The Board of Education at its Jan. 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 who demonstrate their dedication to teaching and learning. The recognition ceremony was held in a virtual format and featured pre-recorded introductions and recognitions from school principals.
Honored were Monique Burton, Bertha Gordon, Brandon Hoch, Clifton Posey and Jacqueline Thomas.
Burton is secretary to the principal at Billingsley Elementary School. She has worked for CCPS for the past 14 years. She joined the team at Billingsley when the school opened in 2019. Burton also has experience as a guidance secretary and technology facilitator. As secretary to the principal, Burton is responsible for overseeing school financials. When Billingsley first opened, Burton helped oversee financial processes included with opening a new school, such as payroll and inventory, equipment, supplies and materials orders. With ease, Burton took charge and helped oversee these processes. Her colleagues refer to her as knowledgeable, dependable and resourceful. She supports teachers, staff and the administrative team in any task needed and does it with a positive attitude. With the launch of virtual learning this school year, many families encountered technological difficulties when school started. Burton jumped in and used her technology skills to assist both teachers and families with virtual learning needs. Billingsley Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said Burton is an integral part of the Billingsley community. “Mrs. Burton has the full confidence of the staff. Opening a new school as a financial secretary is no small task. She has the perfect balance of being knowledgeable, resourceful, approachable, positive and professional. Her mere presence positively affects the school climate,” Robinson-Taylor wrote in a nomination statement.
Gordon is the registration secretary at Indian Head Elementary School. She was hired in the position at the school in 2017, and immediately adapted to the school environment. She greets everyone with a smile, is easy to talk to and helps parents, students and staff with whatever they need. Gordon is well known in the school community as someone who is patient, calm and kind. With the launch of virtual learning, Gordon often encounters families who need assistance in accessing online instruction. Although she has no formal technology training, Gordon guides families through the online learning tools over the phone to help students access live learning. She has become a go-to resource for families in need of technology help and is patient in the process. Gordon is efficient in her role and goes out of her way to ensure students, parents and staff have what they need for teaching and learning. Indian Head Principal Shane Blandford said Gordon is a dedicated member of the school community. “Mrs. Gordon has showed nothing but true dedication to her work and school community. She is loyal, supportive, and above all committed to ensuring every staff member, student and family have everything they need to be successful in their respective roles,” Blandford wrote in a nomination statement.
Hoch is an art teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. He has taught at Davis since the school opened in 2007. Prior to his position at Davis, Hoch taught at Mattawoman Middle School for 11 years. During his time at Davis, Hoch has been a team leader, part of the school’s leadership team and is the school Synergy coordinator. He is well respected among staff and parents and is an excellent role model for students. Hoch is also well respected among his colleagues at the county level. He often consults with other art teachers for training and professional development and is the most experienced middle school art teacher in Charles County. Hoch strives to improve and update art curriculum and serves as a mentor for new art teachers. As a veteran art teacher, Hoch has helped create art assessments for middle school students. Davis Principal Robert Griffiths said Hoch is an integral part of the CCPS art community. “His strong sense of integrity makes him an excellent, organized teacher, leader and employee. Brandon has always been dedicated and heavily involved in Charles County’s art program,” Griffiths wrote in a nomination letter.
Posey is the building service manager at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. He began his career with CCPS more than 33 years ago at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy. He is well known among parents, staff, students, families and the Nanjemoy community. Posey is regarded as a partner in the school and community. He leads by example and is always open to professional growth. Posey oversees the new cleaning processes associated with COVID-19 and works with his team to ensure the building is safe, clean and sanitized. He encourages his team members to take advantage of opportunities to learn all they can on the job, and to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the school. Posey takes pride in his work. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy received an excellent score on its preopening annual building inspection evaluation. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School Principal Nancy Seifert credits this achievement to Posey and his team. “Mr. Posey leads by example. He is responsible for the maintenance of our entire school which includes a pump house and leech field across from our school. He works hard with his staff to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. He has spent his career investing in students behind the scenes,” Seifert wrote in a nomination statement.
Thomas is an art teacher at Westlake High School. Since the start of the school year, Thomas has exceled in teaching art virtually. She demonstrates flexibility, patience and kindness to both students and staff. One of her goals is to build relationships and connect with students, as she understands the impact connections have in the classroom. Thomas instills in her students a love for art by teaching concepts in a way her students understand. In turn, her students embrace their talents and creativity. Thomas is also a CCPS and Westlake graduate. She is pursuing a master’s degree in community art and is a member of the National Art Education Association. Thomas recently helped to support a teacher out on extended leave and helped coordinate National Art Honor Society activities. She sets high goals for students and encourages them to use creative ways to overcome challenges. Westlake Principal Diane Roberts said Thomas is an outstanding educator. “Ms. Thomas has been outstanding in instructional leadership. When students leave her class at the end of the year she wants them to know that we all have challenges, but we can find solutions and overcome challenges in creative ways,” Roberts wrote in a nomination statement.
The Board each month honors CCPS students and staff selected by their principal for recognition.
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 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).