the diplomas and students should receive them in about six weeks, according to an apology letter issued by the vendor to PGCPS. PGCPS will only incur the cost of mailing them to students.

According to the bid letter issued by PGCPS to National Quality Products awarding them the diploma printing contract, the approximate cost of printing misspelled diplomas was $22,337.50.

This post was updated.

Angela Allen June 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM
A new high school diploma for my child will do, PLEASE asap!
ken baxter June 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The number of incompetent administrators within the PG County school system is beyond belief. The person responsible for proof reading the final version of the diploma sent from the printer should be either demoted or fired immediately. Also...why are they awarding a contract to a printer located in Fairfax County when we have a ton of printers located here in Prince George's County?
County Resident June 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
As I read all these comments it was very amazing to see how upset everyone is. As of which I would be also if I work so hard to obtain a paper with a misspelled word on it. Well there were some great points made, and honestly it seems everyone is right of their views or statement. Yes, there several printing companies in the county and agree the money should stay within the county. But, there maybe a special printing machine these printing company may not have to do the job. Just a thought! The BOE and Dr. Hite can assume responsiblity, but the real blame can go to the printing company. Someone said whatever someone do in the County they will basically find fault. I love this County and everything about it, but there are a lot of people to blame. Let start with the Print Company, Dr. Hite, BOE, and middle management/county employees, and PARENTS, That's right I said parents because they are so caught up in the moment to even look at what their child dipolma even says. it took a student from my old high school to notice this error says a lot about all the adults. This is not cause for someone to be fired maybe demoted or written up. This County is turning more and more into a Crab in a basket ready to pull something down at the last minute. Here's a trure question I've been at several community meeting and school board meetings; whereas, I know I have not seen majority of 8,000 graduate parents in attendance. So, on this one all the adults are at blame!
Silent One June 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I don't live in the County nor have a child in the County but errors do happen. I am not sure who's fault it is. Normally the proof is sent to the buyer and reviewed/approved. If this was the case then it is the County that is at fault. However, if it was sent to vendor with correct spelling and vendor did not change it..then of course vendor fault. To me...the error is not a big deal because it is...CORRECTABLE...just like our students make mistakes...adults make mistakes. What is not CORRECTABLE is why PGCPS had to go to VA to have MD HS diplomas printed when there are many in PG County and the State of MD. They even have printing companies full of special needs adults who do a great job. PGCPS needs to answer the vendor the question...not the error question...but...with much arrogance and self-centerness...they won't do it!!!
Felipe Lulli June 14, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Come on folks. While the typo is unacceptable, we need to focus on the many things PG Schools are doing better. See, e.g., the two Washington Post articles about the schools this week. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/pr-georges-freshmen-finish-first-year-of-high-school-and-college/2012/06/11/gJQAs6ApUV_story.htm and lhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/baker-forms-panel-to-improve-school-system/2012/06/12/gJQAd9DRYV_story.html


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