Local Parent Volunteer Earns MSDE Special Award

Julie Chapman, a parent volunteer for nearly two decades was awarded the JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award by the Maryland State Department of Education on May 6. (Submitted photo)
LA PLATA, Md. (May 13, 2010)—Julie Chapman, a parent volunteer for nearly two decades at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School and now at Piccowaxen Middle School in Charles County, was awarded the JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) on May 6.

The annual award honors a parent that demonstrates excellent parental involvement, and was named after JoAnne Carter, a former Deputy State Superintendent for MSDE. Carter was a strong advocate for parental involvement in education and was heavily involved in the launch of the Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Award program.

Chapman is Charles County’s winner of the Comcast Parent Involvement Matters, and was chosen as one of 24 semifinalists for the state award. She was nominated for the award by staff at both Higdon and Piccowaxen and is described as a driving force and a can-do volunteer who does anything to support the schools where her children attend.

At Piccowaxen, Chapman is the Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) president as has been commended for her work on annual fundraisers, monthly school dances, teacher appreciation lunches, breakfasts and community giving programs. She also serves on Piccowaxen’s school improvement team and is the parent liaison.

Piccowaxen Principal Ken Schroeck said Chapman makes herself available to help in any way. “Ms. Chapman is an inspiration and model for other parents to become involved at the school,” he wrote in a nomination letter.

Comcast and MSDE partnered to create the Parent Involvement Matters Award program to recognize Maryland parents who have made contributions to public education and to highlight the positive impact parents have on public schools. The award recognizes parents from local school systems across Maryland who are nominated in five areas of parental involvement: communication, volunteering, learning, decision making and community collaboration.

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