Charles Board of Education Honors Exemplary Employees - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Board of Education Honors Exemplary Employees

LA PLATA, Md. (Jan. 21, 2009)—The Board of Education honored five exemplary Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at its monthly meeting Jan. 13. Honored were Cynthia Rivera, Norma E. Williams, Donna F. Griffin, Kathryn A. Koch and Todd A. Wonderling.

Rivera is a secretary at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School. She was honored for taking pride in her job duties and responsibilities, for volunteering her spare time to help others and for earning outstanding evaluations three years in a row. Rivera has created a welcoming environment in the school's front office for students, parents and staff, and helps Spanish-speaking families feel at ease by guiding them through the school registration process and paper work. "She creates a positive, welcoming environment daily in our office by meeting each person's needs immediately and with a smile on her face," Jenifer Principal Thadine Wright wrote in a nomination letter. Rivera often attends professional development sessions to help expand her knowledge of education and school safety issues. Rivera also supports the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program by helping organize student recognitions and awards, and by assisting in the organization of quarterly PBIS events.

Williams is a second-grade teacher at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School. She was nominated by Mudd staff for recognition for demonstrating an excellent work ethic, and for her positive rapport with students, staff and parents. Williams has been teaching in Charles County for more than 10 years and has helped create a better learning environment for students at Mudd. She is highly respected among staff and in the Mudd community and provides a warm, nurturing classroom climate for her students to feel at home. Mudd Principal Robert Opiekun said Williams is a valuable asset to the Mudd community. "Through her caring and consistent approach toward students, she has been able to foster excellence in many children who have struggled in their previous years in elementary school," Opiekun wrote in a nomination letter. Williams also participates in staff development sessions and has implemented initiatives in her classroom including Smart Boards and other technology enhancements.

Griffin is a fourth-grade teacher at William B. Wade Elementary School. She was honored for her dedication to helping students succeed, and for excelling in the area of professional growth. Griffin has taught in CCPS for more than 18 years. Wade Principal Amy DiSabatino said Griffin has embraced changes in education throughout her tenure in Charles County. "She has truly embraced these changes as a means of adding to her teacher repertoire and helping her students continue to make progress," DiSabatino wrote in a nomination letter. Griffin volunteered to teach an inclusion class for the past few years and her students have consistently scored at the proficient and advanced levels on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA). She also assists and mentors new teachers and is one of the first people in the school each morning and one of the last to leave in the evening.AC

Koch is a language arts teacher at Matthew Henson Middle School. She was honored for being a creative and dedicated hard-working professional, for volunteering to help other teachers in her spare time and for working well with all members of the Henson team. Koch holds all of her students accountable for learning and her students constantly perform above county averages on CCPS assessment tests. She serves as the sixth grade team leader and school newspaper sponsor, and is a member of the PBIS committee, the school improvement team and the student recognition committee. Henson Principal Ronald Stup said Koch is a valuable asset to Henson, the school community and the school system. "Kathy is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, confident, dedicated, organized, thorough and professional. She works well with her instructional assistant, her team members and the administration," Stup wrote in a nomination letter.

Wonderling is a special education teacher at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center. He was honored for demonstrating an exemplar work ethic, for consistently receiving outstanding evaluations and for having an excellent rapport with students, staff and parents. Wonderling has worked in the STAY Program at the Gwynn Center for more than seven years and is the academic team leader. He completed his master's degree in special education last year and displays exceptional leadership skills. Gwynn Center Administrator and STAY Program Coordinator John Watkins said Wonderling always demonstrates a high quality of work. "He tirelessly works with staff on improving the academic process, incorporating Individualized Education Plans (IEP) goals and objectives of students in daily lesson plans. He mentors new teachers and holds a number of in-service trainings for staff," Watkins wrote in a nomination letter. Wonderling also received the Special Education Citizen Advisory Commission (SECAC) award and served as a presenter at last year's principal leadership conference.

The Board recognizes several exemplary employees each month.

Source: The Charles County public school system

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