Some are players, some are fans, others just needed something to do over the summer. All are among the more than 90 elementary school-aged kids out on the fields of St. Charles High School for a football camp led by members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Helmed by 16 school resource officers (SRO), the camp was held June 22 to 24 for students in third, fourth and fifth grades, with some sixth graders sprinkled in.

“We want to give back to our community that we serve,” said Officer Patrick Mann, an 11-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who has been a SRO for nine years. Currently serving at St. Charles, Mann has helped with the camp since its start five years ago. “I like working with kids, it’s like being in a neighborhood,” Mann said. “But the school is my neighborhood.”

Christopher Baldwin, an incoming fifth-grader at T.C. Martin Elementary School, attended camp with his twin brother, Kenneth. It’s their first time at football camp. “It helps you work on your speed, on your technique,” Baldwin said. “You can work on your athleticism a little.”

Waiting their turn to get timed — best out of three — for the 40-meter dash, Elijah Beckwith, a fourth grader at William B. Wade Elementary School and Sion Bell, a fifth grader at Eva Turner Elementary School, held similar views to Baldwin’s.

“You learn a lot,” Beckwith said about the camp.

“Cuz I love it,” Bell chimed in, adding that his family members played football, fostering in him a love of the game.

The first two days of camp is spent running drills and learning skills, said Janelle Love, a CCSO spokeswoman. The final day will include tournament games and when not playing football, campers can take a turn in a bounce house or at the games trailer that will be there to celebrate the end of camp.

SROs will hold Badges for Baseball camp June 29 to July 1, with the month of July devoted to its invitation-only Youth Achievement camp.

“The summer youth camps organized by our school resource officers are invaluable to the community. They allow the officers to continue to build relationships with the students throughout the summer, and they also give the kids something positive and productive to participate in,” Sheriff Troy Berry said. “Sports offer important life lessons about discipline, trying your best, and trusting your teammates.”

The sponsors of the football camp include the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation, Charles County Board of Education, Waldorf Jaycees, Crown Trophy, UTZ, Little Caesars and Chick-fil-A. Kathy Almassey and Eileen Shlagel, registered nurses with the University of Maryland, Charles Regional Medical Center volunteered as well, stationed near the misting tent.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

 

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a public work session at 6 p.m., Monday, June 27 in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. The meeting will be televised live on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) website at ccboe.com and broadcast on Comcast Channel 96/Verizon FiOS Channel 12.

The following is a meeting agenda and is subject to change.

Executive Session – 5 p.m.

Call to order – 6 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum

Work Session

  • Seat allocations
  • Policy 6000 revisions

Adjournment

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Superintendent Kimberly Hill is temporarily reassigning new middle school students moving into high growth areas in the Milton M. Somers Middle School zone. Students moving into new homes in the St. Charles neighborhoods of Gleneagles South, Gleneagles North, Villages of Wooded Glen and Villages of Piney Reach after July 15 will attend Benjamin Stoddert Middle School rather than Somers.

The moratorium affects only students moving into newly constructed homes, and not already attending Somers. The moratorium is temporary and intended to limit growth at Somers, which is over capacity, until the school system conducts a comprehensive middle school redistricting. The redistricting will coincide with the completion of a renovation and expansion of Stoddert in 2020.

Earlier this school year, the Board of Education acknowledged the need for middle school renovations and expansions based on the growing student enrollment at some schools, most specifically Somers. The Board approved the fiscal year 2017 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that includes the renovation and expansion of Stoddert. Renovation will modernize the school; expansion adds capacity. Construction at Stoddert is expected to begin in 2019, at which time a comprehensive middle school rezoning will begin. Renovations should be complete by August 2020.

Until that time, Hill said, Stoddert has the capacity to absorb new growth to relieve additional student enrollment pressures at Somers. The relief is estimated as a reduction of around 30 students per year at Somers and an addition of the same number of students at Stoddert.

Additionally, Hill has recommended a comprehensive elementary school redistricting along with the addition of Elementary School 22 and the renovation of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School. That redistricting process will start in fall 2016, to be phased in and to take effect with the completion of the construction projects.

Description of temporary assignments

The Superintendent plans to temporarily assign all new middle school students from Blocks 2711, 2641, 2643 and 2631, in the St. Charles development area, to Stoddert starting with the 2016-17 school year. The change does not affect students already living in homes or who had secured a use and occupancy permit prior to July 15, 2016. All students moving into homes in blocks 2711, 2641, 2643 and 2631 that do not have a use and occupancy permit by July 15, 2016, will attend Stoddert rather than Somers.

