At Dr. James Craik Elementary School, when it is time for some students to be pulled out of class and head to see teacher Dana Moyer, things are about to get interesting. Moyer is the school’s learning resource teacher and when students are in her class, “It’s going to be loud and it’s going to be engaging,” she said.

“We do a lot of fun things,” said Ava Rowledge, a fourth grader who has been in the gifted and talented program since second grade. “I like to read the stories,” Christian Pemberton, a fourth grader, added. “I think the stories are amazing.”

“Ms. Moyer’s work is fun,” fifth grade student Taylor Kidwell said. “And you get to talk for more than half of the time.”

Students work on projects like brochures or posters to enhance lessons and they get into debates and discussions about the stories they read. “They develop better communication skills and they’re not afraid of wrong answers. They are open to the right ones,” Moyer said.  

Moyer was a classroom teacher at Craik for 13 years before teaching gifted and talented students at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, Malcolm, Dr. Gustavas Brown, Mary B. Neal, Mary H. Matula and Indian Head elementary schools. Working with gifted and talented students — Moyer sees about 10 to 12 students per grade once a week — is rewarding.

“They’re so capable,” Moyer said. “They can go beyond — way above grade level into these rich texts they read which leads to discussions.”

Joseph Perriello has 37 years of experience as a teacher. He taught math at Benjamin Stoddert and Mattawoman Middle Schools. In 2002, looking for a change, he started as a gifted instructor, teaching at Berry and Brown elementary schools before landing at William B. Wade Elementary School. He said a typical gifted student is one who “needs a little more.”

“They’re kids who would be bored [otherwise],” he said. “They like the challenge, they like moving on and having discussions, using higher level thinking.”

One of his students, fifth grader Zoe Wheeler, is working on seventh-grade math. “It’s a challenge compared to my regular schoolwork. I get to think more,” she said. While math is her favorite subject — “There’s usually one right answer,” she said — she is also a strong writer and enjoys reading.

Students are placed in gifted and talented programs based on test scores and parent and teacher recommendations. Gifted teachers also work with students who are advanced in certain subjects.

The gifted and talented programs at Craik and Wade each earned a 2016 Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School award from the Maryland State Department of Education. EGATE awards are given to schools whose programs are in line with the state’s criteria for gifted and talented education. It honors elementary, middle and high schools that focus on excellence and improving student achievement.

Schools submit detailed information outlining their programs and are eligible to receive the award every five years. Craik and Wade are past winners, having been named EGATE schools in 2011. T.C. Martin Elementary School received the honor in 2012. An awards ceremony will be Feb. 16 at North County High School in Glen Burnie, where 10 Maryland schools will receive an EGATE award. Outstanding Charles County teachers and students also will take home awards.

The following Charles County teachers and administrators will be recognized at the awards ceremony:

  • Debra Calvert, principal, William A. Diggs Elementary School;
  • Dana Moyer, learning resource teacher, Craik;
  • Joseph Perriello, learning resource teacher, Wade; and
  • Lynn Hopkins, reading, English and language arts teacher, Milton M. Somers Middle School.

The following Charles County students will be recognized at the awards ceremony:

  • Brandy Freundel, fifth grade, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School;
  • Christian Gomez, eighth grade, Somers;
  • Grace Klaas, fifth grade, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy;
  • Alexandra Merchant, fifth grade, Higdon;
  • Jashae Proctor, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Zahra Ramakdawala, fifth grade, Diggs;
  • Faith Rothell, fifth grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School;
  • Ava Rowledge, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Zoe Wheeler, fifth grade, Wade; and
  • MacKenna Zopelis, fifth grade, Martin.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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. 

 

 

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Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is seeking nominations for the school system’s Maryland 2017-18 Teacher of the Year candidate. The nominated teacher must be a classroom, resource or media teacher who spends the majority of his or her time teaching and has a minimum of five years teaching experience. The selected candidate will also be named the 2017 Charles County Teacher of the Year.

There can only be one nominee per school. Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 24 to Ramona DiBenedetto in the CCPS office of human resources. Application information is available on the school system website at http://www.ccboe.com/jobs/teacheroftheyear.php.

