Somers seventh grader earns the top speller title in county bee
Aashka Patel, a seventh-grade student at Milton M. Somers Middle School, earned the title of the countys top speller at the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 36th annual Spelling Bee held Feb. 21 at Somers. Patel spelled the word cynosure, which means something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance or something serving for guide or direction, to earn first place. As the Charles County winner, Patel advances to the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled for May 25-31 in Washington D.C.
Stephen Duranske, a seventh grader at John Hanson Middle School, earned second place in the competition, followed by Danielle Williams, an eighth grader at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, in third place. Additionally, teams from each competing school are awarded points based on student performance during each round.
The Somers team earned first place for their team performance. Along with Patel, team members are eighth grader Matthew Davis, seventh graders Michael Gill and Anna Maynard, and sixth grader Joseph Lee. Team coaches are Somers language arts teachers Lynn Hopkins and Fara Walent. As the first-place team winner, the Somers team was awarded a special plaque to display in the school.
Students from all Charles County public middle schools and county private schools are invited annually to participate in the event. The spelling bee is sponsored by CCPS, the College of Southern Maryland, the Maryland Independent, Chaney Enterprises and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECO).
Students chosen to job shadow Board, Superintendent
As part of Charles County Public Schools Job Shadow Day activities, eight fifth-grade students were selected to shadow members of the Board of Education of Charles County, as well as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill, during the Boards Feb. 11 meeting. Students were randomly assigned to each Board member and the Superintendent and experienced the meeting firsthand by sitting next to their assigned member in the Board room.
During the meeting, students introduced themselves and had opportunities to ask questions and participate. The goal of their participation was to learn about the functions of the Board of Education and learn about the link between schoolwork and the world of work. Job Shadow experiences also allow for students to explore careers and employment prospects.
The following students were selected by their schools to participate:
-- Olivia Boyce, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
-- Alesia Coleman, J.C. Parks Elementary School;
-- Jordan Kabala, Matula;
-- Yachi Madaan, J.P. Ryon Elementary School;
-- Alyssa Norris, Ryon;
-- Lennard Proctor, Ryon;
-- David Strong, Matula; and
-- Benjamin Winfield, Parks.
The students shadowed Board members from 1 to 3:30 p.m., and were recognized for their participation. This is the third year that the Board of Educations student shadow opportunity has been extended to county elementary schools. Each year, students from all grade levels participate in job shadowing activities, both in the community and at school.
Job Shadow Day meets the objectives for one of the school systems three focus areas career readiness. While the activity is associated with Groundhog Day, students participate in shadowing experiences throughout the month of February. In recent years, more than 3,000 to 6,000 Charles County Public Schools students have participated in Job Shadow Day activities. Schools coordinate a variety of Job Shadow activities for students, ranging from hosting guest speakers and coordinating career fairs to working with community partners to build school to career partnerships. Students also participate in on-the-job experiences ranging in professions from retail, the medical field and government agencies to clerical work and vocational-based opportunities.
The Boston Private Industry Council first started groundhog Job Shadow Day in 1996 as part of its School-to-Work effort. In 1998, a coalition including Gen. Colin Powells Americas Promise was formed to encourage national participation. Charles County Public Schools joined the effort in 1999 and has participated annually.
County students participate in winter chess tournament
Charles County Public Schools held their annual Winter Chess Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Thomas Stone High School. More than 175 students participated in the event, which is the largest turnout in recent years. The tournament is sponsored by the school systems gifted education and instruction departments, and is open to any student in grades kindergarten through 12.
The tournament follows a Swiss-style format in which each student plays four games. Students competed in five grade-level divisions and trophies were awarded to first- and second-place winners. Third-place winners received medals for placing, and all participants received a certificate for their performance. Felix Cummings served as the tournament director.
The following students were winners in their division:
Grades kindergarten through second:
-- Timothy Martinez, first place, first grade, William B. Wade Elementary School;
-- Miles Davis, first place, kindergarten, William A. Diggs Elementary School;
-- Jace Darvill, third place, second grade, Wade;
-- Joseph Diana, third place, second grade, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School;
-- Emily Matundan, third place, second grade, J.C. Parks Elementary School;
-- Ihshan Kazim, third place, second grade, Eva Turner Elementary School;
-- Alan Sebastian, third place, second grade, Wade;
-- Manav Soni, third place, first grade, Wade; and
-- Tarun Veeramarchnani, third place, second grade, Wade.
Grades three and four:
-- Arya Forohar, first place, fourth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
-- Jason Shaffer, first place, fourth grade, Mitchell;
-- Caleb Jenkins, second place, third grade, Parks;
-- Dwayne Isaacs, second place, fourth grade, Parks;
-- Sholom Murphy, second place, third grade, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School;
-- Natalie Green, third place, third grade, Wade;
-- Solomon Griggs, third place, fourth grade, Diggs;
-- Rodney Harrison, third place, fourth grade, Matula;
-- Daniel Huttig, third place, fourth grade, Diggs;
-- Brett Michael, third place, fourth grade, Matula;
-- Nathan Michael, third place, third grade, Matula;
-- Maci Mulloy, third place, fourth grade, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School;
-- James Olmsted, third place, third grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School; and
-- Jackson Osborn, third place, fourth grade, Diggs.
Grades five and six:
-- Bradley Brown, first place, sixth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School;
-- John Glassman, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
-- Christopher Rand-Crawford, first place, sixth grade, John Hanson Middle School;
-- Kristof Lile, second place, sixth grade, Matthew Henson Middle School;
-- Eric Fotang, third place, sixth grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School;
-- Francis Franch, third place, fifth grade, Arthur Middleton Elementary School;
-- Alyssa Gerhart, third place, fifth grade, Wade;
-- Payton Green, third place, sixth grade, Davis;
-- Collin Jenkins, third place, fifth grade, Parks;
-- Brandon Luton, third place, sixth grade, Somers;
-- Mathew Padath, third place, sixth grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School;
-- Ebin Sebastian, third place, fifth grade, Wade;
-- Brenden Thompson, third place, sixth grade, Henson; and
-- Daniel West, third place, fifth grade, Middleton.
Grades seven and eight:
-- Kyle Noah Batchelor, first place, eighth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School;
-- James Tabourne, second place, seventh grade, Stoddert;
-- Ethan Allshouse, third place, seventh grade, Somers;
-- Paulo Bonilla, third place, seventh grade, Davis;
-- Gabriel Dizon, third place, eighth grade, Mattawoman Middle School;
-- Jarrett Mulloy, third place, seventh grade, Piccowaxen; and
-- Joshua Sokol, third place, seventh grade, Stoddert.
Grades nine through twelve:
-- Franklin Olmsted, first place, sophomore, Maurice J. McDonough High School;
-- Michael Tritt, second place, senior, Westlake High School; and
-- Steven Jones, third place, senior, North Point High School.