Four Charles County Public School Employees Honored

LA PLATA, Md. (Dec. 13, 2008)—The Board of Education honored four exemplary Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at its monthly meeting on Dec. 9. Honored were Joni Rooney, Jack Belle, Kathy-Lynn Kiessling and Daniel Kaple.

Rooney is a Title I technology teacher at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School. She was honored for organizing the accelerated reading program, organizing a schoolwide mock election, and for helping train staff and teachers in the use of technology. "She organized the manner in which the teachers utilize the accelerated reading program with their students," Barnhart Principal Kimberly Hairston wrote in a nomination letter. Rooney works with Barnhart staff in developing PowerPoint presentations, setting up virtual field trips and creating lessons that use the "clicker," or controlled response pad system. Rooney also serves as a co-sponsor of the school's Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program and coordinates staff development activities. Rooney most recently presented staff development sessions that focused on using the Smart Board technology and the IG Pro grade book system.

Belle is a science teacher at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School. He was honored for his role in the creation and planting of an 8.5-acre wetlands habitat constructed at the school this past spring. Belle coordinated field trips to the habitat with students from Brown, as well as Arthur Middleton Elementary and Piccowaxen Middle schools, and arranged for students to plant 16,000 grass plants. He is also leading the school's "Green School" status application and has coordinated recycling efforts by providing recycling bins for all staff. Belle serves as the school's key communicator by providing press release information and photographs to the Charles County Public Schools communications department for publication. He also serves as Brown's Web master, special area team leader, technology facilitator, bus coordinator, coach for both the fourth- and fifth-grade math teams, and coordinates the school's student safety patrols. Brown Principal Marvin Jones said Belle displays an exemplary work ethic. "In addition to Mr. Belle being quite the innovative science teacher, he regularly utilizes instructional technology and often makes helpful suggestions for improving schoolwide processes," Jones wrote in a nomination letter.

Kiessling is a vice principal at John Hanson Middle School. She was nominated for being a highly supportive administrator and for never losing sight of students and their needs. She goes above and beyond to help those in need. Hanson Principal Deborah Hile said Kiessling is a true leader. "In my judgment, Kathy is a model professional administrator. She is outstanding and will be a very effective principal when the opportunity arises," Hile wrote in a nomination letter. Hile said Kiessling is great with students and focuses on behavior modification and growth rather than punishment. Kiessling also communicates well with faculty groups, students and parents. "She has earned the respect of our staff, community and students. She is quick to say, 'May I help?' when there is a task to be done," Hile wrote in a nomination letter.

Kaple is a social studies teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School. He was nominated for recognition for serving as an Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History and film studies teacher. Kaple is teaching a highly successful elective film studies class and coordinated a ninth-grade local, state and national (LSN) government team to increase AP enrollment. Kaple has been teaching at Lackey for three years and prepares high quality lessons designed to meet a variety of learning needs and styles. He holds high expectations for his students and pushes them to think, read and write critically. Kaple also serves as the offensive coordinator for the varsity football team and recently joined a new committee at Lackey that focuses on literacy issues and developing intervention strategies. Lackey Principal James Short said Kaple is exceptional. "He is a dedicated professional who strives every day to give his students his very best," Short wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board recognizes several exemplary employees each month.

Source: Charles County public school system

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