Applications should include the candidate’s educational and professional development history; professional biography; examples of community involvement; a statement on the candidate’s philosophy/style of teaching; three letters of support from a principal, administrator, colleague, student or former student, parent or community leader; and statements on education issues and trends, as well as the teaching profession. For additional information and requirements, visit http://www.ccboe.com/jobs/teacheroftheyear.php.

The 2017 Charles County Teacher of the Year will have opportunities to speak to students and staff during events such as New Teacher Orientation, and will also attend the state Teacher of the Year ceremony and gala.

There is a two-tiered process for the selection of the candidate for the Maryland Teacher of Year. The first step is at the county level where applications are received, semifinalists are selected and interviewed by a panel of school system staff, and one candidate is selected to represent Charles County as its Teacher of the Year. Each Maryland county and Baltimore City forwards one recommendation to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), which selects the Maryland Teacher of the Year.

For additional information, contact DiBenedetto at 301-934-7242 or rdibenedetto@ccboe.com.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.

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The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a public work session at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 23 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

Report on Elementary #22 contract award

Public hearing on FY2018 proposed operating budget

Work Session

  • FY 2018 Proposed operating budget

Adjournment

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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. 

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La Plata High School’s a cappella group Unplugged is hosting the International Championship of High School A Cappella Mid Atlantic quarterfinal event 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 in the school auditorium. Eight a cappella groups, including Unplugged, will compete in the event. A cappella groups such as Unplugged perform songs and music without any instruments. Competing groups in the event are judged on both their vocal and visual performance in areas such as tone quality, balance and blend, visual cohesiveness, energy/stage presence, professionalism and creativity.

Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults. Visit https://varsityvocals.com/event/ichsa-mid-atlantic-quarterfinal-la-plata-high-school/ to buy tickets. The event is open to the public.

La Plata is also hosting its annual coffee house at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20 in the school cafeteria and commons area. Along with other student groups and performers, Unplugged will perform at the coffee house. Admission is $5 and food and drink will be available for purchase.

In addition to the coffee house event, Unplugged performs throughout the school year at several events and competes annually in the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) competition. In 2014, the group won first place in the northeast semifinal and competed in the finals. Last year, the group was included on the Best of High School A Cappella album.

Members of Unplugged this school year are Bella Aron, junior; Mia Bermudez, freshman; Zack Farri, senior; Hayden Gould, junior; Bailey Latimer, junior; Shelby Latimer, sophomore; Madelyn Mudd, freshman; Miles Pierce, sophomore; Edwin Santos, sophomore; Kenyon Sheppard, sophomore; Thomas Still, senior; and Halle Tetrault, senior.

Unplugged was formed by La Plata English teacher Denise Childers. Childers helped to found the Treblemakers a cappella group at the University of Maryland College Park. She founded Unplugged at La Plata in 2010.

About CCPS
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.

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When students become engaged in learning, the result is often creativity. Sophomores in Courtney Abell’s English class at Maurice J. McDonough High School recently experienced the power of collective creativity firsthand. Students were studying a unit on culture and discussed the poem “My Mother Pieced Quilts” in class.

Sophomore L.J. Mortimer came up with an idea for the students to work on a classroom quilt. Other students shared ideas on making a quilt in class. “When L.J. first suggested making a quilt, I pictured each student crafting individual paper quilts; but, then Ms. Abell came on board and brought in some cloth. So, a classroom quilt just kind of grew from our idea sharing,” said Kelsey Rollins, sophomore.

Abell’s class worked together to create something that would not only represent their individual cultures, but bring the concept developed by a classmate alive. “We wound up weaving together components of each of our cultures to create something that honored our families who play a big part in what a person’s culture is all about,” said sophomore Kennedy Bradshaw, who also is a student in Abell’s class.

At the conclusion of the project, students discussed conclusions about culture, family and traditions that make each family unique. “I learned that family looks different for each person. I myself shared a picture of friends I’ve had since we were all 3 or 4 years old; they’re like brothers to me,” Mortimer said.

About CCPS
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.

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Wednesday mornings at Mary H. Matula Elementary School are booked. From 8:30 to 9 a.m., more than 60 students take part in before-school book clubs. Open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, the program was born out of an idea of Tina Caron, learning resource teacher, and Nina Ogasawara, school counselor.

