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

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Superintendent appoints acting principal, vice principals

Superintendent Kimberly Hill announced the appointments of several acting administrators.

Debbie Brown, vice principal at Eva Turner Elementary School is the new acting principal at Mary B. Neal Elementary School. Brown replaces longtime principal Carol Leveillee, who last week announced she was retiring from Charles County Public Schools.

Brown has 24 years experience as a classroom teacher and 15 years as a vice principal, serving with seven different principals, most recently at Eva Turner Elementary School. Ms. Brown was also named the 2008 CCPS Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year. “I believe Mrs. Brown’s experiences will enable her to seamlessly prepare and open Neal for the 2015-16 school year,” Hill said.

Other positions filled with acting administrators include:

• Jason Diehl , teacher from St. Mary’s County to acting vice principal at Eva Turner Elementary School

• Amy Rye , testing coordinator at Maurice J. McDonough High School to acting vice principal at Theodore G. Davis Middle School

• Robert Baker, instructional resource teacher at Mattawoman Middle School to acting vice principal at Milton M. Somers Middle School

• Steve Miller, vice principal at Matthew Henson Middle School to acting Specialist in Transportation

• Nicole Clingman, social studies teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School to acting vice principal at Henson

• Nicole Hawkins learning resource teacher at Malcolm Elementary School to acting vice principal at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School.

Hill will present the recommended appointments to the Board of Education at its August meeting. The Board does not meet in July. All appointments take effect immediately.

Board approves tuition, hourly rate increase for coming school year

The Board of Education on June 22 approved tuition rates for the 2015-16 school year that include a slight increase for students enrolling from counties outside of Charles County, and for non-Maryland residents. For students residing in Maryland but who live outside of Charles County, the cost for the coming school year is $7,445, up about one percent from $7,300 for the 2014-15 school year. Students enrolling in Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) for the 2015-16 school year who live outside of Maryland will be charged $11,740, also an increase of about one percent from the tuition rate of $11,550 for the 2014-15 school year.

CCPS reviews tuition rates annually and the department of student services determines all school transfer requests that include out-of-county and out-of-state student placements. These requests must meet criteria, and schools must have adequate space, including in the particular grade and instructional programs. Additionally, CCPS does not provide transportation to any student who lives out of the county or Maryland. Applications for review are due May 1 annually.

On June 22, The Board also approved a change to some daily and hourly wage rates to reflect the increase in minimum wage. On July 1, the minimum wage rate in Maryland increases from $8 to $8.25. Some job categories in which a CCPS employee would earn minimum wage as a starting rate include a swim instructor or intern. The Board also approved an increase in the pay rate for some hourly employees, such as instructional assistants and food service substitutes. Information about approved pay rate changes is posted on the school system website,

Board approves salary increases, St. Charles funding in FY 2016

The Board of Education approved its fiscal year 2016 budget Monday night, providing salary increases for employees and funding the addition of a senior class at St. Charles High School.

The Board’s FY2016 operating budget is $334.2 million, reflecting a $6.8 million increase or 2.1 percent more than FY2015. The county provided an additional $4.2 million and state funding increased $640,512. To pay for mandatory cost shortages, the school system moved $5.2 million from the fund balance to the general fund and cut nearly $7.4 million from budget categories including lapsed salaries, technology replacement reserves and utilities. The school system is using the fund balance for general operations and to complete one-time maintenance projects, such as carpet replacements and school playgrounds.

“We value our employees and providing compensation was our first priority. This is an investment in our people who we expect to provide educational access, equity and excellence while making a difference in the lives of children each day. It’s important that we remain competitive so we are able to hire the best new teachers as well as retain our experienced staff,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees are two steps/levels behind on the salary schedule. Salary step and levels are incremental increases in salary based on previous qualifying professional experience. The last time the school system gave an across-the-board cost-of-living (COLA) increase was 2009.

Pending approval of the school system’s two employee groups, the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), all eligible employees will receive a step/level increase. The budget funds a 2 percent COLA for certificated employees at levels 20 or 10, depending on the assigned salary scale. The budget includes a 1 percent COLA for support staff in steps 17 and above.

In addition to salary and the St. Charles opening, other mandated increases include the teachers’ pension, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) insurance premium, athletic trainers, bus contracts and Project Lead the Way (PLTW). There will be 24 staff members and additional supplies and materials added to St. Charles High School, which are critical to adding a senior class of more than 300 students.

Also affecting the budget is the increased cost of health insurance. To offset increases, the school system and unions agreed to raise health insurance copays for office visits and prescriptions by $5 and emergency room visits by $75, unless admitted. The change is anticipated to save the system $500,000.

