Charles Co. BoE Honors Students, Employees

Board honors exemplary employees

The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees during the May 13 meeting, including Olivia Willis, Roberta Bragunier, Amber Kirk, Kimberly Tabourne and Webster Lee.

Willis is a second-grade teacher at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School and has been teaching for nearly 35 years. She is a mentor for first- and second-year teachers and serves as a back-up team leader when needed. Willis is a member of Brown’s Relay for Life team and is a supporter of the school’s United Way campaign efforts. She was one of the first teachers to start an after school homework club with her students and is well known for incorporating fun and exciting activities into lesson plans to engage students. According to Brown Principal Darryl Evans, Willis is well-respected by students, colleagues and parents. “Her colleagues regularly lean on her for support and her students and parents adore her singing and dancing as she thinks outside of the box to ensure that her students are learning,” Evans wrote in a nomination letter.

Bragunier is a special education teacher at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School. She has been teaching for more than 30 years and works with classroom teachers to support students with special needs. She goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher and often volunteers to help Mitchell families with tasks that range from helping a student’s family deliver a sofa to finding a promotion dress for one of her students. She is well respected among staff and known for her caring and nurturing demeanor. Mitchell Principal Verniece Rorie said that students under Bragunier’s care thrive and meet their maximum potential. “Her tireless efforts with parents create a seamless continuity of school to home connections. Mrs. Bragunier epitomizes the teacher that meets the needs of the whole child,” Rorie wrote in a nomination letter.

Kirk has taught kindergarten at Mary B. Neal Elementary School since the school opened in 2008. During her time at Neal, she has served as the kindergarten team leader, the administrator in charge, a member of Neal’s character education committee and started the Neal buddies committee. Kirk is currently pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education at Towson University. According to Neal Principal Carol Leveillee, Kirk is an exemplary teacher. “Ms. Kirk has a clear understanding of the curriculum that she teaches and more importantly has the teaching power to deliver the knowledge to her students. She inspires her students and motivates them to do and to be their best daily,” Leveillee wrote in a nomination letter.

Tabourne is an eighth-grade special education teacher at Mattawoman Middle School. She has taught at Mattawoman since 2004 and is the co-chair of the special education department. Tabourne ensures that her team has the tools necessary to reach their students and demonstrates a commitment to student success. She has given presentations to staff on best practices for co-teaching and shares Individualized Education Plan (IEP) information. Mattawoman Principal Douglass Dolan said that Tabourne’s dedication to her students is evident in all that she does. “Mrs. Tabourne has been an excellent teacher in all of the positions she has held in the special education department. She is very student-centered and meets the needs of all of her students on her caseload, and in her classes,” Dolan wrote in a nomination letter.

Lee is the building service manager at North Point High School. North Point hosts several school and community events, and Lee and his staff consistently work on setting up or taking down equipment. He and his team ensure that the equipment is handled carefully, and that the school building is well maintained at all times. He has a great rapport among staff and with students and is well respected by his peers. According to North Point Principal Michael Simms, Lee takes tremendous pride in his job and is an outstanding employee. “He is always pleasant, courteous and more than willing to help anyone who has a need. I cannot say enough positive things about Webster. He is one of the best people I have ever worked with. His hard work and dedication makes everyone’s day a little bit better,” Simms wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.

Board recognizes outstanding students

The Board of Education honored six students on Tuesday, May 13, for their excellence in academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readiness, which are the focus areas of the school system’s master plan. Honored were Adriana Em, fifth grade, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School; Harguun Sandhu, fifth grade, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School; Evangeline Gilmer, fifth grade, Mary B. Neal Elementary School; Maia Parker, eighth grade, Mattawoman Middle School; Kim Jacks, junior, Henry E. Lackey High School; and Paige Carter, senior, North Point High School.

Em was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She has maintained honor roll grades since she was a first-grade student and works hard to achieve all A’s. Em has also scored above 450 on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) exams in both reading and math for the past two school years. Although she recently transferred to J.C. Parks Elementary School, Em was very active in activities at Brown including the math team, Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), the Just Say No Club, the first-grade helpers program and played the violin in the school orchestra. According to Brown Principal Darryl Evans, Em is a role model for her peers. “She turns in all of her work and makes every effort to ensure finished products are up to her high standards,” Evans wrote in a nomination letter.

Sandhu was recognized in the area of career readiness. He has attended Mitchell since kindergarten and has been on the principal’s honor roll every quarter this school year. Sandhu is a member of the math team, MESA and is a school safety patrol officer. Mitchell Principal Verniece Rorie said that Sandhu’s strength is in math, which is shown by high test scores that fall in the top three percent of his class. “He is a student that excels academically in all areas and gets along extremely well with his peers,” Rorie wrote in a nomination letter. Outside of school, he enjoys playing sports and aspires to be a professional soccer player or engineer.

Gilmer was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She has been a student at Neal since kindergarten and has received straight A’s on all of her report cards. Gilmer has received advanced scores on all MSA’s for the last three years and has been identified as a gifted student. She is a member of the Neal math team, plays the flute and was also a member of the All-County Elementary Band. Outside of school, Gilmer enjoys playing the violin and piano. She is a student ambassador and member of the Neal news team. According to Neal Principal Carol Leveillee, Gilmer not only has a strong academic foundation, but also demonstrates an exemplary character.

Parker was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. She maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and serves as a peer tutor in the seventh-grade reading intervention program. Parker is a member of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club and the Best Buddies program. She also uses her lunch time to assist with students in the Life Skills program. Mattawoman Principal Douglass Dolan said that Parker displays great focus and determination in the classroom. “Maia shows true commitment to excellence and kindness, and is a role model for other students,” Dolan wrote in a nomination letter. Parker aspires to pursue a career in education as a teacher.

Jacks was recognized in the area of academic achievement and has attended Lackey since she was a freshman. She is the vice president of the junior class, member of the student government association and is the student liaison for Lackey to the Board of Education. Jacks maintains a 4.3 cumulative grade-point average and is a role model for her peers. Lackey Principal James Short said Jacks is well known for her commitment to academic and personal achievement. “Her participation, insight and uncanny desire to be the absolute best on a daily basis make her one of the standouts at school. She shows great pride by being courteous and kind while showing enthusiasm and strong character at all times,” Short wrote in a nomination letter.

Carter was recognized in the area of academic achievement. She has been a student at North Point since ninth grade and is in the culinary arts program. Carter maintains a 3.5 grade-point average and competed at the regional and state levels for Skills USA. Carter began planning her career in culinary arts when she was in the seventh grade and started her own company called Paige’s Pastries. She has been accepted to Johnson and Wales University and the Culinary Institute of America, where she plans to continue her culinary arts studies.

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

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