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Board honors outstanding students at May Board meeting

The Board of Education at its May 9 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. Students are honored for accomplishments in the areas of academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.

Honored were Ja’Sani Bennett of Arthur Middleton Elementary School, Sophia Blocker of Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Eesha Kadiyala of Mary H. Matula Elementary School, Mariam Yunis of Milton M. Somers Middle School and Isabel Diaz of Maurice J. McDonough High School.

Bennett is a fifth-grade student at Arthur Middleton Elementary School and was recognized for academic achievement. Bennett goes above and beyond every day to represent Middleton in a positive light, Middleton Principal Nicole Hawkins said. She participates in higher level discussions in small group activities and often provides out-of-the-box perspectives during whole group discussions. Bennett makes connections and digs deeper into academic skills. She completes tasks in a timely manner, asks questions for clarification and truly shows exactly what it means to be safe through setting the example and following the school rules consistently to ensure the safety of herself and her peers. Since her third-grade year, Bennett has earned principal’s honors (all As) every quarter. She is a part of the fifth-grade math team, All-County Chorus, Stella’s Girls and outside of school she is a part of the Dynasty Cheer Team.

Blocker is a fifth-grade student at Gale-Bailey Elementary School and was honored for career readiness. Blocker wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and is preparing for a career by participating positively in whole and small group settings, Gale-Bailey Principal Tangie Scales. Blocker is willing to adapt to and overcome challenges, work hard, ask questions and provide creative solutions in the classroom. Whether Blocker is in class, on the softball field or playing the trumpet, Blocker prides herself in helping others, paying attention and taking good notes. She has also maintained a spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll all year.

Kadiyala is a fifth-grade student at Mary H. Matula Elementary School and was recognized for academic achievement. Kadiyala has attended Matula since kindergarten, and she has earned a spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll each quarter since third grade. When she is not reading, solving math problems or writing for pleasure, Kadiyala can be found on the soccer field. She has played for several years. In school, she participates in extracurricular activities including math team, VEX Robotics and the Just Say No Club. She has been a safety patrol this year and was selected to represent Matula at the All-County Orchestra concert. Kadiyala aspires to become a doctor — specifically, a pediatrician — or a teacher.

Yunis is an eighth-grade student at Milton M. Somers Middle School and was honored for personal responsibility. Yunis has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout middle school and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Yunis consistently demonstrates an exemplary level of dependability, and her character routinely demonstrates honesty, responsibility and fairness, Somers Principal Sandra Taylor said. After high school, it is Yunis’ desire to attend the University of Maryland, College Park, and obtain a degree in architecture.

Diaz is a senior at Maurice J McDonough High School who was recognized for academic achievement. Diaz is enrolled in the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) program. She has earned a 4.43 GPA and has taken seven Advanced Placement (AP) classes. She is currently ranked in the top 5% of her class and she is the secretary for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at McDonough. She is a crew member for the drama club, Mock Trial team member, former violist in the school orchestra and a competitive cheerleader. Not only does Diaz excel in the classroom and on the school campus, but she is active in the community. She regularly volunteers at William B. Wade Elementary School, assisting with beautification projects and classroom set up for teachers. Diaz is also a member of Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry’s student advisory committee. Currently, her capstone project for CASE involves research on how glyphosate-based weedkillers affect human health.


About CCPS

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).