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Board honors students for outstanding academics, personal responsibility and career readiness

The Board of Education at its April 11 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 Eleanor “Ellie” Groth of Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, Owen Kanhanou of Berry Elementary School, Rhania Sanu-Bing of Eva Turner Elementary School, Maliyah Cropper Piccowaxen Middle School and Otis Tucker of La Plata High School.

As a fifth-grade student recognized for personal responsibility, Groth understands that grit and perseverance are needed for success and that success has no short cuts, Principal Shannon Finnegan, Ed.D., said. Groth goes the distance in all she does and takes her work and behavior seriously. She is organized and turns in assignments in a timely manner. Groth demonstrates kindness and empathy to all and is involved with the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement team, the band and VEX Robotics. She qualified for all-county band and her VEX Robotics team qualified to attend the world championship in Dallas. Outside of school, she participates in dance, soccer and is authoring a book about saving the earth.

Kanhanou is a fifth-grade student at Berry recognized for career readiness. Since third grade, he has consistently earned a spot on the honor roll. Kanhanou has a mature perspective and is an advocate for diversity and strengthening relationships between members of our communities, Principal LeighAnn McLaud said. As an enthusiastic celloist, he notes the cello’s role as being the bridge of a musical piece the same way he is a “bridge” among people in the community. He has a passion for the environment and wants to reduce waste in landfills in the future.

An eighth-grade student at Piccowaxen, Cropper was honored for academic achievement and carries a 4.0 GPA. She is an active member of the Piccowaxen Panther family and the community. “As a member of the National Honor Society, Student Government Association and Yearbook Club, she creates content, provides acts of service to those in need and contributes positively to the learning environment,” Principal Wualanda Thenstead said. Cropper is an eager learner who consistently contributes to class discussions, makes connections within and between the content areas, and applies newly learned skills to real-world situations, Thenstead said. A sports enthusiast, Cropper plays basketball, soccer, volleyball and chess. In her spare time when she is not playing travel softball or recreational volleyball, she likes to code, crochet, read, eat and hang out with friends.

Sanu-Bing is a fifth-grade student at Turner recognized for academic achievement. She is a strong student with a positive work ethic who loves to read and question perspectives around her. Sanu-Bing’s classmates see her as caring, and staff characterize her as an old soul. She enjoys spending her free time with her family. Sanu-Bing also likes to read and write stories. She aspires to attend Harvard Law School and wants to practice criminal law as a defense attorney.

Tucker is a senior at La Plata High School and was recognized for academic achievement. Throughout his high school career, Tucker has increased his GPA each year including his senior year. While in high school, Tucker has completed nine honors level classes and three years of Latin. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honors Society and the National Science Honor Society. Tucker has been a cast member in four school play performances and was involved in the ceremony honoring La Plata’s Class of 1969. Outside of school, he works at a local restaurant while helping run his family’s restaurant.  He plans to attend Hampton University in the fall.


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).