They noticed how kids don’t seem to enjoy reading, not even for pleasure. “They need to see teachers who love reading,” Ogasawara said. They brought up the idea of starting book clubs during a staff meeting and teachers took on nine different groups. The six-week session focuses on a theme for younger students, and a book for older ones.

The clubs are a no-stress situation for young readers. “There are no tests,” Caron said. “We read for enjoyment.”

The Billionaire Boys are reading “Trouble Maker,” by Andrew Clements. The group of fourth and fifth grade boys meet over doughnuts and talk about the book with Marvin Jones, executive director of schools.

“I like reading” Darrius Mason, a fifth grader said. “And I like to share our experiences with the book.”

“It’s good to catch up and talk about a book we have all read,” Patrick Takeuchi, a fifth grade student said.

Ryan Hughes, a fourth grader, is in the Mad Science group led by science teacher Chuck Larkin, Judi Gordon, instructional resource teacher and Blonda Tillman, reading resource teacher. The club doesn’t read books, but it does go over and perform experiments like making cotton candy. Hughes’s favorite author is Dav Pilkey, writer of the “Captain Underpants” series. “It helps your brain to grow,” Hughes said of reading. “You’re reading new words and context clues.”

The next round of book club meetings will start in February with one having an ocean theme, another focusing on the Harry Potter sequels and one tackling Percy Jackson books.

Teachers choose the books their clubs will read and students can pick what club they want to belong to. Now that the word is out about the clubs, Ogasawara thinks they’ll see an uptick in participation next month.

 

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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. 

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The Board of Education presented four resolutions to Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students and staff at its Jan. 10 meeting. The following resolutions are presented annually in January:

  • Black History Month;
  • Career and Technology Education Month;
  • Gifted and Talented Education Month; and
  • National School Counseling Week.

The school system highlights Black History Month annually in February. The theme for 2017 is The Crisis in Black Education. Schools coordinate activities that infuse African-American history into classroom lessons and events. Accepting the resolution at the Board meeting were Thomas Stone High School seniors Taylor Fly and Ishaq Abdulrahim. Board member Margaret Marshall presented the resolution.

The Association for Career and Technology Education designates February as Career and Technology Education Month. CCPS highlights its career and technology education programs Feb. 1-28 to focus on the student development of skills, leadership and efficiency consistent with an exemplar work ethic. The month also focuses on the development of a strong work force. Accepting the resolution at the meeting were students enrolled in Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center: Jonathan Corbett, senior, Interactive Media Production; Ann Marie York, junior, Teacher Academy of Maryland; Tyre Mason, senior, Horticultural Services; Joseph Childress, junior, Automotive Technician; Shawn Gayle, junior, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC); and Shyanne Lee, junior, Pharmacy Technician. Board Vice Chairman Barbara Palko presented the resolution.

Gifted and Talented Education Month is celebrated annually in February and highlights programs and opportunities for students who demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement. Gifted and talented students are defined as those who demonstrate outstanding talent and perform, or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to their peers. Milton M. Somers Middle School language arts teacher Lynn Hopkins and Somers eighth grader Christian Gomez accepted the resolution at the meeting. Board Chairman Michael Lukas presented the resolution.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 6-10 this year and highlights the efforts of counselors in the education of students in grades prekindergarten through 12. This year’s theme is School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential. The CCPS counseling program supports the focal points of academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readiness. The counseling program also supports diversity and lifelong learning. General Smallwood Middle School counselors Ronnie Richmond and Megan English accepted the resolution at the meeting. Board member Mark Crawford presented the resolution.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.

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The Board of Education of Charles County honored six Charles County Public Schools employees at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10 during a recognition ceremony. The employees were honored for exemplary accomplishments, commitment to student success and achievement, and contributions to their schools and school communities. Honored were Toni Adams, Diane Fisher, Pamela Gill, Jonathan Liston, Melody Philpotts and Donna Rhoades.

