System principal, teacher recognized for gifted education efforts

System principal, teacher recognized for gifted education efforts


The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education recently honored two Charles County Public Schools educators – T. C. Martin Elementary School Principal Greg Miller and Aparna Joshi, a gifted education resource teacher at Milton M. Somers Middle School – for their efforts in gifted education. Miller received the 2013 Outstanding Educator – School Administrator award and Joshi was honored with the 2013 Teacher as Leader in Gifted and Talented Education award.

The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education annually honors educators, students and community organizations for their contributions in developing the talents of Maryland students from all populations in gifted education. Miller is one of six Maryland school administrators recognized this year, and Joshi is one of 20 Maryland teachers honored with a Teacher as Leader award.

Miller has been the principal at Martin since 2011. He was nominated for the award by Kathy Stapleson, a gifted education resource teacher at Martin, for his efforts in expanding the gifted program. In 2013, the school received an Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) award, which honors elementary, middle and high schools that offer gifted and talented programs that model excellence and focus on improving levels of student achievement. Stapleson said Miller was instrumental in Martin’s selection for the award.

“He shows leadership in expanding and improving the gifted program and services in our school. His support of the gifted committee, passion for the EGATE award and his willingness to allocate time and materials to the gifted program make him eligible for this prestigious award,” Stapleson wrote in a nomination letter. Miller also works with Stapleson to present gifted information to parents at school events and encourages teachers to seek additional training opportunities to enhance their knowledge of gifted education practices.

Last school year, Miller coordinated a schoolwide event to celebrate Martin’s selection as an EGATE award recipient and recognized students and staff for their accomplishments in gifted education. As an administrator, Miller also participates in gifted identification screening meetings, dedicates time during staff meetings to discuss gifted services and monitors the delivery of instruction with students identified for gifted services.

Joshi has been the gifted education resource teacher at Somers for the past three school years. She was nominated for the award by Mary Seremet, a gifted education resource teacher for Charles County Public Schools. Seremet works with gifted education teachers at the middle-school level and said Joshi is an exemplary leader. “In her role as the gifted resource teacher, Joshi has distinguished herself as an enthusiastic educator with a passionate commitment to student development and success. She is masterful in developing and adapting curriculum in order to meet both the cognitive and affective needs of gifted learners,” Seremet wrote in a nomination letter.

As the gifted education teacher at Somers, Joshi collaborates with teachers of identified students to implement instructional practices for high student achievement. She encourages her students to explore their passions and coordinates several extended-learning opportunities, from advanced book clubs and robotics-team events to essay contests. Joshi also leads systemwide workshops and has helped write curriculum for gifted language arts, earth science and Algebra I.

She is a national certified teacher, holds the Maryland gifted and talented education specialist certification, and holds a certificate in space studies. Joshi was also recognized for her efforts in utilizing technology in the classroom and was named a teacher liaison as part of Charles County Public Schools partnership with the Space Foundation.

Both Joshi and Miller will be honored Feb. 27 at the Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland reception and awards ceremony. Milton M. Somers Middle School will also be recognized as one of nine Maryland schools selected for a 2013 EGATE award. Additionally, seven Charles County Public Schools students selected for gifted and talented achievement awards will be honored during the ceremony.

For more information on the EGATE program and gifted and talented education, visit the MSDE website at http://marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs/giftedtalented/index.html.

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 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 Connie W. Armstead, 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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