The Board of Education at its Jan. 14 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members for their commitment to student success and support of the school system. Honored by the Board were Barbara Brandau, Keri Mona, Shanelle Savoy, Kimberley Sheckells and Leslie Schroeck.
Brandau is a special education teacher at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School. She is passionate about teaching and inspires students to do their best. She works with students through a daily check in and check out program, and conferences with students to help them reflect on their school day. Brandau collaborates and plans with classroom teachers to ensure all students are actively engaged and learning. She uses best practices and differentiated methods to reach students of all abilities. Brandau remains in constant contact with parents to keep them up-to-date of their child’s progress. She participates in grade-level meetings, student support team meetings and provides interventions in reading and math. Brandau inspires her students to set goals and achieve success. Higdon Principal Kathy Morgan said Brandau is an exceptional teacher. “Her dedication to helping students has helped turn around numerous students’ behaviors and work habits. She has inspired so many students to persevere to do their best over the years,” Morgan wrote in a nomination letter.
Mona is an instructional assistant at Piccowaxen Middle School. She has worked at Piccowaxen for the past 10 years and primarily works in math classrooms. When school administrators create the school’s annual master schedule, several teachers request Mona for classroom support. She works diligently to ensure students are mastering course content and on task. Mona volunteers to help with afterschool and school spirit activities, and sponsors several clubs. Her experience includes coaching the cheer club, basketball and track. Mona also served as a cheerleading sponsor at Westlake High School and is pursuing her credentials to become a certificated teacher. Piccowaxen Principal Wendell Martin said Mona is an integral part of his team. “She is always available when needed in the building and is highly recommended. All of the teachers want their IA to be Ms. Mona,” Martin wrote in a nomination letter.
Savoy is the technology facilitator at Eva Turner Elementary School and is new to the position this school year. Prior to joining the teaching team at Turner, Savoy worked as a secretary at the CCPS administrative offices. Savoy greets students each day with a smile and pushes them to do their best daily. At the start of the school year as a new employee at Turner, Savoy took the lead on several school-based initiatives. She also took over managing the school website and helps others with technology use as needed. Savoy is known among her colleagues as responsible, professional and dependable. Students look up to her because she is kind, supportive and challenges them to achieve success. Turner Principal Gary Lesko recommended Savoy for recognition and said during her interview, he was impressed by her personality and work ethic. “Her glowing smile, friendly personality, and contagious attitude make an unmeasurable impact on her colleagues, students and building as a whole,” Lesko wrote in a nomination statement.
Sheckells is a third-grade teacher at Berry Elementary School and is well known among her colleagues as a teacher who puts her students first. She demonstrates an exemplar work ethic and ensures her students are successful. Sheckells has taught across several grade levels, including first-, third- and fifth-grade students. She has also held the team leader position for both third and fifth grade. Sheckells ensures that she and her team implement school and countywide initiatives. She regularly participates in professional development activities to strengthen her skill and knowledge base, and is sought by her colleagues for support. Berry Principal Lou D’Ambrosio refers to Sheckells as a champion of education. “She puts all kids first in decision making. She always makes sure that any endeavor she is associated with is at the highest degree of excellence,” D’Ambrosio wrote in a nomination letter.
Schroeck is the resource teacher at La Plata High School, a position she has held for several years. In her position, Schroeck assists in several areas and works with all classroom teachers to ensure students receive effective instruction. From working with student data and new teachers to participating in meetings with the administrative team, Schroeck’s work benefits the entire school community. She plans professional development sessions for staff, monitors data such as assessment scores to monitor student progress, and works with students to ensure they graduate with their cohort. Schroeck regularly attends trainings to learn new strategies and instructional tools to share with her colleagues to aid student success. La Plata Principal Douglass Dolan said Schroeck is a valuable asset to the school community. “Mrs. Schroeck is an excellent educator. She brings a wealth of experience to her position. There is not one person in the building that could say Mrs. Schroeck has not in one way or many ways supported them,” Dolan wrote in a nomination letter.
The Board each month honors CCPS students and staff members selected by their principal for recognition.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 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 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.