CCPS students honored for gifted education accomplishments

CCPS students honored for gifted education accomplishments


The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education recognized 17 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students Feb. 11 for accomplishments in gifted education.

Each student was recognized with a Student Accomplishment in Gifted and Talented Education Award at a ceremony held at North County High School in Glen Burnie.

They are:

  • Tiwaloluwa Dapo-Adeyemo, eighth grade, General Smallwood Middle School;
  • Genesis Rodriguez Batalla, fifth grade, Indian Head Elementary School;
  • Nathan Bean, fifth grade, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School;
  • Caroline Bradley, fourth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School;
  • Brooklyn Cannon, fourth grade, Barnhart;
  • Jackson Donnick, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Brianna Edwards, eighth grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School;
  • Sydney Gunther, eighth grade, Stoddert;
  • Addison Kelly, fifth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
  • Jaleen Loving, eighth grade, Matthew Henson Middle School;
  • Corvin Ntim, eighth grade, Smallwood;
  • Shantelle Puma, fifth grade, William A. Diggs Elementary School;
  • Faith Rothell, eighth grade, Smallwood;
  • Jeremiah Seger, eighth grade, Smallwood;
  • Dylan Shafer, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Sanya Sitoula, fifth grade, Indian Head; and
  • Elijah Williamson, fifth grade, Matula.

Students are nominated for the award recognition by the learning resource teacher at their schools, who work with students enrolled in enrichment courses. Criteria for recognition include academic performance at a high level, being a current recipient of a school system, state or national award, and participation in a gifted education program.

All award honorees were recognized in a ceremony held to honor the governor’s proclamation of February as Gifted and Talented Education Month. The ceremony was sponsored by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education.

Dapo-Adeyemo consistently demonstrates exemplary performance in the classroom, earning high honors throughout her academic career. She has earned high scores on Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) assessments, and recently ranked among the top 5 percent of students in Charles County for her performance on both the reading and mathematics assessments. Dapo-Adeyemo is enrolled in high school level Algebra I and Spanish I. She was the student council president last school year and serves on the student advisory council. She is a student mentor, member of the track and field team, art club and school orchestra. Dapo-Adeyemo is part of the Smallwood Destination Imagination (DI) team. In 2019, her team earned first place at the regional event, second place at the state level and advanced to the global event. She also participates with Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA). Last school year, her MESA team placed first at both the regional and state levels. Outside of school, Dapo-Adeyemo is the lead singer of her church choir, is learning Yoruba and budgets monthly to donate her money to charity.

Rodriguez Batalla is an honor-roll student and has received straight A’s since she was in third grade. She was identified for gifted services in reading as a third grader and participates in several school clubs and activities. Rodriguez Batalla is a member of MESA and the robotics club. She was also recently honored by the Board of Education as Indian Head’s exemplary student in academic achievement for the 2019-20 school year. She excels on county assessments and often scores at a level 5, which is the highest mark a student can earn. Rodriguez Batalla also was honored this school year for the Indian Head character trait of the month of trust. She loves math and participates on the school math team. Rodriguez Batalla models personal responsibility as a member of the school’s Kindness Club and K-Kids Club. She plays trumpet in the school band and helps with the Yearbook Club. Rodriguez Batalla also loves to sing and participates in the school chorus.

Bean receives gifted services in both reading and math, and is an honor-roll student. He scored a 5 on both reading and math PARCC assessments, and scored in the 98th percentile on the Cognitive Abilities test (CogAT) for verbal skills. Bean reads on a sixth-grade level and is known among teachers as a student who always contributes to discussion with his peers. Bean strives to complete all assignments in a timely manner and helps others in need. He is a member of the school MESA team, which has won awards at both regional and state competitions. Bean is well-known as a role model for his peers and a student leader. He demonstrates an exemplary work ethic and shows a positive attitude in all that he does.

Bradley is a role-model student and demonstrates an exemplary work ethic. She strives to earn straight A’s each quarter and is an extraordinary student. Bradley scored in the top 99 percent among her peers on the CogAT test in verbal skills, and among the top 97 percent on the quantitative section. She also earned a 5 on county reading and math PARCC assessments. Bradley receives gifted services in both reading and math, and reads at a sixth-grade level. Her teachers describe her as a student who rises above and shows remarkable work. Bradley is a member of the school robotics team and MESA. She has participated in the Daughters of the American Revolution Junior Achievement Contest for the past two years and received first-place awards at both the regional and state levels. Bradley consistently earns Principal’s Honor Roll and demonstrates personal responsibility.