The moratorium:

  • does not reassign to Stoddert any Charles County elementary school student currently living in a house zoned for Somers;
  • keeps bus transportation of students in the designated moratorium areas to a minimum without incurring additional transportation costs;
  • allows students moving into an occupied or resale home in the affected blocks to attend school at Somers; and
  • initiates a moratorium in blocks where development is planned, but where no residents and students reside. The moratorium only impacts future growth and future homes.

Blocks include the plan are in the St. Charles neighborhoods of Gleneagles South, Gleneagles North, Villages of Wooded Glen and Villages of Piney Reach.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

The Board of Education on June 14 met its new student representative for the coming school year, North Point High School rising senior Da’Juon Washington. He was sworn in as the Student Board Member at the start of the Board’s monthly meeting by Board Chairman Virginia McGraw.

Washington may have been familiar to the Board members as he served as the student liaison for North Point during the 2015-16 school year. In his first report to the Board as the Student Board Member, Washington said he looks forward to working with the group.

“I am extremely thrilled to serve as the new student member of the board. This truly is a testament of how hard work pays off,” he said.

As the new Student Board Member, Washington will work with a committee of student liaisons from the county’s seven high schools. Each high school is required to have a liaison, who is selected by methods approved by each school’s student government association (SGA) and principal.

The liaisons for the 2016-17 school year are

  • Kaitlyn Willett, rising junior and alternate Student Board Member, Henry E. Lackey High School;
  • Sarah Gough, rising senior, La Plata High School;
  • Donnell Johnson, rising senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School;
  • Jordyn Best, rising junior, North Point High School;
  • Arianna Hebner, rising senior, St. Charles High School;
  • Amira Sago, rising senior, Thomas Stone High School; and
  • Zeles Amoah, rising senior, Westlake High School.

Washington was named as the new Student Board Member last month. Students interested in being considered for the position are required to submit an essay regarding a student concern and possible solution. A committee of school system staff reviews the essays.

Each year, the top three students in the running for the position give a speech at the spring Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC) meeting, and participate in a question and answer session with student delegates. Student delegates from all middle and high schools vote to elect the Student Member to the Board, as well as for the officers to represent the CCASC the following school year.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Each year, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) honors outstanding support services personnel in the areas of instructional assistant, building service worker, secretary, information technology, maintenance, central office support and food service. After nominations are received and judged, a person is selected to represent one of seven categories.

This year, Juin Lai, media instructional assistant at Henry E. Lackey was named the outstanding instructional support employee; Veistella Milstead, assistant building service worker and night manager at Milton M. Somers Middle School was named the outstanding building service employee; secretary to the principal of C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School Susan Pond was named the outstanding secretary; Trevor Gillum, a computer analyst, was named the outstanding information technology employee; carpenter George “Ted” Estevez was named the outstanding maintenance employee; student data accounting specialist George Simms was named the outstanding central office employee; and Jill Sprouse, food service manager at T.C. Martin Elementary School was named the outstanding food service employee. Staff members will be recognized at the June 14 Board of Education meeting.

Instructional assistant

Lai, a media assistant at Henry E. Lackey High School, has a wealth of knowledge about the library media center and her skill and ability exceed the level of proficiency of her position, according to nomination materials. Lai came to Lackey in 2008 and takes initiative on a variety of tasks including brainstorming ideas for student contests and creating innovative library displays.

“Ms. Lai is, without a doubt, one of the most professional and dedicated employees I have had the honor of working with during my 27-year tenure with Charles County Public Schools,” Kathy Perriello, principal of Lackey, wrote in a nomination letter.

Margaret Donahue, library media specialist, was new to the school in 2015, but continuously assured that she would be fine because Lai would be by her side. “They were so right,” Donahue wrote. “I could not have asked for a more knowledgeable, encouraging, flexible, competent and supportive partner. And she is just that — a partner.”

Lai also has other roles at the school. “As a mentor, she’s second to none,” wrote John Lush, an English and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher. “This is a woman who embodies a strong set of values. More importantly, she demonstrates these values to mold the character of many young men and women while making Lackey a better community for our students and staff.” Students appreciate Lai’s dedication as well. “She is smart, witty, thoughtful and easy to connect with on more than just the base level,” wrote Brandon Edge, a student who works with Lai as a library aide. “Although she may not be a teacher, she still teaches and promotes understanding and learning,” Edge wrote.

