Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Proposed Microsoft textbooks on display

New textbooks proposed by Charles County Public Schools are available for review at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, and at La Plata, North Point and Thomas Stone high schools.

The textbooks are proposed for use at St. Charles High School as part of the school’s use of the Windows 7 Operating System. St. Charles is currently the only Charles County Public high school that has transitioned to the new operating system, and the textbooks are required for students to understand new Microsoft Office features and applications. The series of texts, Microsoft Office 2013 Illustrated Introductory, First- and Second-Courses, by David Beskeen feature information on enhanced software offerings and full-color pages that represent what students will see on computer screens when using Microsoft Office 2013. The texts also feature learning outcomes from lesson plans that tie into assessments.

Additionally, the textbooks feature instructor materials, a website and project manuals. The books were evaluated and selected by business teachers, who compared the materials to Microsoft certification exams, course syllabus, ease of use and level of student engagement. All other Charles County Public high schools will upgrade to the texts once the operating systems at their schools are updated.

The Board of Education is reviewing the books and will take action on the books at the Dec. 9 meeting. Community members are encouraged to review the books and provide comment in writing to the Board of Education, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD, 20646; through email to; or in person at the Public Forum on Dec. 9, 6 p.m., at the Starkey Building.

CSM hosts Board of Education for joint meeting

The Board of Education of Charles County and College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Board of Directors will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27 at the Center for Business Industry in room BI 103/104, located on the CSM La Plata campus. The following is a tentative agenda:

-- Pledge of Allegiance

-- Dinner/Introductions

-- Access CSM

-- Early College Academy proposal

-- Update on Middle College

-- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CSM and Charles County Public Schools

-- Adjournment

Board honors exemplary employees

The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at the Oct. 14 Board meeting, including Christine Busey, Debra Haan, Lauren Hoza, Holly Marsh and Matthew Watkoski.

Busey is a prekindergarten instructional assistant at Gale-Bailey Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition for her dedication to students and exemplar work ethic. She primarily works with special education students and creates learning activities to target different levels of learning regularly. Busey also helps with behavior management strategies and assists in data collection for students with Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals. She was also recently nominated for a Special Education Citizen Advisory Committee (SECAC) appreciation award and has attended aspiring leadership conferences to expand her knowledge. Gale-Bailey Principal Toni Melton-Trainor said Busey’s patience and gentle guidance help her students learn. “Her support to the students in the prekindergarten program is excellent,” Melton-Trainor said in a nomination statement.

Haan is a longtime physical education teacher at Arthur Middleton Elementary School. She works with students in all grade levels and also teaches adaptive physical education to students in the Life Skills program. Haan is dedicated to student success and supports the Middleton community by not only teaching physical education to students, but assisting with the arrival and dismissal of students, serving as co-bus coordinator, creating seating charts and coordinating bus evacuations. Haan also plans the school’s annual American Freedom Day assembly and recently celebrated 40 years of teaching with Charles County Public Schools. Middleton Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said Haan is an asset to the entire Middleton community.

Hoza has been teaching kindergarten at Mary H. Matula Elementary School since 2006. She was nominated for recognition for her passion for teaching and for serving as a role model for students and her peers. She is part of a nine-member kindergarten team and is committed to the success of her students. She works tirelessly to ensure that her lessons address the individual needs of each student and is known among staff for having an exemplar work ethic. Matula Principal Carrie Richardson said Hoza is an example of a teacher committed to teaching and learning. “Her approach to teaching and learning is outstanding. She is a person who, once she knows what the job requires, will take the necessary steps to ensure that she is well prepared and ready for the task. That dedication and commitment is evident in her daily actions,” Richardson added.

Marsh is an instructional assistant at Milton M. Somers Middle School. She is a member of the special education department team and was recognized for displaying a high degree of pride in all that she does. She is detail oriented and known among her peers as a team player. Marsh spends most of her work day organizing details and assisting the special education department in any task where her assistance is needed. She is professional and task oriented, and completes her work with a high level of integrity. Somers Principal Carrie Akins said Marsh is a true team player. “It is clear that Marsh takes pride in working with our teachers and students as an important and integral part of our instructional team, working to provide students with the best education possible,” Akins said in a nomination letter.

Watkoski has been teaching science and engineering at Maurice J. McDonough High School for the past six years. He was recognized for his dedication to teaching and for serving as a role model for students. He is a talented teacher and educational leader who consistently offers energy, intelligence and commitment to all students and to teaching. Watkoski also serves as McDonough’s lead for the Scholars Targeting Academic Rigor With Success (STARS) program and helped the school earn the designation of a STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics, innovation school. McDonough Principal Bradley Snow said Watkoski is a passionate teacher who puts the needs of his students first. “He is steadfast in his belief that he is here to serve in the best interest of his students and to advance his passion for science and technology,” Snow said in a nomination letter.

The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.

Board recognizes outstanding students

The Board of Education honored five students on Tuesday, Oct. 14 for excellence in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility. Honored were Allissa Barnes, fifth grade, Arthur Middleton Elementary School; John Thomas “JT” Gibson, fifth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School; Jack Goodwin, fifth grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School; Emily Maljak, eighth grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School; and Jordan Parker, senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School.

Barnes was recognized in the area of academic achievement and is a well-rounded student. She earns honor roll grades each quarter and consistently excels in the classroom. She is enrolled in accelerated math classes and was identified as gifted in reading. Barnes also scores advanced marks on systemwide assessments in reading and math. She is a member of the math and Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) teams and plays piano and violin in the school orchestra. Barnes plans to study computer science after she graduates from high school.

Gibson was honored in the area of personal responsibility and is well known among his peers as a positive role model. His teachers describe him as a caring student that is willing to do any job that is asked of him. Gibson models personal responsibility by demonstrating Matula’s three R’s – Respect, Responsibility and Right to Learn – and earns honor roll grades. He consistently demonstrates a positive attitude and always comes to class prepared to learn. Additionally, he was a member of the Matula Unified Sports basketball team and encouraged his teammates to work hard and have fun while playing sports.

Goodwin was recognized by the Board in the area of academic achievement and is an honor roll student. He is consistently named to the principals honor roll and produces above grade-level work in his classes. He is known among his teachers as a role model for other students, and for always working to help his classmates when they need encouragement. Goodwin is engaged in learning and loves to learn about mathematics. Last school year, Goodwin helped lead the fourth grade math team earn high scores at the Elementary Math Challenge. He also plays soccer on a community league.

Maljak was honored in the area of personal responsibility and excels in the classroom. She maintains honor roll grades and often uses her lunch period to work on projects for several school-related clubs. She is active in the emerging young leaders, Destination Imagination (DI), Future Educators Association (FEA), principal advisory committee and drama clubs. Maljak also excels outside of school and participates in several community-based organizations such as a Humane Society of Charles County volunteer and member of Girl Scouts.

Parker was honored in the area of career readiness and maintains honor roll grades. She is a member of the environmental and scrapbook clubs, the National Honor Society and is a student actor. She is enrolled in the Teacher Academy of Maryland, which is a completer program that allows her to gain college credit through St. Mary’s College. Parker also volunteers as a lunch time pianist at Genesis Health Care Center and works with elementary-school and high school English Language Learner (ELL) students. She plans to pursue a teaching career in social studies after graduation.

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

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