Cannon receives gifted services in both reading and math, and is a straight A student. She performs at higher levels than her peers and earns scores of 4 and 5 on both math and reading PARCC assessments. Cannon reads at a sixth-grade level. She scored among the top 94 percent of her peers on the verbal skills portion of the CogAT test. She excels academically and is a leader among her peers. Cannon is a member of the MESA team and Girls on the Run club. As a member of MESA, Cannon’s team won awards at both the county and state levels. Cannon recently was recognized through the Community Bank Art Show with an award for her submission in the contemporary category.

Donnick is an exemplary student and outperforms his peers. He is gifted in all areas, but excels in math. He scored a 99 percent on the quantitative portion of the CogAT test. For the past four years, Donnick has worked on class material that is above his grade level. He was identified to receive gifted services in second grade. Donnick achieved a perfect score of 850 on the county PARCC assessment in math, and an 833 on the PARCC reading assessment. He is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll and is a member of several school activities. Donnick participates in DI, MESA, the school math team, the school science fair and art contests. For the past three years, he has won awards in the Daughters of the American Revolution contest at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Edwards is a straight A student and enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study. To be eligible for the Scholars program, students must take three consecutive years of advanced language arts, math, social studies and science classes. Scholars students must also take Algebra I and a world language course in eighth grade. Edwards performs at higher levels than her grade-level peers on county assessments and scores above the county average. She is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll and has received several Student of the Quarter awards in different subject areas. Edwards is actively involved in several clubs at Stoddert including Lego Robotics, MESA, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and volleyball. She is also in the school band and swims outside of school. Edwards attended the National Youth Leadership Forum and is known as a leader among her peers.

Gunther is a straight A student and enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study. She has achieved a score of 5, the highest a student can earn, on county PARCC assessments in both reading and math. As a seventh grader, Gunther was among the top 3 percent of students in Maryland to receive a score of 5 on the math PARCC exam. She consistently achieves higher scores on assessments than her grade-level peers. Gunther also received All-County Orchestra honors in both the fifth- and eighth grades. Her teachers describe her as a natural leader who is kind and respectful. Gunther is actively involved in MESA, Math Counts, the NJHS and DI. She was recently elected as treasurer of the NJHS at Stoddert and has earned Student of the Quarter awards in several subject areas. Outside of school, Gunther spends time volunteering at her church.

Kelly excels and performs at an advanced level in all academic areas. She is a straight A student and receives gifted services in both reading and math. Prior to being identified for gifted services, Kelly was reading beyond her peers in first grade and was placed in accelerated reading. She exceeds her peers on county assessments, scoring a 5 on both the math and language arts PARCC assessments. Kelly reads beyond a seventh-grade level and has excellent writing skills. Kelly is a member of the Matula student council and served as secretary last school year. She also participates in MESA, DI, the school chess team, safety patrol and Lego Robotics. Kelly was an integral member of the fourth-grade math team that won first place last year at the countywide Elementary Math Challenge. She also participates in the Daughters of the American Revolution Junior American Citizens Contest since she was in first grade. The contest features creative writing and artistic expression opportunities and Kelly has won awards at the local, state, regional and national levels for her poems, stories, posters, banners and stamp designs. 

Loving is a Principal’s Honor Roll student and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout middle school. She earns 5 on county PARCC assessments; her scores are among the top 5 percent among her peers at the county level. She is known among her teachers as a dedicated and responsible student. She was first identified for gifted services as a fourth grader and takes accelerated courses at Henson in language arts, math, science and social studies. Loving is enrolled in high school level Spanish I. She is an officer with the Henson Student Government Association (SGA), a member of the NJHS and girls volleyball team. Loving plays clarinet in the school band and was picked to represent Henson as a member of All-County Band for the past two years.

Ntim is an honor-roll student and has held a 4.0 GPA for the past two school years. Prior to this school year, Ntim attended school in Virginia and earned advanced marks on the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments. He exceeds his peers at Smallwood both on class assignments and test. He was first identified as a gifted and talented student in second grade and takes accelerated classes in language arts, science and social studies. He completed Algebra I as a sixth grader and is enrolled in honors Geometry at Henry E. Lackey High School. He is also enrolled in high school level Spanish I. Throughout middle school, Ntim has earned principals and high honors and will receive the Distinguished Scholars Award at the end of this school year.

