Five outstanding students were recognized for their accomplishments by the Charles County Board of Education during its April 4 meeting. The students were honored for their career readiness, academic achievement and personal responsibility. Among the students were Tania Harris, a senior at Thomas Stone High School; Brynna Bode, an eighth grader at General Smallwood Middle School; Kaelyn Buoy, a fifth-grade student at William A. Diggs Elementary School; and Nicholas Steed, a fifth grader at Mary B. Neal Elementary School; and Amelia Ortiz, a fifth-grade student at J.P. Ryon Elementary School.
Harris was recognized in the area of career readiness. She plans to go to college where she will major in Spanish and minor in psychology. Harris has been offered more than $850,000 in scholarships and has been accepted into 27 colleges. She has mastered the challenges of Advanced Placement (AP) and honors levels classes while serving as the president of Thomas Stone’s Student Government Association (SGA). Harris is a member of the National Honor Society, the W.E.B. Dubois Honor Society and finds time to play field hockey.
Bode was honored in the area of academic achievement. She wants to be an engineer, and she is on track to make it happen. Bode carries a 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) in school and scored 21 points above the county’s median score in algebra and 22 points above the county’s median score in reading this year. She is a member of Smallwood’s Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team, plays clarinet for the symphonic and jazz bands, was the last member standing of Smallwood’s Spelling Bee team and is one of two individual participants from Charles County to represent Smallwood at the state Math Counts competition this month. Bode enjoys being at home and feels the University of Maryland may be a good fit for her future goals in engineering. She is the youngest of seven children, loves to read and takes care of the animals on the family farm.
Buoy was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. She exemplifies Diggs’ rules and its adage of “Soar to Success.” Buoy has been identified as gifted and talented for reading and math. This school year, she received the Academic Excellence Award in science. Last year, when she was in fourth grade, Buoy was one of a handful of students countywide to receive a perfect score of 850 on the English language arts PARCC assessment and a score of 801 on the math assessment. In addition to excelling academically, Buoy is involved in activities and clubs at Diggs. She is a member of the safety patrol, band, math team, MESA and Destination Imagination. Her hobbies and interests include figure skating classes, watching the Food Network, playing Upward soccer and reading. Buoy wants to be a nurse, engineer and president of the United States.
Steed, a fifth grader at Neal, was honored in the area of personal responsibility. He has earned honor roll distinction since the third grade. He excels in all subjects and is in enrichment math and has always worked with the gifted reading cluster. Steed is a safety patrol, a musician in band, on the math and MESA teams, and takes responsibility for his learning. He serves as a role model to his fellow students and is dedicated to his studies. If he makes a mistake, he works to correct it and understand why he made the mistake. Steed is always willing to help his classmates, and he is so well respected he works as a peer mediator.
Ortiz was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She was identified as a gifted and talented student in reading and math when she was in second grade. Since then, she has excelled in all academic areas, earning honor roll every marking period since third grade. She stays busy with extracurricular activities including math team, MESA, Lego Robotics and Unified basketball. She is a founding member of Ryon’s Best Buddies Club and under her leadership, the club works to educate students about the importance of acceptance and understanding of students who have disabilities. Ortiz said she enjoys the positive reaction of students and the happiness she feels when she helps others through Best Buddies. She is a member of the J.P. Ryon Cardinal Chorus, All County Chorus and All County Orchestra. Ortiz would like to combine her interest in graphic design and her fascination with programming and coding. The interests may serve her well in the U.S. Air Force, which she is considering joining like her dad.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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.