Building service worker

Milstead started working as a temporary building service worker for CCPS in 2008. By the following year she landed at Milton M. Somers Middle School and was named assistant building service manager at the school in 2012.

Milstead is described in nomination information as the “go to” person who is helpful to her staff, whether veterans or newcomers. She is lauded for her organizational skills and attention to detail. “Ms. Milstead gives great attention to detail because in a building this size and age, it is attention to detail which gets the job done right and well each day,” wrote Somers Principal Carrie Akins in a nomination letter.

Teachers appreciate Milstead’s service. “Ms. Milstead is quick to drop what she is doing to help me and other members of our school,” wrote Crystal Holm, a sixth-grade math teacher. “This winter I know she was here … making sure the snow was cleared and that the sidewalks and trailer ramps were cleared and safe for our students and staff,” sixth-grade social studies teacher April Thompson wrote. “Ms. Milstead has provided me with unending support that any teacher needs in order to be a successful contributor to the school environment,” wrote Lynn M. Hopkins, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Somers.

Milstead and her team share the workload and work hard. “With her leadership, we all strive for perfection,” said Doris Hawkins, building service worker, in a nomination letter.

Secretary

Pond started her career with CCPS in 2006 as a temporary instructional assistant at Matthew Henson Middle School before becoming a Life Skills instructional assistant at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. She was the secretary for the special education department at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building and has been the secretary to the principal of C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School since 2012.

“She works countless hours going above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis,” wrote Barnhart Principal Troy Barnes in a nomination letter. “I could not be effective in my role as principal without Susan. Her leadership, work ethic, attitude, attention to detail and expertise are superior.”

Pond sets a good example not only for fellow staff members but students as well. “Her ability to act as a role model for students and other staff is clear,” Nicole Hawkins, Barnhart’s vice principal wrote in a letter. Letters from students back up Hawkins.

“She is such a nice secretary,” wrote fourth-grade student Naomi Kirkpatrick. “One reason she deserves this award is that Ms. Pond stays after hours and helps afterschool activities. I also love her dresses and high heels. She’s so fashionable. If someone gets in trouble, Ms. Pond does not yell.”

Gabbriel Chapman, president of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, of which Pond is a strong supporter, said Pond “genuinely cares” for the students. “Not only is she super in tune with the parents, she has awesome relationships with the students,” Chapman wrote. The treasurer of the PTO, LaChelle Davis, works closely with Pond and sees how she goes “above and beyond the call of duty” for the school and its families. “Susan Pond adds a little touch of magic to all that she does for C. Paul Barnhart,” Davis said. “The school would not be able to function properly without her. She is truly the backbone of Barnhart.”

Information technology

Hired as a computer intern in 2004, Gillum has risen through the ranks to computer analysist III, the most senior computer analyst position. Currently, he oversees the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, the Lifelong Learning Center, General Smallwood Middle School and Indian Head Elementary School.

“He works hard to keep the technology in all the buildings he supports functioning to enable the staff to create learning opportunities and support the mission of our school system,” Lora Bennett, information technology manager for CCPS, wrote in a nomination letter. “His sensitivity to other viewpoints helps promote an atmosphere of mutual respect. Trevor provides an example for many of the technicians in our department with his open, thoughtful, kind methods of supporting technology in the school system.”

B.J. Devkota, director of technology for CCPS, said Gillum’s positive attitude can make a hard day at work seem fun and interesting. “He always handled even the most adverse situation in a calm and collective manner,” Devkota wrote.

Gillum does get out from behind computers though, as evidenced by Heidi Mickey’s letter of support. Mickey, an orchestra teacher for CCPS, said Gillum is well known to students. “I have fond memories of Mr. Gillum helping to DJ school dances and actively lead dance contests among students,” she wrote.

Maintenance

Estevez is a carpenter with CCPS who can be counted on to get involved in any project regardless of the scope, said Steve Vance, director of maintenance, in a nomination letter. “Mr. Estevez has completed many projects that have improved our facilities,” Vance wrote. “His diligence and attention to detail truly make him a valuable asset to Charles County Public Schools.”