Adams is a special education instructional assistant at Gale-Bailey Elementary School, where she has worked for the past five years. Adams demonstrates a “can-do” spirit and attitude and is eager to volunteer and assist wherever she is needed. Her caring nature is evident in her interactions with both students and staff. Gale-Bailey Principal Verniece Rorie said Adams’ commitment to the Gale-Bailey community also is evident in her work ethic. “She is a staff member that has an eager spirit who is always ready to go the extra mile for staff and students,” Rorie wrote in a letter of recommendation. In addition to her role in the classroom, Adams serves as a member of the social committee, Positive, Behavioral, Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Relay for Life teams, and helps to coordinate Christmas in Marbury events for the community.

Fisher is a longtime science teacher with CCPS and currently works with seventh graders at John Hanson Middle School. Fisher has been teaching at Hanson for the past 29 years and first worked as a special education teacher before exploring her passion for science. She is certified in deaf education, special education and science, and strives to work with students of all learning abilities. Hanson Principal Susan McCormick said Fisher is an energetic teacher who is always willing to try new things and do what it takes to help children succeed. Fisher enjoys sharing her love of science with students and helps them to learn about the environment. She also coordinates the Student Service Learning (SSL) program and often stays after school to help students complete their projects. Fisher mentors new teachers, helps with PBIS programs, serves as the school Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) sponsor and is working toward Hanson’s Green School certification.

Gill teaches third grade at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School and works hard to meet the needs of students. Her classroom is inviting, well organized and decorated with charts that outline routines, expectations and ideas for students who finish class assignments early. Gill is certified in English as a Second Language (ESOL), which helps her support the large population of bilingual students at Barnhart. During her 15 years at Barnhart, Gill has taught first, second and third graders and assisted several students in overcoming challenging behaviors and academic challenges. She has served as team leader, mentors new teachers and is the yearbook sponsor. Gill also helps to plan special events for the school community such as the character breakfast and holiday festival. Barnhart Principal Benjamin Kohlhorst credits Gill with several school successes. “Gill spends countless hours above and beyond the school day in order to deliver high quality lessons. She takes great pride in her work, with students and the school community,” Kohlhorst wrote in a letter of recommendation.

Liston is a longtime engineering teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School and oversees the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program at the school. He started his career as a mathematics teacher and received certification in Introduction to Engineering Design, Digital Electronics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Liston was integral in the launch of the PLTW program at Lackey and teaches a full schedule of seven classes in order to provide students with an additional advanced technology education credit. His students admire his passion for teaching and his commitment to helping them achieve academic and personal success. Liston is the sponsor of the MESA program at Lackey and has helped his students achieve several county and state championship wins. He also helped a Lackey MESA team earn a third place national award in 2014. Lackey Principal Kathy Perriello said Liston is an example of a model teacher. “Mr. Liston serves as a mentor to other experienced and novice teachers. More importantly, when there is a student need, one can rely on Mr. Liston. He can always be counted on to assist whenever and wherever needed,” Perriello wrote in a recognition nomination letter.

Philpotts is the media specialist at T.C. Martin Elementary School and sponsors the Kiwanis K-Kids Club. As sponsor of the K-Kids Club, Philpotts guides community service activities for students and helps to provide ideas on how the club can support the community. She also uses books in creative ways to help students learn positive behavior and personal responsibility. Martin sponsors a Read on the Road program in which students are provided with incentives to read while riding the school bus. Philpotts helps to track program data and works with students to choose books. She is child centered and demonstrates a kind and caring approach in all that she does. Philpotts also dedicates time to manage the school’s recycling program and sponsors the student council. Martin Principal Robert Opiekun credits Philpotts’ work ethic for helping to make the school a better learning environment. “She accomplishes all that she does with an amazing attitude toward her profession and the children she serves. She speaks positively about all children all the time and works well with everyone. She is a clear asset to T.C. Martin,” Opiekun wrote in a nomination letter.

Rhoades is a kindergarten instructional assistant at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School. She has served the school community for more than 15 years in her position and is well known for her contributions to the success of students. She comes to school early daily to prepare for the arrival of students and goes out of her way to help her colleagues prepare for the school day. Rhoades demonstrates a positive attitude and is highly regarded by her colleagues as a team player who puts her best effort in everything she does. Brown Principal Christienne Warren has overseen the school for the past three years and said when she met Rhoades, she knew she was an asset to the school. “As soon as I met her I knew that she was a huge asset to the Dr. Brown school community. She comes to school every day, without fail. She is a very important influence in the lives of so many children and has made a positive impression on so many Dr. Brown families,” Warren wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board honors several exemplary school system employees monthly. Principals and administrative staff recommend one staff member for recognition before the Board annually.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.

