The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees during the Jan. 13 Board meeting, including Steven Baldo, Stephen Fitzgerald, Beth Sorsby, Doreen White and Nathaniel Yake.
Baldo is a special education teacher at William B. Wade Elementary School where he has worked for the last seven school years. During his time at Wade, he has been nominated several times for recognition through the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee awards program. He strives to motivate students about learning and works to ensure they are comfortable in the classroom. Baldo also works with students to implement new strategies and monitor their learning and personal goals. Last school year, Baldo launched a unified basketball team, in which special education students were paired with their peers to participate. Wade Principal Penny Nye said Baldo exemplifies the word teacher. “He is a quiet force that has a positive effect on many and a smile that is contagious. When the Wade staff was polled about who to nominate for this award, they unanimously voted for Mr. Baldo,” Nye wrote in her nomination letter.
Fitzgerald is a media specialist at Matthew Henson Middle School where he has worked for the past five school years. He has increased independent reading among students by using a number of strategies, produced video book talks with students and staff, and helped to start the Husky Bucks program. Fitzgerald is also responsible for producing the morning announcements and sponsors successful Scholastic book fairs in which he hosts parent book nights to allow the community to attend and purchase books after work hours. He is a professional leader that consistently seeks ways to enhance his skill set as a media specialist. Henson Principal Sonia Jones said Mr. “Fitz” is well liked among both students and staff. “He is well respected by staff, students and the community. His ability to bring a strong literature background infused with technology makes him a much sought after educator. Students love Mr. Fitz,” Jones wrote in a nomination letter.
Sorsby is a reading resource teacher at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School. She has worked for CCPS for the past 13 years and has taught third grade and kindergarten. She has been Jenifer’s reading resource teacher for the past two school years and implements training on reading strategies for teachers. She also assesses each new Jenifer student to ensure they are placed in the best classroom for reading instruction. Earlier this school year, Sorsby organized a schoolwide activity for American Freedom Week called “Our Heroes,” that featured a decorated tree to show appreciation to military members and their families. Sorsby also earned her National Board Certification in 2009. Jenifer Principal Nancy Seifert said Sorsby is a skilled and talented teacher who holds herself to high standards. “She is a self-starter, works well under minimal supervision, and always gets the job done to a level of excellence far exceeding all expectations,” Seifert wrote in her nomination letter.
White is a special education instructional assistant at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center. She is known for being helpful and handles several tasks daily. In her position, she assists students in self-contained and inclusion special education classes, and also helps to answer phones, serve lunches to students and volunteers to chaperone field trips. White helps to enforce learning objectives for students in the classroom by learning the material herself so she can provide support where needed. She is an organized, efficient, dedicated employee who consistently puts forth her best effort. Stethem Principal Wayne Freeman said White’s work ethic is exemplar. “She goes above and beyond her call of duty and does it all with a smile on her face. She is truly dedicated to her profession,” Freeman wrote in a nomination letter.
Yake has been the technology facilitator at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School for the past five school years and is known for displaying a high degree of pride in his work. He works closely with other special area team members to collaborate on lessons and integrate other subject areas and grade level content into the technology curriculum program. Yake coordinates Hour of Code events for Mudd students and is working to create lessons so students at all grade levels can participate. He also makes an effort to greet students daily as they arrive to school. His coworkers describe Yake as an expert in introducing young children to working with computers and technology. Mudd Principal Kimberly Hairston said Yake is involved and present in everything that he does. “Mr. Yake is a great colleague, teacher and all around good person. The students are fond of him and know he genuinely cares for them,” Hairston wrote in a nomination statement.
The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 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 Pamela K. Murphy, 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.