Puma has maintained a near perfect GPA as well as attendance for several years. She is enrolled in gifted courses in both language arts and math, and excels in the advanced fifth-grade grade reading group and accelerated math program. Puma is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll, is a member of the Diggs Kids with Character program and actively volunteers in her community. She has earned straight A’s for several years in a row and was nominated by Diggs staff for the Ben Carson Scholarship Award.

Rothell has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her middle school career, consistently placing her on the Principal’s Honor Roll. She earned a score of 5 on the language arts portion of the PARCC assessment for the past two school years, placing her within the top 5 percent of Charles County for both years. Rothell has also performed in the top 5 percent of Charles County students on the math PARCC assessment for the past two years. She models an exemplary work ethic and consistently earns positive recognition from her classroom teachers. Rothell is enrolled in accelerated language arts, science and social studies courses. She completed Algebra I as a seventh grader and attends Lackey for honors Geometry. Rothell is also enrolled in high school level Spanish I. Outside of school, Rothell participates on a competitive dance team, takes private lessons in German and recently performed the lead role in “A Christmas Carol” with the Port Tobacco Players Theater. She also participates in the CCPS History Fair, MESA, NJHS and the school jazz band and orchestra.

Seger consistently demonstrates exemplary performance within the classroom and earns high honors. He earned a 5 on the math PARCC assessment for the past two school years, placing him within the top 5 percent in Charles County. As a sixth grader, his PARCC reading score landed him among the top 5 percent. As a seventh grader, his PARCC reading score landed him among the top 10 percent of students in the county. He is enrolled in gifted enrichment level language arts, science and social studies classes. Seger is enrolled in high school level Algebra I and Spanish 1. He is a member of the NJHS, Sea Perch Robotics team and DI. He also participates on the Spelling Bee team each year. Outside of school, Seger is heavily involved in his church. He has assisted in running small groups during Vacation Bible School and his church’s yearly fall festival. Jeremiah also works with the Smallwood Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (PTSO).

Shafer excels and performs at an advanced level in all academic areas. He is a straight A student and receives gifted services in both reading and math. He scored among the top 5 percent in the county on the PARCC language arts and math assessments. His CogAT scores place him in the 99th percentile for quantitative skills and 98th percentile for verbal skills. He reads beyond an eighth-grade level and has excellent writing skills. Shafer has participated in the gifted program in both reading and math since he was in third grade. His advanced problem solving and critical thinking skills help him consistently perform at a higher level than his peers in the gifted program. Shafer was a member of the Matula fourth-grade math team that placed first in the Charles County Elementary Math Challenge last year. He also earned first place in the individual competition among competing fourth graders. Additionally, Shafer is a member of MESA and Lego Robotics. His teachers describe him as a student with excellent leadership skills.

Sitoula is an honor-roll student and receives gifted services in reading and math. She scored a 5 on both the reading and math PARCC assessments and is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll. She is a member of the fifth-grade math team, plays the flute in the school band and sang in the All-County Chorus last year. Sitoula also participates in the K.I.D.S group at Indian Head, which stands for Kids Into Discovering Science. She participated in the school chess club, K-Kids community service club and robotics. Sitoula won the “If I Were Mayor” essay contest with the Town of Indian Head last year and was recognized with a character trait of the month award for commitment. She is part of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Program this year and participated last year. Additionally, Sitoula received third-place honors for her individual score in the 2019 Elementary Math Challenge.

Williamson excels and performs at an advanced level in all academic areas. He is a straight A student and was identified for gifted services in both reading and math. His PARCC reading score ranks among the top 5 percent in the county, and his math score ranks him among the top 10 percent. Williamson reads beyond an eighth-grade level and has excellent writing skills. He excels in the gifted reading program and was recently featured in a presentation on critical thinking skills at the National Association for Gifted Children conference. Williamson was a member of the fourth-grade Matula math team that competed and placed first in the Charles County Elementary Math Challenge last year. The team coach credits Williamson’s strong math aptitude and excellent leadership abilities in aiding to the team’s success. Williamson is a member of the school safety patrol, reading buddy program, plays soccer and volunteers with his church.

During the ceremony in which the students were honored, six CCPS educators were recognized for their accomplishments in gifted education. To read about the educators honored, visit ccboe.com. 

About CCPS

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 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. 

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