Among his projects, Estevez designed and built a temporary wall to support failing trusses at the maintenance building. He researched a design for an expansion joint that was used to modify the existing design of part of Westlake High School’s roof and he took charge of the construction of new roofing systems of portable classrooms at several schools.

He also can be counted on to pitch in when help is needed. “Although his major role is in the carpentry trade … he is invaluable as a snow plow operator in the winter months,” Laurence Budd, foreman of the operations center group, wrote in a letter. “His diligence and considerable skills in these areas are to be commended.

Administrators are impressed with his “can do” attitude. “Compassionate, dedicated and high energy individuals are the cornerstone of any top quality educational system,” Benjamin Stoddert Middle School Principal Kenneth Schroeck wrote. “Mr. George Estevez is one such person. His is an outstanding, giving and compassionate individual with whom I have had the pleasure to work with.”

Central office support

Simms has been helping CCPS staff even while a student at La Plata High School. Simms, the pupil data accounting specialist, was a student assistant in La Plata’s guidance system, before he eventually landed at his current job. “When I started teaching at La Plata High School in 1981, George Simms was one of the first students that I met,” Joan Withers, acting director of secondary education, wrote in a nomination letter. “I quickly learned that teachers and counselors alike relied on George’s phenomenal memory and his accurate, detailed work.”

Alicia Jones, supervising school counselor for CCPS, said she works closely with Simms to monitor students’ graduation requirements, course selections and other data. “Looking back over my 28 years in education, I can honestly say he is the most dependable person I have ever worked with,” Jones said in a letter. “Mr. Simms goes above and beyond and he always anticipates data you didn’t know you needed to assist you in making an informed decision.”

Charmaine Young-Waddy, a student services specialist, agrees with Jones. “He has a unique ability to anticipate problems before they occur so that major issues can be averted,” she wrote. “He does so much more for so many people during the course of the day that it’s difficult to list everything.”

Food service

Starting as a food service worker in 2003 at T.C. Martin Elementary School, Sprouse was named food service manager at the school in 2008. Willing to meet with parents and families at open houses and meet-and-greets, Sprouse is always available to answer questions about the school’s breakfast and lunch programs, said Martin Principal Greg Miller in a nomination letter. “Jill is a people person; her infectious smile and laugh always make students feel comfortable, even when they are down,” Miller wrote.

Sprouse is a welcoming face for students. “Jill not only knows every child’s name and face in the building, she can remember things they like to eat,” said Beth Ullmann, a music teacher at Martin.

Sprouse helps ease parents’ worries. She sends home notes letting parents know when their child’s lunch account is nearing its limit to allow moms and dads time to add money to the account before it zeros out. Students appreciate Sprouse too. “She has been one of my best friends since the day I could remember,” fourth grader Mandy Wang wrote in a nomination letter. “She never acted gloomy or somber. She doesn’t teach you things or help you learn skills, but she is there to make your day, which is just as important.”

The awards were established to recognize support personnel who exemplify excellence in their jobs. Classified personnel are essential to the effective and efficient operations of the school system.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

 

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Superintendent Kimberly Hill today announced the appointment of two new school principals, eight principal transfers, seven vice principal appointments and 12 vice principal transfers.

New principal appointments include:

  • Ben Kohlhorst from vice principal at John Hanson Middle School to principal at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School
  • William Miller from vice principal at Mary B. Neal Elementary School to principal at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School

New vice principal appointments include:

  • Matthew Deegan from administrative assistant at North Point High School to vice principal at Theodore G. Davis Middle School
  • Shayna Gold from teacher/administrative assistant at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center to vice principal at General Smallwood Middle School
  • Autumn Hoffman from French teacher at Thomas Stone High School to vice principal at Maurice J. McDonough High School
  • Michael Hoffman from learning resource teacher at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School to vice principal at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School
  • Robynn Mudd from instructional resource teacher at Eva Turner Elementary School to vice principal at J.C. Parks Elementary School
  • Erica Williams from teacher/administrative assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School to vice principal at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School
  • Tara Zeier from third-grade teacher at Mary B. Neal Elementary School to vice principal at Berry Elementary School

The Superintendent announced the following principal transfers:

