School system staff receive awards, recognition from SECAC

School system staff receive awards, recognition from SECAC

The Charles County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) honored more than 100 Charles County Public Schools staff and community members at its ninth annual Teacher and Staff Appreciation Awards ceremony held Tuesday, April 29, at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center.

Honorees are nominated for recognition by students, parents and community members. Recognized were teachers, instructional assistants, school bus drivers, school counselors, psychologists, administrators, occupational, physical and speech therapists, and others who make a difference in the lives of special needs children.

Award winners are nominated and selected in six categories: individual elementary; individual secondary; elementary group; secondary group; related services and support staff/administration.

Two winners were selected in the individual elementary category. They are Erica Burroughs, a special education teacher at Berry Elementary School, and Jo Handley, a special teacher at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School.

The elementary winners in the group nomination category are from the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center. They are Kristin Cotner, occupational therapist; Susan Jennings, special education instructional assistant; Jo Anne Roberts, physical therapist; Krista Spalding, special education teacher; Linda Steffens, speech therapist; Anne-Marie Storm, instructional assistant; and Melissa Wagner, instructional assistant.

Two winners were also selected for the secondary individual category. They are Kathleen Burke, a special education teacher at Milton M. Somers Middle School, and Margaret McCormac, an instructional assistant at Piccowaxen Middle School.

The secondary group award winners are from Thomas Stone High School. They are Cory Chapman, special education teacher; Susan Fine, special education instructional assistant, Emotionally Adjusted (EA) program; Maria Hidalgo, special education instructional assistant, EA program; Scott Paterson, school psychologist; and Matthew Werner, special education teacher.

In the related services category, Kristin Cotner, an occupational therapist based at Gwynn, was selected as the winner. In the support staff/administration category, Todd Wonderling, the acting coordinator for special program at Gwynn, was selected as the winner.

Additionally, honorees recognized for nominations include:

  • Linda Baker, special education instructional assistant, Life Skills program, John Hanson Middle School;
  • Nicole Baker, special education preschool instructional assistant, Berry;
  • Angela Bates, special education instructional assistant, EA program, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
  • Sheri Belisle, prekindergarten teacher, Mary B. Neal Elementary School;
  • Brenda Bell, school bus driver;
  • Stacy Bennett, special education teacher, Hanson;
  • Nidia Black, special education teacher/IEP facilitator, North Point High School;
  • Cairna Bode, speech therapist, Gwynn;
  • Tammy Bowling, special education instructional assistant, Infants and Toddlers program, Gwynn;
  • Fallon Boyce, instructional assistant, Gwynn;
  • Roberta Bragunier, special education teacher, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School;
  • Scott Brain, school psychologist, Gwynn;
  • Timothy Brown, school psychologist, Dr. James Craik Elementary School and Mattawoman Middle School;
  • Jennifer Buckley, special education teacher, Mattawoman;
  • Stacy Burkheiser, fifth-grade teacher, Malcolm Elementary School;
  • Laura Canetti, speech language pathologist, Neal;
  • Lachelle Carroll, special education preschool instructional assistant, Neal;
  • Janie Chang, special education teacher, T.C. Martin Elementary School;
  • Alison Cheney, physical education teacher, North Point;
  • Karen Chisley, special education teacher, Piccowaxen;
  • Kristin Churchill, special education teacher, Stone;
  • Anne Corbelli, special education teacher, North Point;
  • Samantha Clark, special education teacher, Matula;
  • Samantha DeNardo, English as a Second Language (ESOL) teacher, William A. Diggs Elementary School, Theodore G. Davis Middle School and North Point;
  • Christine DePriest, instructional assistant, Matula;
  • Jennifer Diaz, instructional assistant, William B. Wade Elementary School;
  • Inmaculada Dove, special education instructional assistant, Infants and Toddlers program, Gwynn;
  • Kimberly Dutko, special education teacher, Matula;
  • Sue Ebbitt, special education teacher, North Point;
  • Nancy Ewing, special education teacher, North Point;
  • Nicole Finamore, instructional assistant, Martin;
  • Cathy Fleming, special education instructional assistant, Life Skills program, North Point;
  • Danielle Foss, special education teacher, Maurice J. McDonough High School;
  • Jo Ann Garner, second-grade teacher, Martin;
  • Karen Gross, special education instructional assistant, Wade;
  • Katie Guesto, special education teacher, Martin;
  • Brooke Gunter, speech language pathologist, Diggs;
  • Margaret Haines, special education teacher, Malcolm;
  • Sheila Heatley, school counselor, Davis;
  • Kimberly Holmes, vice principal, Davis;
  • Meghan Hunter, special education teacher, Mattawoman;
  • Angelica Jenkins, instructional assistant, Hanson;
  • Sara Kanas, special education teacher, Gwynn;
  • Richard Kelly, special education teacher, Mattawoman;
  • Andre Kenan, social studies teacher, Stone;
  • Aimee Knotts, instructional assistant, Matula;
  • Rebecca Bursheim-LaFontant, special education instructional assistant, Diggs;
  • Lauren Lavoie, special education teacher, Piccowaxen;
  • Nathan Lebedeker, physical therapist, Gwynn;
  • Racheal Lindauer, autism resource teacher, Gwynn;
  • Stephanie Lloyd, instructional assistant, Wade;
  • Darleane Lowe, kindergarten teacher, Eva Turner Elementary School;
  • Gwen McCarter, Title I program tutor, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School;
  • Denise McCloskey, special education teacher, Martin;
  • Jean McGuire, instructional assistant, Gwynn;
  • Pamela Mengel, third-grade teacher, Mitchell;
  • Linda Metheny, vice principal, Davis;
  • Sarah Dasher-Millman, kindergarten teacher, Diggs;
  • Marta Starkey-Mister, speech therapist, Gwynn;
  • Jenna Monroe, special education teacher, Wade;
  • Margaret Monroe, kindergarten instructional assistant, Turner;
  • Joan Newberg, preschool instructional assistant, Neal;
  • Chelsea Pogar, special education teacher, Gwynn;
  • Ginna Ponton, special education teacher, Arthur Middleton Elementary School;
  • Cornelia Poudrier, special education teacher, J.P. Ryon Elementary School;
  • Kim Powell, kindergarten instructional assistant, Diggs;
  • Angie Prado, school counselor, Stone;
  • Janae Randall, special education instructional assistant, Martin;
  • Emily Roenigk, special education teacher, Neal;
  • Julianne Rotondi, school counselor, Martin;
  • Melissa Ryan, special education teacher, Neal;
  • Sarah Scherhaufer, special education teacher, Gwynn;
  • Paula Schiller, special education teacher, Gwynn;
  • Andrea Smoot, special education instructional assistant, Infants and Toddlers program, Gwynn;
  • Amy Snyder, special education teacher, Gale-Bailey Elementary School;
  • Nicole Spalding, second-grade teacher, Matula;
  • Amy Striker, instructional resource teacher, Martin;
  • Kimberly Tabourne, special education teacher, Mattawoman;
  • Jennifer Toone, mathematics teacher, Mattawoman;
  • Brenda Wagner, special education teacher, Gwynn;
  • Karen Wagner, Reading Recovery teacher, Martin;
  • Matthew Walker, instructional assistant, Martin;
  • Nancy Watts, special teacher, North Point;
  • Teresa Whigham, occupational therapist;
  • Genevieve White, school psychologist, Davis and Mitchell;
  • Charmaine Whitley, school bus driver;
  • Brittany Williams, instructional assistant, Hanson;
  • Patricia Williams, special education teacher, Diggs;
  • Corrie Wutka, third-grade teacher, Diggs;
  • Joyce Yates, Multiple Intensity Teaching (MIT) program instructional assistant, Gwynn;
  • Erin Yim, special education teacher, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School.

The SECAC is organized to provide a forum for issues pertaining to children with special education needs. Members advocate for recommendations and advise the school system about the education budget, inclusion assessments, support services and other issues concerning children and special education, and related services. For more information on the SECAC, visit the Parent Center website at or call 301-934-7456.

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 35 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, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela Murphy, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, central office building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 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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