Charles Co. BoE Honors Students, Employees

Board recognizes outstanding students

The Board of Education honored five students on Tuesday, April 1, for excellence in academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readiness, which are the focus areas of the school system’s master plan. Honored were Veronica Rodriguez, fifth grade, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Georgia Gordon, fifth grade, Indian Head Elementary School; Grady Klaas, fifth grade, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School; Tyler Whitsett, eighth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; and Michael Rowley, senior, Westlake High School.

Rodriguez was recognized in the area of career readiness. She has attended Barnhart since prekindergarten and has been on the principal’s honor roll seven out of the eight quarters since she started third grade. Rodriguez scored advanced on the Maryland State Assessment (MSA) for both reading and math in third and fourth grades. She is involved in school activities including the math team, Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) and the Knowledge Bowl. Outside of school, Rodriguez is an active member of Girl Scouts, plays soccer and participates in the summer reading club at Barnhart’s local library.

Gordon was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. She achieved principal’s honor roll the first two quarters of this school year. Gordon has received special area awards in band and in science, and her science fair project was featured at the Charles County Public Schools regional science fair. She is captain of the school’s recycling program and is an active participant of the MESA team. During her recess, Gordon assists kindergarteners in the library as they transition from one class to another. Indian Head Principal Timothy Rosin said that Gordon demonstrates respect, responsibility and helpfulness and is a role model for her peers.

Klaas was recognized in the area of career readiness. He was promoted early to second grade from kindergarten and has maintained straight A’s across all quarters. Klaas was identified for gifted services in reading and math and scored advanced on the MSA in reading and math in both third and fourth grades. Klaas is a member of the robotics team, chess club, safety patrol, chorus and band. In the future, he would like to pursue a career in mathematics, science and professional soccer. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Principal Kristin Shields said that Klaas is a model student in the classroom and displays the 3 R’s at all times – ready, responsible and respectful.

Whitsett was recognized in the area of academic achievement. He has earned principal’s honor roll every quarter that he has attended Davis and is the treasurer of the school’s National Junior Honor Society. He is also an active participant in the Student Government Association (SGA), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), robotics team and yearbook club. Outside of school, Whitsett is a member of the Civil Air Patrol where he is a first sergeant. He also enjoys swimming and playing football. Whitsett would like to attend the Air Force Academy and become a lawyer for the military.

Rowley was recognized in the area of academic achievement. He has earned principal’s honor roll since the sixth grade and is currently enrolled in all Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Rowley received a score greater than 1800 on the SAT and is in the top five percent of the senior class. He is a member of the National Honor Society, It’s Academic team, math team, MESA, golf team and swim team. Rowley recently organized a peer tutoring program for fellow students to study for AP classes and in his spare time volunteers for the Humane Society.

Each month the Board of Education honors students for their success in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.

Board honors exemplary employees

The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees during the April 1 Board meeting, including Anne Zabel, Angela McDonald, Darlene Denny, Jennifer Posey and Zohra Cherif.

Zabel has been an instructional assistant for prekindergarten at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School since 2000. She started a Spanish club for the school to answer parent questions, help parents fill out paper work and give Spanish speaking parents the support needed to help their children succeed in school. Zabel communicates on a regular basis with Spanish speaking parents by translating information presented by teachers and takes parent phone calls. She also continues to further her knowledge of language, in particular Portuguese and Spanish. She also participates in Common Core training at the school and county level. Barnhart Principal Troy Barnes said Zabel is a strong asset to the school community. “Anne is always willing to attend parent evenings of learning, as well as lending a helping hand to interpret for any conferences,” Barnes wrote in a nomination letter.

McDonald is the secretary to the Principal at Indian Head Elementary School. She is responsive to the needs of staff and students and processes material orders. McDonald recently prepared incentives for the students who took the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and provides daily assistance to the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program efforts by exchanging dream catchers for “Braves Bucks” that students have earned as a reward. Indian Head Principal Timothy Rosin said McDonald demonstrates a high degree of pride in her daily work. “Mrs. McDonald immediately welcomed me to Indian Head and provided me with the needed institutional knowledge and history that helped me deal more effectively with the transition to a new school,” Rosin wrote in a nomination letter.

Denny is the secretary to the principal at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. She coordinates school events, organizes and maintains records and is a resource for staff, students and parents. Denny assists with the Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Senior Citizen Thanksgiving Dinner and helps organize the dinner for more than 350 community members. Denny also coordinates the Christmas Community program which provides gifts and dinner for families in need. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Principal Kristin Shields said that Denny is a role model and mentor to students. “Darlene Denny is a tremendous support to the day-to-day operations of Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary. She is well respected in the community and the school,” Shields wrote in a nomination letter.

Posey has been a science teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School for five years. She was the PBIS teacher for three years and created several activities and rewards for students. Posey is pursuing a master’s degree in administration and expects to complete the program in the fall. As part of her coursework, she prepared and presented a schoolwide professional development in-service. Davis Principal Wendell Martin said that Posey is an outstanding teacher. “She is willing to pitch in and help make Davis a great working environment for both students and teachers. Ms. Posey’s pride in her work and her exemplary work ethic are evident in her daily practice at the school,” Martin wrote in a nomination letter.

Cherif is a social studies teacher at Westlake High School. She helps coordinate Student Service Learning (SSL) projects and is the sponsor for student government activities. Cherif has attended the Governor’s Academy and is currently working on her administration certification. In addition to her duties as a teacher, she helped raise more than $1,000 for Westlake’s Relay for Life efforts. Westlake Principal Chrystal Benson said that Cherif is a dependable teacher. “She has great success with student academic performance. Her students continuously attain some of the highest Local, State and National (LSN) Government scores in CCPS,” Benson wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.

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