  • Chrystal Benson from Westlake High School to principal at Thomas Stone High School
  • Debbie Calvert from Dr. James Craik Elementary School to principal at William A. Diggs Elementary School
  • Melissa Logan from Berry Elementary School to principal at Dr. James Craik Elementary School
  • Mike Meiser from Thomas Stone Stone High School to principal at Westlake High School
  • Greg Miller from T.C. Martin Elementary School to principal at J.C. Parks Elementary School
  • Robert Opiekun from J.P. Ryon Elementary School to principal at T.C. Martin Elementary School
  • Sandra Taylor from William A. Diggs Elementary School to principal at Berry Elementary School
  • Thadine Wright from J.C. Parks Elementary School to principal at J.P. Ryon Elementary School

The 12 vice principal transfers include:

  • Robert Babiak from Henry E. Lackey High School to vice principal at North Point High School
  • Shannon Finnegan from Berry Elementary School to vice principal at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School
  • Mary Finneran from Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary to vice principal at Mary B. Neal Elementary School
  • Philip Genua from North Point High School to vice principal at John Hanson Middle School
  • Shaneha Harvard from Benjamin Stoddert Middle School to vice principal at Westlake High School
  • Erin Kaple from Westlake High School to vice principal at Piccowaxen Middle School
  • Karen Lewis from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School to vice principal at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School
  • Tammika Little from John Hanson Middle School to vice principal at Henry E. Lackey High School
  • Kerri Loyd from Piccowaxen Middle School to vice principal at Milton M. Somers Middle School
  • Tangela Scales from Milton M. Somers Middle School to vice principal at Henry E. Lackey High School
  • Brenda Tillotson from General Smallwood Middle School to vice principal at John Hanson Middle School
  • Wualanda Thenstead from Maurice J. McDonough High School to St. Charles High School

All appointments and transfers take effect July 1 for the 2016-17 school year.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

At St. Charles High School, high expectations and a culture of achievement are the cornerstones for students and staff. Students are motivated to put their best efforts forward when working in the classroom, while participating in extracurricular activities or simply transitioning to class in the school hallways. The Spartan school spirit embodies commitment to success and achievement, but also respect for one’s self and others. Melissa Miesowitz, a vice principal at St. Charles, embodies the Spartan spirit and more as she demonstrates respect and a positive attitude in all that she does.

For her contributions to the St. Charles community, and hundreds of students throughout her career with the school system, Miesowitz was named the 2016 Charles County Public Schools Vice Principal of the Year. Miesowitz began her career with the school system as a special education teacher in 2002 at Henry E. Lackey High School and said she is honored to be recognized.

“I am really honored to receive this award. I was shocked when the staff at my school presented me with the nomination at our faculty meeting. I was completely surprised and overwhelmed. Then to actually win the award, was almost too much for words,” Miesowitz said.

According to her colleagues, Miesowitz was instrumental in a successful opening of St. Charles High School in 2014. From taking on the large task of creating and implementing the school’s master instructional schedule to making it a goal to connect with each student at St. Charles, Miesowitz is committed to supporting her peers and children. At the end of last school year, the special education department chair position was vacated, leaving several new teachers without guidance and support. As a former special education department chair, Miesowitz stepped in to help and mentored two teachers to take on overseeing the department as co-chairs.

“She is a great resource of information for caseload management due to her years as a special education teacher. Anytime I have requested access to databases or resources for my students, she has always made sure that I had what I needed as quickly as possible,” Deatrice Short, a special education teacher at St. Charles, said in an award nomination letter.

Criteria for the Vice Principal of the Year award include a strong work ethic, commitment to the success of students and staff, and the ability to foster a positive learning environment. In comments written by her colleagues and students, Miesowitz is described as a leader who embodies these qualities, and more.

St. Charles freshman Jordan Eversley used the word devoted to describe his vice principal. “She is a very devoted vice principal at St. Charles High School. Helping kids if they are lost, making sure the cafeteria is clean when students leave, and always cheering up students if they are down,” Eversley said.

St. Charles Principal Richard Conley has worked with Miesowitz for the past seven years – first as vice principals together at Lackey and now on the leadership team at St. Charles. He spearheaded her nomination for this recognition because he believes Miesowitz is a standout leader. Conley uses characteristics such as student-centered, compassionate and caring when referring to Miesowitz and said she truly leads by example.

“She leads by example, modeling a work ethic that she expects from others. Simply stated, she is one of the most professional, capable, compassionate and caring administrators with whom I have had the privilege to work. On any given day she takes on a wealth of responsibility and always manages to model professionalism for the students and staff around her. She is student centered and always makes the decisions that are in their best interest and the interests of good instruction,” Conley wrote in a nomination letter.

