LA PLATA, Md. (Nov. 30, 2009)—Three Charles County Public Schools staff members, Milton M. Somers Middle School art teacher Rick Ivanac, William A. Diggs Elementary School special education teacher Patricia Stokes and Westlake High School juvenile resource officer Paul Anderson were honored Oct. 28 with Greater Waldorf Jaycees Distinguished Service Awards.
Ivanac received the award in the education category. He was nominated for the award by Somers Principal Stephanie Wesolowski and has been teaching at Somers since 2001. He was nominated for creating a positive learning environment, establishing communication with parents, students and community partners and for his enthusiasm toward education.
It is evident to anyone who has the privilege to know him that he has a sincere passion for the educational profession and a sincere interest in and concern for students. He is always willing to come with creative lessons that prove to be interesting and educationally effective. He will certainly represent the attributes of an exemplary educator, Wesolowski said in a nomination letter.
Stokes received the award in the special education category. She was nominated for the award by staff members and administration at Diggs, where she has been teaching since 2006. Stokes has also worked at Indian Head and Berry elementary schools and at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center.
She was nominated for the award for her positive attitude and for challenging her students to achieve success. I have worked with her for the past 8 years and have observed first hand her depth of knowledge, her care, concern and willingness to share her extensive knowledge with her peers. She continues to offer extra time before and after school in order to accommodate all students not just those on her caseload, Laura Niggles, a kindergarten teacher at Diggs, wrote in a nomination letter.
Anderson received the award for county law enforcement. He was nominated for the award by the Westlake administrative team and has been assigned as the schools resource officer since 2004.
Anderson was nominated for the award for his positive mannerism and impact on the school and its community, and for being dependable and approachable. Parents, students, teacher and administrators depend on Officer Anderson on a daily basis. He is a key member of Westlake High School and the community and has earned the respect of students, community and staff and is deserving of this recognition, Westlake Vice Principal Lori Gibson wrote in a nomination letter.
The awards recognize those who provide outstanding contributions and service to the community in their respective fields. All three award winners received a crystal trophy and nominees were given a plaque.
Other nominees included Van Connor, pupil personnel worker, General Smallwood Middle School; Laura Liverman, technology facilitator, T.C. Martin Elementary School; Shirley Turner, teacher, Arthur Middleton Elementary School; Gary Winsett, social studies teacher, Thomas Stone High School; and Barbara Staebler, school psychologist at Eva Turner Elementary School.