Hill said staff worked to avoid program and staffing cuts while making budget reductions. Funding the increases requires reducing an additional $7.4 million beyond state and county funding levels. Savings came from lapsed salaries and FICA targets, increasing health insurance copays, decreasing classified pension plan funding, and eliminating reserve budgets for unanticipated expenditures in programs, technology and utilities.

The FY2016 budget increases the per pupil operating cost to $13,104.

“This budget does not reduce or eliminate successful programs or school improvements. This is a budget that will help us maintain our academic success and provide strong support to the classroom, our students and our staff,” Hill said.

A copy of the Board’s approved fiscal year 2016 budget summary is available at

Board of Education honors retirees for service to children, CCPS

The Board of Education honored several Charles County Public Schools employees at a June 11 retirement ceremony. Honored were employees who have retired since June 30, 2014, and those who have already announced their retirements at the end of this school year. Retirees are listed below by name, last position held, location and years of service.

• James Adams, building service worker, T.C. Martin Elementary School, 24;

• Bonnetta Adeeb, special education teacher, Thomas Stone High School, 34;

• Linda Adgate, Maryland’s Tomorrow coordinator, La Plata High School, 29;

• Garnet Anderson, school counselor, John Hanson Middle School, 48;

• Constance Anderson, kindergarten instructional assistant, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, 16;

• Cynthia Baker, director hearing officer and court liaison, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, 41;

• Dorothy Bannister, building service assistant manager, Starkey, 20;

• John Borge, special education instructional assistant, Westlake High School, 26;

• Maryann Bourassa, content specialist for gifted education, Starkey, 39;

• Mary Bowman-Proctor, food service worker, Stone, 24;

• John Breedlove, alternative school teacher, Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, 40;

• Elizabeth Brown, pupil personnel worker, Starkey, 43;

• Agnes Bugin, business education teacher, La Plata, 19;

• Stephen Butcher, auto/heavy equipment mechanic, Radio Station Road Annex Building, 43;

• Carol Cairns, literacy instructional assistant, Piccowaxen Middle School, 33;

• Wanda Chesley, building service worker, J.P. Ryon Elementary School, 35;

• Ruth Cline, food service manager, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School, 26;

• Edwina Conley, reading middle school instructional assistant, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, 21;

• Beverly Dawkins, English as a second language teacher, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, 12;

• Levi Dent, building service manager, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School, 33;

• Swee Kin Dressick, food service manager, Mattawoman Middle School, 7;

• Maurita Edwards, special education teacher, Martin, 34;

• Virginia Etter, kindergarten instructional assistant, Martin, 20;

• Nancy Ewing, special education teacher, North Point High School, 28;

• Shirley Farren, secretary in supporting services, Radio Station Road Annex I Building, 39;

• Claudia Finley Bowalick, instructional specialist, Arthur Middleton Elementary School, 39;

• Barbara Fitch, food service manager, Mary H. Matula Elementary School, 22;

• Betty Fuller, secretary in supporting services, Radio Station Road Annex I Building, 42;

• Joanne Good, computer programmer, Starkey, 40;

• Susan Heath, secretary to the principal, Stethem, 33;

• Sheila Heatley, school counselor, Davis, 44;

• Dan Henry, vice principal, Maurice J. McDonough High School, 20;

• Linda Hodgson, third-grade teacher, J.C. Parks Elementary School, 26;

• Victoria Hoffmaster, secretary, Starkey, 22;

• Betty Horton, first-grade teacher, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, 36;

• Judith Howell, mathematics teacher, La Plata, 36;

• Mark Howell, social studies teacher, Westlake High School, 36;

• Dorothy Jefferson, Reading Recovery teacher, Parks, 37;

• Dorothy Jenifer, job coach for the Adult Independence Program (AIP), Stethem, 14;

• Drew Jepsky, director of instructional assessment, Starkey, 36;

• Elizabeth Regina Johnson, fourth-grade teacher, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, 5;

• Aly Khan Johnson Sr., coordinator of student activities, Starkey, 43;

• Jeanette Kaufmann, special education teacher/individual education plan (IEP) facilitator, F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, 25;

• Pamela Kelly Flowers, physical education teacher, Westlake, 32;

• Brenda Kiker, preschool instructional assistant, Jenifer, 24;

• Margaret Kolbe, media instructional assistant, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, 14;

• Diane Laveglia, vice principal, Gale-Bailey Elementary School, 29;

• Webster Lee, building service manager, North Point, 33;

• Edna Livingston, food service worker, Westlake, 20;

• Thomas Lyles, building service assistant manager, Malcolm Elementary School, 35;

• Donna Maki, speech therapist, Berry Elementary School, 31;

• Roslyn Malloy, print shop manager, Starkey, 34;