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The Board of Education recognized six outstanding students for excellence in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility at its Jan. 10 meeting. Laniya Faulk is a fifth-grade student at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Edenilson Velasquez-Orellana is a fourth-grade student at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School; Hope Treadway is a fifth-grade student at Gale-Bailey Elementary School; MacKenna Zopelis is a fifth-grade student at T.C. Martin Elementary School; Yachi Madaan is an eighth-grade student at John Hanson Middle School; and Shaun Hange is a senior at Henry E. Lackey High School.

Faulk was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She has attended Barnhart since kindergarten and has a great work ethic toward school. Her teacher describes her as an avid reader, but Faulk said math is her favorite subject. “[I] love working through challenging problems,” she said. Faulk earned straight A’s during the first quarter and was named to the principal’s honor roll. When she’s not at school, Faulk is helpful around the house and helps take care of her two younger sisters, her mother said. She also loves to dance and is an active member of her church choir.

Velasquez-Orellana was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. He is an exemplary student who comes to class each day prepared, ready to learn and participates in all classroom discussions and activities. Velasquez-Orellana not only takes his learning seriously, but he is a role model with his behavior for his classmates. He will help out a peer if he sees them struggling with anything. Velasquez-Orellana has never hesitated to lend a helping hand or offer words of encouragement. He is a student who strives for excellence in all he does, and works toward achieving his goals. Velasquez-Orellana participates in robotics and is a member of the math team.

Treadway was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. She is a straight A student who always completes her homework and remembers to bring and to practice her trumpet. Her teacher describes her as an awesome student and all around good person. She does her best at all times and is a great role model for others. She tries to keep a positive attitude at school and at home. “I always see the good in things,” Treadway said.  At home she helps around the house by sweeping, doing dishes and caring for her dog, cat, three goats and five chickens.  In her free time, she enjoys reading and watching television. Among her favorite books are, “Dork Diaries” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Zopelis was recognized in the area of career readiness. She is fascinated with learning and growing as a student. In third grade, Zopelis was identified for the gifted and talented program for both reading and math. Since then, she has excelled in all academic areas earning high honors or honor roll in almost every marking period. She wants to be a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse to care for babies that have been born prematurely or who have been born with medical issues. Her career goals were inspired by being born prematurely — 11 weeks early. She hopes to work at Johns Hopkins University one day, the same hospital where she was born and taken care of by Dr. Ben Carson.  Zopelis understands in order to reach her career goal, she will need to stay in school and get the grades necessary to continue her education. Not only is she an excellent student in the classroom, Zopelis is a role model for others around her.

Madaan was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA during sixth and seventh grade. She currently has a 3.7 GPA and is enrolled in the Scholars Program of Study. Her teachers describe her as diligent, enthusiastic and an exemplary role model for her peers. Madaan is involved in the Student Government Association (SGA), National Junior Honor Society, Vex Robotics team, the morning announcement team, chorus and the chamber choir. She is a school leader serving as the SGA president and captain of the Vex Robotics team. Madaan has taken the initiative to run a schoolwide food drive. Her short term goal is to attend North Point High School to study health occupations, and her long term goal is to pursue a career in medicine. During her free time, Madaan takes dance classes and instructs younger students at the dance studio. She also assists her parents at their business at St. Charles Towne Center.

Hange was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. He is president and staunch supporter of Lackey’s Key Club. Hange initiated an ongoing town cleanup in Indian Head with Mayor Brandon Paulin, collected nonperishable items for various food drives, assisted with recycling efforts and recently sent six boxes of Christmas cards to U.S. military troops serving overseas. He manages to take part in community-based efforts while also being the president of the science honor society, captain of the cross country team, member of the indoor track team, captain of the outdoor track team, member of the swim team, member of the National Honor Society and the It’s Academic team. Hange maintains principal’s honor roll status and is enrolled in the Project Lead the Way biomedical program. He takes five Advanced Placement (AP) classes and is working on his lifeguarding certification. Hange plans to major in astronomy or biochemistry when he starts college in the fall.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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. 

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