The Board of Education of Charles County at its March 14 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members for their commitment to the school system and student success. Each month, the Board honors staff members chosen by their school principals for recognition who demonstrate their dedication to teaching and learning.
Honored were Tanya Ansell of Theodore G. Davis Middle School, Tiffany Gump of Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, J. Megan Maletto of Billingsley Elementary School, Kayla Marshall of Westlake High School and Catherine Powell of Indian Head Elementary School.
Ansell started the school year as an intervention teacher, but when Davis needed language arts teachers, she stepped in. “She takes on anything and aspires to assist wherever she is needed,” Principal Robert Griffiths said. “This year she completely changed roles by moving to the sixth-grade language arts team and she did not hesitate to help the school out when that need arose.” Outside the classroom, Ansell, who is licensed in restorative circles, has led many restorative circles and exercises at Davis, and oversaw a professional development on restorative circles for CCPS staff. With more than 30 years of teaching experience with CCPS, Ansell has taught at the elementary and middle school levels as an intervention teacher helping students with reading skills. Ansell is the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coordinator at Davis implementing the program that is still in use today. “Ms. Ansell has been a positive and contributing member of CCPS for over 30 years,” Griffiths said. “She wears many hats and continues to provide support for all members of the Davis community.”
As the music teacher at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, Gump directs the school’s chorus and orchestra. But her impact is felt beyond the music room. Gump is a coach of the school’s VEX Robotics team. It’s the team that took home the Inspire Award at a recent competition held at Great Mills High School. She is a coach with Mt. Hope’s Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team and assisted with the STEM Rocket Club. Gump helped start the indoor drumline at La Plata High School with Wes Harlar, La Plata’s instrumental music teacher. She has taken on the task of fundraising for various efforts including a crowdfunding campaign that brought in $10,000 for La Plata’s instrumental music program. Gump is active in the community, caroling during the holiday season at the tree lighting at the Nanjemoy Community Center and at the CCPS Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. She can be counted on to support her students during afterschool events like math nights and STEM nights. “She loves her position as an elementary music teacher and loves making a difference in the lives of her students,” Principal Michael Hoffman said. “This is evident within her extracurricular activities throughout the county.”
Maletto is the instructional resource teacher at Billingsley where she serves as a math resource to 31 classroom teachers — 13 of which are new, conditional or long-term substitute teachers. “Mrs. Maletto teaches math concepts to teachers and students alike,” Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said. She models lessons for teachers, helping them unpack math standards and enhancing their knowledge of the subject. For students, Maletto has facilitated math nights to help families learn how to make math fun. She has been a trainer for Illustrative Mathematics and other programs, and helped plan the 2020 state regional conference for the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics which was hosted at Billingsley. Maletto is well-known at Billingsley and encourages students toward making good decisions. “During a free period, she may be seen playing organized games with students during physical education class for the sake of having fun with our scholars,” Robinson-Taylor said. “Mrs. Maletto consistently goes above and beyond the scope of her duties and responsibilities.”
Marshall was already familiar with Westlake when she began working as a special education teacher at the school as she is a Westlake graduate. “Ms. Marshall is the staff member who can always be counted on to further the mission,” Principal Diane Roberts said. Marshall can “read the room,” and is able to direct administrators toward students who need a bit of extra attention. Not only is she dedicated to her students, but she also keeps an eye on others as well. “She not only looks out for the students she case manages, but she also forms relationships with the students around her,” Roberts said. Marshall volunteers to sponsor classes, coaches girls field hockey and girls’ lacrosse, and is an expert fundraiser. She is just as devoted to her colleagues having revived the school’s Sunshine Committee during virtual instruction. After two years of virtual meetings and classes, the committee revived the spirit of unity among staff members who take part in the school’s Spirit Weeks alongside students. “The students get a kick out of seeing their teachers and administrators enjoy the Spirit Weeks,” Roberts said. “This epitomizes Ms. Marshall’s commitment to our school community.”
As the school counselor at Indian Head, Powell is in constant communication with students. She meets with students each day — as individuals, in groups and during classroom lessons. “She is always available to students in crisis and makes parent communication a priority when it comes to support the social-emotional needs of students,” Principal Shane Blandford said. As the school counselor at Indian Head since 2014, Powell is always looking for ways to grow as a counselor. She has jumped on the opportunity to become a trainer for Restorative Practices which has helped students who struggle with big emotions to solve conflicts peacefully. “Mrs. Powell has been instrumental to our school community,” Blandford said. Powell has opened her office to counseling interns who gain an authentic experience. “She models exemplary counseling practices and strategies and these interns have walked away with a valuable experience that allows them to be well prepared for a school counseling position,” Blandford said. Powell plans the school’s Black History Month trivia night, Career Day, monthly calendar trait implementation and recognition, Emotional Child Nights and the anti-bullying poster contest. “Being a counselor, her day is constantly interrupted with situations and program that may arise,” Blandford said. “Although she is interrupted frequently, she manages to plan all of her activities with excellence and meets all deadlines and requirements.”
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 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 Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, 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.
CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).