The SEED School of Maryland, a statewide, college-prep, public boarding school, welcomed its first students, 80 enthusiastic sixth graders, in 2008. Today, the lauded tuition-free school, aiming to serve the “underserved,” which combines rigorous academics with ultra-supportive and attentive boarding-school-style socialization, educates 240 kids, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. (SEED stands for School for Educational Evolution and Development.)

Two key donors were honored this month, former Ravens owner Arthur Modell and his wife Patricia, and the Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

“I am so proud to stand with The SEED School of Maryland, Art and Patricia Modell, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, as we nurture the next generation of leaders by investing in their future,” said Judge Katie O’Malley. “It is the power of partnership that will help give our children the tools they need to succeed and build a brighter tomorrow.”

The Modells donated five million dollars to SEED in 2007, in crucial days, just before launch, the Weinberg Foundation two million. Since the school’s ambitious opening, the institution has raised 30 million dollars in private donations, which has made possible the construction of two dormitories and an academic building. In the works now: A pool, auditorium, atrium, and additional dormitory. Soon, the student body will grow to 400. Last year, they had an impressive 100 percent re-enrollment rate.

“We’ve come a long way since we broke ground at The SEED School of Maryland’s campus in 2008,” observed John H. Laporte, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The SEED School of Maryland, at the awards ceremony. “The campus is expanding, the student body is growing, and we are about to start our high school program. In just a few short years, we will be sending our first graduates to college. This is an exciting time at The SEED School, and there are so many more good things to come.”

There is one SEED school in Maryland, one in D.C., at present, the latter with a 95 percent rate of college attendance upon graduation.