Miesowitz started her career with Charles County Public Schools in 2002 at Lackey with the special education department. She took a position as an administrative assistant at the school in 2009 before being named as a vice principal at Lackey in 2012. She served as a vice principal at Lackey for two years and moved to St. Charles when the school opened in 2014.

Miesowitz is an example of an educator who truly enjoys working with children every day. “I want to thank the Board of Education for this award. I have been blessed to work with so many amazing educators throughout my years in Charles County Public Schools,” she said.

Miesowitz has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College.

The Board of Education on June 14 honored Miesowitz with the Vice Principal of the Year award. Charles County Public Schools recognizes one outstanding vice principal with its Vice Principal of the Year award annually.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

After a career of more than 40 years working in education, longtime Charles County Public Schools staff member Keith Hettel is ready to end his ride with the school system. Hettel currently serves on Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill’s executive leadership team as the assistant superintendent of supporting services. He announced in April his plans to retire at the end of this school year.

From his first year as a fourth-grade teacher at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School to his last few years overseeing the supporting services division, Hettel said he has thoroughly enjoyed his career with the school system.

“I have had many varied experiences throughout my years with Charles County Public Schools. My major objectives have always been to further the learning of students and support the staffs I have worked with so they did not have obstacles in their way to prevent them from doing their job. I want to thank everyone for all of their support through the years. It has been a great ride,” Hettel said.

Hettel began his career in education in 1975 as a teacher at Dr. Brown. He later took teaching positions at J.C. Parks and Eva Turner elementary schools. In 1986 Hettel took his first leadership position with the school system as a principal at Gale-Bailey Elementary School. In 1989, Hettel was named principal at William B. Wade Elementary School. While serving as principal at Wade, Hettel was named by the Washington Post as the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award recipient and was the Charles County Public Schools 1992 Principal of the Year.

For the majority of his career with the school system, Hettel oversaw the operations of the CCPS office of human resources as an executive director and then as the assistant superintendent of human resources on former superintendent James E. Richmond’s executive leadership team. After she was appointed superintendent in 2013, Hill sought Hettel’s expertise in another area of focus – supporting services. For the past three years, Hettel has managed the maintenance and operations of all school system facilities, overseen the construction of new schools and building renovations, and managed the transportation department.

In the three short years of overseeing supporting services, Hettel has led several advancements for the school system. Charles County Public Schools is consistently recognized by the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) for energy-savings efforts in school and centers, which are coordinated by supporting services staff. The supporting services division has overseen several construction projects under Hettel’s leadership from the construction and completion of full-day kindergarten additions at several elementary schools and roof and boiler replacements, to upgrades in playground equipment and additional renovations at aging school facilities.

Another facilities project worthy of recognition under Hettel’s leadership is the installation of solar fields and panels at schools and system buildings. This was a priority for Hettel when he became the assistant superintendent of supporting services. Earlier this school year the Board of Education embraced the idea of solar power to reduce the school system’s carbon footprint. The first solar project was completed on the CCPS maintenance shop roof.  Plans are underway to install solar fields at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, Dr. James Craik Elementary School, Mattawoman and Piccowaxen middle schools and the new elementary school site off Billingsley Road.

Hettel is proud to have helped explore cost and energy-savings measures for the school system, and for the leadership and teamwork he has experienced during his career with CCPS.

“I am very proud of the projects we have accomplished in the last years from lowering our carbon footprint, installing solar fields, renovation and of buildings and above all placing the right leaders in the positions to make these accomplishments possible. Every school day we transport over 23,000 students efficiently and safely over 6 million miles per school year. Our schools are cleaner, safer, more energy efficient and maintained because of the leadership and employees in supporting services,” Hettel said.

Hettel, along with former assistant superintendent of finance and business Paul Balides and nearly 80 other CCPS employees who have announced their retirement this school year, were honored by the Board of Education in a June 9 ceremony.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Lunch on Us, a free summer lunch program, will begin June 27 at several Charles County locations, including many schools. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) partners with county agencies to provide the program which is open to all children and teens 18 and younger who live in Charles County.

Lunches will be served Monday to Friday through Aug. 12, although none will be served on July 4.

Hot lunches will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Westlake and Henry E. Lackey high schools and at J.P. Ryon Elementary School. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School will have hot lunches ready from noon to 1 p.m.

