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Board honors outstanding students at October meeting

The Board of Education at its Oct. 11 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. School principals annually select one student and staff member for Board recognition. Students are honored for accomplishments in the areas of academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.

Honored at the meeting were Safia Boubertakh of Dr. James Craik Elementary School; Katya Diaz Lopez of J.C. Parks Elementary School; Adalyn McCarthy of Malcolm Elementary School; Leo Abramson of Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; and Liana Berry of St. Charles High School.

Boubertakh is a fifth grade student at Craik, who was recognized for academic achievement. She has attended Craik since second grade and has earned a spot on the principal's honor roll every quarter except one. Boubertakh is in gifted and talented classes for math and reading, and counts math as her favorite subject. Outside of school, she has traveled to Italy, Egypt and Algeria. Her wealth of knowledge from her travels is crucial for class discussions and she lends her expertise of other cultures to her work, Craik Principal Jason Deihl said.  “Safia is quick to help her teacher and peers alike and is a wonderful role model in the classroom,” he said. “Her academic achievements worthy of praise.” Boubertakh is a member of the school’s Just Say No Club and has been participating in competitive gymnastics for the past two years outside of school.

Diaz Lopez, a fifth grade student at Parks, was recognized for academic achievement. She has been at Parks since second grade and has consistently earned straight As and posted one of the highest individual scores on the Grade 4 Math Team contest last year. Since the beginning of the school year, Diaz Lopez has sought new ways to make a difference, whether it is on the safety patrol or being a part of the school orchestra. “What stands out even more than her varied accomplishments is what others say about her,” Principal Greg Miller said. “[She] is a ray of sunshine, who constantly radiates positivity,” Kelsey Jones, Diaz Lopez’s fourth grade teacher, said. “She fills the classroom with her joy and her love for learning. She puts effort into every assignment, and she even helps others around her want to learn.” Hilary Packard, Diaz Lopez’s teacher, agreed. “Not only does she come to school respectful, responsible and ready to learn, but she also comes with inquiry, compassion and joy,” she said. “To have her as a student and classmate is to have an upstanding friend who is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.” Diaz Lopez excels academically as a fifth grader who is taking on new challenges and responsibilities as she prepares for middle school, Miller said.

Malcolm fifth grader McCarthy was recognized for career readiness. She attended Malcolm from prekindergarten to Grade 2, was home schooled during Grade 3 and returned to Malcolm in Grades 4 and 5. “If you talk to any one of her teachers, they will say Adalyn is a very dedicated and hardworking student who will do anything for any person at any time. Adalyn is considering pursuing a career in education,” Principal Scott Hangey said. McCarthy is already thinking about her future. “During the pandemic I found great joy in teaching others,” she said. McCarthy has received recognition for academic achievement earning principal’s honor roll and exemplifying core values earning the Student of the Month Award. At home, she enlists her younger brother and stuffed animals in playing school and she counts reading as her favorite subject. She plays the violin in the Malcolm Orchestra, is a member of Girls Who Code, the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team and the Math Team. Outside of school, McCarthy is involved in gymnastics and plays piano.

Abramson, an eighth grade student at Stoddert, was recognized in the area of academic achievement. He is a phenomenal student who never fails to show respect, act responsibly and exercise his right to learn each and every school day,” Principal Erica Williams said. Abramson has been a straight A student for the past two years.  He is a member in the National Junior Honor Society, a musician and a Student Ambassador at Stoddert.

A senior at St. Charles, Berry was recognized for personal responsibility. “She works hard in school with a very challenging schedule,” Principal Tammika Little said. Berry has taken more than five advanced placement (AP) courses during her time at St. Charles while maintaining over a 4.0 GPA. Berry is a leader at St. Charles and is the Student Government Class President. She also dedicates her time to the theater program at school and is a member of the volleyball team. Recently, a design she created was selected to be painted on a new basketball court in the county. Outside of school, Berry is a volunteer at Port Tobacco Players. She is preparing for life after high school and hopes to study animation at The Savannah College of Art and Design.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 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).