Lauren Winkler, a senior at Maurice J. McDonough High School, was named the Career Research and Development (CRD) Student of the Year for 2017 at the annual employer/employee breakfast held April 21. Winkler worked at Chick-fil-A, a fast-food restaurant in La Plata.
Winkler was selected for the award following three levels of competition both at the school and county levels. Committees composed of staff members, community members and business representatives interviewed students. As student of the year, Winkler received a $2,000 scholarship to be spent at a college, trade school or on certification classes of her choice.
“I learned a lot from working and the program. I would have been working anyway, so it was nice to also receive credit,” Winkler said following the announcement. Working at Chick-fil-A was Winkler’s first job, and she now works at Paige’s of Time Early Learning Center.
Winkler’s supervisor at Chick-fil-A, Ryan Coker, said she was hard working, eager to learn and friendly. “No matter what is going on outside, Lauren brings a happy vibe to her work,” he said.
Runners-up for the award were Emani Clark of St. Charles High School and Brittany Cartner of Thomas Stone High School. Clark and Cartner each received a $1,000 scholarship.
Student nominees, all seniors, are selected by their high schools and forwarded to a school system committee for consideration. Nominees were Jalen Savoy and Julie Welch of La Plata High School, Mason Galloway of Henry E. Lackey High School, Taylor Stanka of St. Charles High School and Brittany Joseph of North Point High School. The CRD Advisory Committee interviewed and selected the three finalists, Winkler, Clark and Cartner.
Employers and student employees gathered at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center for the annual breakfast. There were 76 students participating in the 2016-17 school year program and 61 different employers supervised the students. The CRD program was formerly known as the Cooperative Education Program, and provides a bridge from school to work, classroom instruction, work experience and on-the-job training related to a student’s career goals.
The Cooperative Education Program was launched in 1971 at La Plata and Lackey high schools, expanded to Thomas Stone in 1972 and then to McDonough in 1979. Westlake started offering the program in 1998. North Point launched the program in 2009, and St. Charles High School added the program in 2016. Students interested in the program can contact the CRD coordinator at their school.
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.