Cold, grab-and-go lunches will be served at several mobile sites including Eva Turner Elementary School from 11 to 11:20 a.m.; Children’s Aid Society in Waldorf from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.; Milton M. Somers Middle School from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.; Tri-County Youth Services Bureau in Waldorf from noon to 12:20 p.m.; Phoenix Run from noon to 12:30 p.m.; Charles Landing Apartments playground area in Indian Head from noon to 12:30 p.m.; Ell Lane Apartments in Waldorf from 12:30 to 12:50 p.m.; Woodland Village Park in Indian Head from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.; Idlewood Trailer Park in Waldorf from 1 to 1:20 p.m.; and Elite Gymnastics in Waldorf from 1:30 to 1:50 p.m.

“This program is sponsored by a wonderful partnership of many agencies throughout Charles County, and provides meals to children who may not be in a position to obtain them by any other means,” said Crystal Sopher, supervisor of food and nutrition services for CCPS. “It promotes community, nutrition and closes the gap between the last day of school and the return to school for hungry children.”

For more information, menus and addresses of locations, visit http://www.ccboe.com/community/parents/lunchonus/.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

 

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Robotics teams from seven Charles County public elementary and middle schools competed in the 2016 Save the Bay/Chemical Engineering Robotics Challenge held June 1 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. The event was sponsored by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) and is part of the 2015-16 Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) in-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.

The event featured two levels of competition: one for fifth-grade teams, the Save the Bay challenge, and one for eighth-grade teams, the Chemical Engineering challenge. Awards are given in four categories: Robotics, Technical, Research and Overall. During the event, teams were required to complete challenges with their robots on challenge boards representing the Chesapeake Bay and a chemical pilot plant.

At the elementary-school level, the Higdon Robotics Wolves team earned a first-place award in the Research category and third place in the Technical category. As part of the program, elementary school teams conduct research and scientific investigations on problems occurring in the Chesapeake Bay.

Team members include Higdon fifth graders Nathan Bowling, Ginger Hayden, Hannah Kelley, Michael Slattery and Jackson Trice.

Several CCPS teams placed at the middle-school level of competition.

The It’s All Skills team from John Hanson Middle School earned second place in the Robotics category. Team members are Hanson eighth graders Kissaiah Brown, Courtney Nelms, Ashley Pumphrey, Mercedez Watkins and Layla Woolridge.

The Olympians team from Milton M. Somers Middle School of eighth graders Ben Ader, Kyle Burleson, Zachery Cox and Courtney Mearis tied for second place with the Hanson team in the Robotics category.

Two CCPS middle school teams tied for third place in the Research category of the challenge. The Kake team of Theodore G. Davis Middle School eighth graders Eriyana Cooks, Kobe Kegler, Aja Logan and Kyrene Ramirez tied with a team from Matthew Henson Middle School. The KDTAL team also received third place in the Research category and includes eighth graders Sha’Kayla Burns, Angelo Capati, Tyla Frazier, Kiya Lewis, Langston Staton and Danielle Sullivan.

Five CCPS middle school teams tied for third place in the Robotics category of the challenge. They include the DJ Cam team from Somers, and the Lit Kit, Chickmelon, Slackers and Black Crows teams from Henson.

Somers’ DJ Cam team includes eighth graders Micah Cole, Dorian Fowler, Jasmine Glover and Alyssa Simmons.

Henson students on the Lit Kit team include eighth graders Hunter Batts, Synia Johnson, Emily Kerns, Jailyn Montgomery and Gianni Tatum.

The Chickmelon team from Henson includes eighth graders Makayla Carr, Kennedy Davis, Dominic Hawkins, Campbell Locco and Derrick Thompson-Yates.

The Slackers team from Henson includes eighth graders Jalen Brown, Chloee Jones, Justin Schuster, Ben Rosario and Ryan Vance.

The Black Crows team from Henson includes eighth graders Mekhi Campbell, Dajia Coley, Daynah Desir, Bre Ford, Josh Johnson and Korrin Swinton.

The in-school STEM program was launched at the competing schools earlier this school year. Over a period of three months, engineers serve as mentors to help students work with robotics, engineering challenges and scientific investigations studying the Chesapeake Bay and chemical engineering. Teams learn to write computer programs and build robots capable of performing different robotics challenges within a designated time period.

As part of the program, teams are required to develop research projects related to either the Chesapeake Bay or a chemical process, which they present to a panel of judges.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.