• Nancy Mathena, special education instructional assistant, Henry E. Lackey High School, 32;

• Floria Mathis, technology facilitator, Eva Turner Elementary School, 8;

• Michael Mazzeo, social studies teacher, La Plata, 34;

• Toni Melton-Trainor, principal, Gale-Bailey, 30;

• Ramona Millar, special education instructional assistant, Dr. James Craik Elementary School, 28;

• Diane Morgan, language arts teacher, Hanson, 40;

• James Morrow, pupil personnel worker, Mattawoman, 42;

• Vivian Nelson, special education teacher, Stone, 37;

• Penny Nye, principal, William B. Wade Elementary School, 43;

• Linda Petersen, school counselor, Higdon, 26;

• Brenda Peterson, first-grade teacher, Martin, 16;

• Jerome Petty, vice principal, Milton M. Somers Middle School, 37;

• Janet Porter, home economics family and consumer science teacher, Stone, 39;

• Patricia Price, special education teacher, Higdon, 30;

• Dorothy Radvany, food service worker, Higdon, 26;

• Touissaint Rhone, building service worker, Matula, 6;

• Lucile Rice, instructional specialist, Piccowaxen, 40;

• Wanda Scott, secretary in instruction, Starkey, 31;

• Mary Seremet, gifted education resource teacher, Starkey, 40;

• Anthony Silva, instructional specialist, Starkey, 44;

• Dell Simmons, building service manager, Ryon, 38;

• Michelle Sirna, secretary, Martin, 27;

• Christine Smith, instructional specialist in science, Starkey, 44;

• Barbara Staebler, psychologist, Starkey, 32;

• Sherella Swann, secretary in instruction, Starkey, 35;

• Katherine Sweney, special education teacher, Jenifer, 43;

• Deborah Taylor, mathematics teacher, Mattawoman, 40;

• Kim Debora Taylor, kindergarten teacher, Wade, 36;

• Charles Thompson, painter, Radio Station Road Annex, 40;

• Renee Tolliver, home economics family and consumer science teacher, McDonough, 33;

• Elaine Tubb, government resource teacher, Starkey, 36;

• William Walter, physical education teacher, Malcolm, 43;

• Charlotte Weirich, specialist in world language/English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), Starkey, 29;

• Helen Welch, secretary to the principal, Martin, 45;

• Cynthia Wells, pupil personnel worker, Piccowaxen, 35;

• Deborah Williams, school counselor, Wade, 36;

• Olivia Willis, second-grade teacher, Brown, 36; and

• Catherine Wills, building service worker, Westlake, 16.

Several students place in top ten at national Skills USA event

Two North Point High School Class of 2015 graduates placed in the top national spots at the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) held in Louisville, KY last week. An additional 16 North Point Skills USA students placed in the top 10 in their respective categories. More than 6,000 students nationwide competed at the event in 89 career and technical education (CTE) competitions.

Nicholas Wiegand, a 2015 North Point graduate, earned a gold medal in the Electrical Construction Wiring category. Gold medals are the highest award given in the event. Alyssa Gonnella, who also graduated from North Point this year, received a silver medal award in the Early Childhood Education category. Silver medals are the second highest award a student can receive. Wiegand and Gonnella are two of only 22 students from Maryland who earned a gold-, silver- or bronze-level award at the national level.

The following North Point students placed in the Skills USA national top 10 in their respective categories:

• Leah Pennington, Alyssa Raqueno and Jenna Williams, seniors, fifth place, Community Service;

• Erin Green, Sarah Jones and Maya Kidane, 2015 graduates, sixth place, Outstanding Chapter;

• James Adkins, Luke Gibson and Dennis Whitley, IV, seniors, Skye Corbin, junior, and Joel Rogers, 2015 graduate, seventh place, Quiz Bowl;

• Patricia Atkinson and Dylan McCabe, seniors, and Stephanie McCarter-Dadzie, 2015 graduate, seventh place, Crime Scene Investigation;

• Daphine Henderson, senior, seventh place, Welding Sculpture; and

• Suha Ansari, senior, ninth place, Career Pathways – Health Sciences.

Skills USA students advance to the national level of competition as first-place medal winners at the state event. More than 5,100 students in Maryland participate in Skills USA and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) coordinates two state events annually to prepare students for national competition.

Skills USA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure a skilled work force. The organization serves more than 300,000 high school and college students, as well as professional members, nationwide. Skills USA competitions showcase the talents of CTE students. The students compete locally and continue through the state and national levels. The philosophy of the competition is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to train students for employer needs.

Skills USA provides experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. The organization focuses on quality at work, high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education and pride in the dignity of work. For more information, visit the Skills USA Maryland Web site at .

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