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Board honors outstanding employees at April meeting for their commitment to students

The Board of Education of Charles County at its April 12 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 by the Board at its April meeting were Mary Kay Buckey of Mary H. Matula Elementary School; John Hairston of Maurice J. McDonough High School; Michelle Foxx of Gale-Bailey Elementary School; Julie Snavely of Milton M. Somers Middle School; and Jennifer Toone of Arthur Middleton Elementary School.

Buckey is the attendance secretary at Matula and the first person who visitors often see. “She arrives to school each day with a smile on her face and a pleasant greeting to all,” Matula Principal Carrie Richardson said. “She goes above and beyond to assist students, parents and staff.” Buckey’s willingness to help others has never been so evident than over the past two years. On top of her daily responsibilities, Buckey helped families access Synergy and online learning. She could be counted on to troubleshoot technology problems, help parents find a teacher’s webpage and monitor the school’s COVID tracking sheet. She also takes time to brighten up the front office with seasonal decorations.

A pupil personnel worker (PPW) at McDonough, Hairston is the “go to” person who other PPWs seek out when they have questions. He is devoted to students and will not leave a job unfinished. He makes the time to meet with parents and students in and outside of school. “Mr. Hairston has been instrumental in helping students access tutoring and community supports outside of school,” McDonough Principal Darnell Russell said. “He is always willing to take feedback in order to grow and help the school move forward while keeping students first.” Hairston coordinates clothing drives, holiday drives and solicits community members to help offset senior year costs for some of McDonough students. “Mr. Hairston is a team player,” Russell said. “He is an asset to the school because he is able to talk with students about good decision making and supports.”

As a math specialist at Gale-Bailey, Foxx takes great pride in her work. “She stays late to collect data, makes assessments for all grade levels, teaches small groups and whole classes, plans with teachers, plans lessons and meets with administration,” Gale-Bailey Principal Tangie Scales said. Foxx is in charge of the school’s Going for the Gold, an extended learning opportunity program, and provides Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators (FAME) professional development to staff members. This includes separate math professional development opportunities for teachers and providing instructional assistance for new teachers. “She is data driven and student centered,” Scales said.

Snavely was tasked with “holding down the fort” in the Somers’ physical education department this year due to her colleagues having to be out on leave. Snavely ensured long-term and daily substitute teachers led engaging lessons for students. She has participated in many professional development opportunities including sessions on mental health, youth first aid training and restorative practices. Snavely is CPR certified, is a member of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) and was the PE department chair from 2014-2019 and 2021-2022. Snavely participated in the health/PE veterans’ collaboration this school year and is completing mindfulness training with OMM Works, a mediation and mindfulness program for teachers, students and school staff. Snavey has been a high school coach for McDonough and Thomas Stone high schools, and has assisted with regional track meets at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA). She is also the archery coach at Somers.

Toone is the learning resource teacher at Middleton who consistently contributes to many instructional projects at the school and in the county. “Ms. Toone is always the first at work and one of the last to leave,” Middleton Principal Benjamin Harrington said. “She puts in 110 percent every day and can be counted on to step into a leadership role in a moment’s notice.” Toone is an innovator and leader in the areas of instruction, scheduling and leadership. “She is a model to all and a motivating force at Arthur Middleton,” Harrington said. “If there is a need anywhere in school, Ms. Toone will fill it without question or hesitation.”

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).