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Peavy named 2024 Charles County Public Schools Assistant Principal of the Year

At Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, Assistant Principal Marquelle Peavy collaborates with teachers, staff and parents to create a positive and inclusive learning environment, but above all she places students at the heart of her work.

“Ms. Peavy is a caring, genuinely nice woman and very helpful,” Jahir Jamieson, eighth-grade student, said. “The reason I say that she is caring is because she did not have to help me when I got in trouble, but she chose to because she saw something in me that nobody else did.”

Peavy was recently named the 2024 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Assistant Principal of the Year. Starting July 1, Peavy will be acting principal at Stoddert as the school’s current principal, Erica Williams, was recently named CCPS executive director of schools.

Her dedication to students’ well-being and academic achievement is evident. She and Stoddert staff have worked to establish and cultivate a positive school culture where students can thrive, Montello Washington III, a Stoddert math teacher, said.

“[She] embodies the qualities of an outstanding educational leader,” he said. “Her passion, dedication and collaborative spirit make her a true asset to Benjamin Stoddert.”

Peavy began her career with CCPS as a seventh-grade gifted, on-grade level and intervention language arts teacher at Mattawoman Middle School where she taught from 2009 to 2014. From 2014 to 2018, she moved to the high school level, teaching freshman English and literacy at St. Charles High School where she was the ninth-grade team leader. For a year at St. Charles— from 2018 to 2019 — she was an administrative intern, before being named assistant principal (AP) at Stoddert in 2019. At Stoddert she is the instructional AP and acts as the principal’s designee when Principal Erica Williams — the 2024 CCPS Principal of the Year — is out of the building.

Peavy coordinates Stoddert’s Teacher Support Academy (TSA), working over the past five years to buoy a diverse staff with varying strengths. She visits classrooms, builds relationships, models instruction and is available to staff to develop and strengthen their skills that will benefit student learning.

“One of the things I respect most about Ms. Peavy is her desire to make sure that we provide quality instruction to all our students,” Casey Cleary, a Stoddert math teacher and AVID coordinator, said. “She is always willing to provide constructive feedback or sit in on a lesson and provide support. While we come from different subject backgrounds, for any observation she has completed of my teaching, she has been able to provide me with relevant and useful ideas for bettering the instruction in my classroom.”

For new teachers, Peavy’s support can mean the difference between staying in the field of education or questioning a new one. “Her encouragement and presence during challenging times have been a source of strength for me. Without her, I might not have discovered and solidified my passion; my path in life would remained uncertain,” India Larry, a Stoddert math teacher, said. “Mrs. Peavy not only recognized my potential but also provided invaluable opportunities.”

Peavy is a team player who jumps in where she is needed to help a colleague, especially if it means it will help the school day run smoother. “I have never seen her turn down a request for assistance,” Angela Papandrea, a learning resource teacher at Stoddert, said. “She is always willing to provide support and be role model of exemplary instruction. Ms. Peavy is dedicated to ensuring teachers provide the quality education our students deserve.”

Staff are not the only ones who take notice of Peavy’s dedication to the school and the people who work and learn there. Parents appreciate her kind and stable presence. “She partnered with parents so that they trusted her interventions and valued her insight,” Williams said. “I often told her that parents may walk into her office ready to fuss, but they left giving her a hug.”

Tamika Goldring-Adams is the mother of Stoddert eighth grader Rashard Adams. She said the middle school years are transformative ones and are often when young people shut out adults, and feel they aren’t being heard. “Mrs. Peavy has a way to get through to the children,” Goldring-Adams said. “She listens and I believe she is fair. My son Rashard respects her and looks up to her. I personally cannot thank her for all the encouraging words, tough love and overall guidance and support toward my son.”

“She is a person I can trust,” Rashard Adams said of Peavy. “[She] always wants the best for me.” Rashard isn’t alone. Carlia Watson, an eighth-grade student at the school, also appreciates how Peavy takes time to guide her on a better path. “I had a period of time where I was not making the best decisions. I was allowing others to guide me down the wrong path,” Watson said. “[Peavy] showed me that my future was worth more than that. She stuck with me and made sure I got the second chance that I deserved. I will forever appreciate everything she has done for me.”

Stoddert staff continue to build a culture where students feel accepted, appreciated and prepared to learn with Peavy being an integral part of that. “She has created a supportive environment where students feel valued, respected and motivated to succeed,” Charles McCoy, Stoddert computer teacher, said. “Her emphasis on equity and diversity has ensured that all students have access to opportunities for growth and achievement regardless of their background or circumstance.”

Colleagues said Peavy’s strong leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the positive culture at the school fostering a sense of unity, pride and a collective purpose among the school community.

“We are truly a better middle school because of her efforts,” Williams said.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 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 Dr. Mike Blanchard, 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).