Charles County Public Schools News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles County Public Schools News Briefs

Stethem Center receives 9,000 pound donation

A 9,000 pound anchor was donated to the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center on Thursday, Sept. 18, by the Naval Sea System Command's Inactive Ships Program.

The anchor commemorates Robert D. Stethem, a Charles County native and 1980 graduate of Thomas Stone High School. Stethem was enlisted in the United States Navy as a diver and was killed on a jetliner that was hijacked by terrorists in the Middle East in June 1985.

The anchor is about 10 feet high and 7 feet wide and weighs 4 tons. Facchina Group of Companies, L.L.C., provided transportation for the anchor, which came from a ship yard in Philadelphia. The anchor was placed in front of the school on a mound of stones, donated by Chaney Enterprises.

The donation process began two years ago and was facilitated by Sue Heath, secretary to the principal at Stethem. KWW Brown Corporation donated anchor rode, or chain, that will be placed around the anchor as a fence. School staff will also arrange for a plaque to be placed in front of the anchor with solar lighting.

Stone students learn leadership, respect through art project

More than 80 Thomas Stone High School teen leadership and art students participated in the "Pinwheels for Peace," an international literacy and art project, at the school on Monday, Sept. 22.

Students created pinwheels of all shapes from construction paper and used crayons, markers, paint and other materials to decorate one side of the pinwheel, and placed their thoughts of what peace, respect and responsibility meant to them on the other side. The pinwheels were attached to a wooden stick and placed in front of the school's sign, where they were put on display for the following week.

All students received a grade for their project, which was organized by Thomas Stone Art teacher Olivia Crowley. The Pinwheels for Peace project was started in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida as an artistic and educational way for students to participate in the International Day of Peace.

Patriots Day Celebration at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School

Students and staff at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School celebrated Patriots Day on Thursday, Sept. 11, by wearing red, white and blue clothing. Students and staff also participated in a moment of silence at the school's flagpole while Anthony Kirkland, the instrumental music teacher at Higdon, played "Bugle Call" on his trumpet. Higdon safety patrol members and fifth graders Cameron Butler and Layci Earnshaw helped raise the school's flags.

Students Invited to Display Projects at NASA Launchfest

Cayley Dymond, a ninth-grade student at North Point High School, and Victoria Ritter, a junior at La Plata High School, were invited to exhibit their science fair projects in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Launchfest, held Saturday, Sept. 13. Dymond's "The Aerodynamics of Different Satellite Shapes" earned first place in the Physics and Astronomy division, and Ritter's "The Pressure is On" earned first place in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering division of the 2008 Charles County Science Fair. Lauchfest included exhibits and demonstrations from current and future space flight missions.

Misc. Items

-- La Plata High School will hold a memorial service for Guy Bowling, a former softball coach, at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 13, at the school's softball field. School officials will also dedicate new batting cages in Bowling's name.

-- Parent@School, the information system used by Charles County Public Schools, was recently undergoing maintenance and was disabled for the past few weeks. The site will be available for parent access Monday afternoon, Sept. 29.

-- Students at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School learned about the telegraph and Morse code from Thomas Edison during a schoolwide assembly held Tuesday, Sept. 9. The event was hosted by Higdon's Parent-Teacher Association and featured actors from Mobile Ed. Productions, a company that presents educational workshops nationwide.

-- Carol Leveillee, principal of Mary B. Neal Elementary School, will be honored Oct. 16-17 in Washington, D.C., by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. She is one of 50 National Distinguished Principals chosen for 2008 and represents Maryland. She was chose for the state award from more than 900 candidates.

-- Charles County Public Schools hosted more than 200 new staff members at its new staff reception held Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Middleton Hall in Waldorf. The reception is held to welcome staff to the school system and instructional, support and administrative staff were invited to participate.

-- Students in Gayle Kraus' art classes at Piccowaxen Middle School are using laptop computers to research an "artist of the month" for classroom projects. Students investigate their featured artist to gain appreciation of the influence of history on art. Students also create original artwork to mimic the styles of the featured artist. The featured artist for September is Romare Bearden, an artist known for collage work.

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