Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has expanded its office of student engagement and conduct to better accommodate the needs of students, families and school administrators.
Overseeing the needs of high schools students is Chrystal Benson, a former longtime CCPS principal. As the student engagement and conduct officer at the high-school level, she works with students who need additional support outside of the classroom. Benson also works with families and school administrators to help students overcome difficult situations affecting their education and attendance.
Charmaine Young-Waddy transitioned to a new role at the start of this school year as the student engagement and conduct officer at the elementary- and middle-school levels. She has been with CCPS for more than 15 years, most recently serving in the role of student services specialist since 2013. As the student services specialist, Young-Waddy oversaw dropout prevention programs, served as the attendance hearing officer and court liaison, and monitored school change requests.
Benson and Young-Waddy work in the office of school administration and assist families with career and academic development, job placement and suspension hearings, and provide strategies to help keep students in school. Both work closely with department of student services staff such as counselors and pupil personnel workers to ensure students and families have access to resources to help their child succeed in and outside of school.
Benson said she enjoys working with the oldest group of CCPS students to help them prepare for the future.
“As the student engagement and conduct officer for high school students, I have the opportunity to assist students, their families and school administrators with navigating successfully through different types of difficult situations, ultimately helping students to achieve their goal of graduating from high school and pursuing their post-secondary plans,” she said.
Young-Waddy said by working collaboratively with school leaders to provide academic support or interventions, her goal is to help students develop a love for learning in an environment that facilitates growth in all areas.
“As the elementary and middle school student engagement and conduct officer, I feel that this age group and their families need direct, immediate and/or comprehensive support for their children. It is my desire to provide those resources to ensure that each student has a lasting educational experience and a greater appreciation for learning. With this mindset, a stronger academic foundation will in turn lead to an increase in student success academically, socially and educationally. Ultimately, leading to a high school graduate in years to come,” she said.
Prior to transitioning to this new role, Benson was principal at Thomas Stone High School for one year and principal at Westlake High School for 11 years. She also served as a vice principal at Maurice J. McDonough High School for six years. Benson began her career in education with Talbot County Public Schools as a mathematics teacher at Easton High School and also served as an assistant principal there for four years. She has a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Bowie State University, and a bachelor’s in secondary education mathematics from Southern University.
Young-Waddy began her career with CCPS in 2002 as a special education teacher at Stone after spending four years as a teacher in Virginia. She served as the administrative assistant at Stone from 2004 to 2008 and was promoted to vice principal in August 2008 at McDonough. Young-Waddy transitioned to a vice principal position at Piccowaxen Middle School in 2011 and joined the student services department in July 2013. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a focus on school administration from McDaniel College, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Union University.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 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. Patricia Vaira, 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.