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

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs


Stone teacher is overall winner in back to school campaign

Daniel Weiss, a mathematics teacher at Thomas Stone High School, was recently named the overall winner in the Tips and Tools for Back to School campaign sponsored by the Educational Systems Federal Credit Union (ESFCU). As part of the campaign, interested educators were asked to submit helpful ideas and tips they planned to use to start the school year. Six weekly winners were selected to receive a $100 Visa gift card to use for back to school shopping. Weiss was chosen from the group to receive a $1000 overall prize which he donated to the Stone community.

Chris Conway, the president and chief executive officer for ESFCU, presented Weiss with a check during a visit to the school Nov. 9. Weiss’ idea focused on how to deal with students who are late to class. Implemented in the classroom is Weiss’ idea of making a student who is late to class be the last student to leave his class when the bell rings. The names of late students are displayed on the classroom board for their peers to see and Weiss’ students have adjusted to his late policy.

According to Weiss, each of his classes has created a “club name” for when their class period ends. For example, his seventh period college prep math class ends at 1:26 p.m. and the students now call out their peers when they are late and call it the “1:26 club.” Weiss said it has helped his students learn to come to class prepared and on time.

“Knowing my policy, unexcused tardy students will often enter my class telling me to go ahead and put their name on the board as they are already aware of their indiscretion. I rarely have students come tardy to class because this tool is so effective and I am consistent with it from the beginning of the year,” Weiss said.

For his selection as the overall winner in the credit union’s back to school campaign, Weiss said he was humbled by the recognition for an idea that models a simple concept that focuses on consistency. “This tool is extremely effective for me for many reasons. Students hate to be the last to leave class, so they often run to class to make certain that they are on time,” Weiss added.

Visit www.esfcu.org for more information on the credit union’s education-related programs.

Board, Superintendent to meet with local delegation

The Board of Education of Charles County and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building with members of the Southern Maryland delegation and the Charles County Commissioners to discuss the upcoming legislative session. The meeting is open to the public.

Students can learn how to pay for college at financial aid nights

Charles County’s seven public high schools are hosting financial aid nights for students, parents and community members interested in learning how to search for scholarships and financial aid. Staff members from the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will provide presentations about the college fund search as well as share tips and other resources helpful in the college planning process.

The following is a list of dates, times and locations. All financial aid nights are open to the public.

• Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Henry E. Lackey High School, 6 p.m.

• Thursday, Dec. 10 – Westlake High School, 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday, Dec. 17 – North Point High School

During each school’s financial aid night, staff will be available in school computer labs to help students and parents register for their federal student aid (FSA) identification number. The FSA identification number is required for any student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January. Contact the college and career advisor at each school for specific information about financial aid nights.

North Point named NOAA Ocean Guardian School

North Point High School Ocean Guardian club members William Bolton, left, and Cameron Young, right, accept a banner on Oct. 29 that designates the school as the first National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Guardian School in Maryland. The club has more than 30 student members and was recognized for their conservation and restoration projects. North Point is the first school in Maryland to be recognized through the program.
North Point High School Ocean Guardian club members William Bolton, left, and Cameron Young, right, accept a banner on Oct. 29 that designates the school as the first National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Guardian School in Maryland. The club has more than 30 student members and was recognized for their conservation and restoration projects. North Point is the first school in Maryland to be recognized through the program.

North Point High School was recently honored as the first National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Guardian School in Maryland. The school was officially presented with an Ocean Guardian School banner on Oct. 29 during a recognition ceremony for the school’s Ocean Guardian club and is also Charles County Public Schools’ first Ocean Guardian School. The club includes more than 30 North Point students and is sponsored by Lolita Kiorpes, a Biology teacher at the school.

As part of the club, students work together to support their local environment through hands-on and engaging experiences and activities. These activities range from protecting and conserving local watersheds and marine sanctuaries to conversation projects. Through the program, schools can apply for grant funding to help promote conservation projects. For the past two school years, North Point has received a $4,000 grant to assist with community-based conservation projects, such as planting trees and perennials native to areas at the school and field trips to Mallows Bay in Nanjemoy to study watersheds and marine life.

Samuel Orlando of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuary said the program is about teaching students how to create a connection with their environment. “Ocean Guardian activities and education provide kids with a connection to their special place whether it is here at the school or a connection to the Chesapeake Bay. It is about access, recreation, conservation and education and promoting stewardship of the environment,” Orlando said. NOAA intends to designate Mallows Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary and as part of the Ocean Guardian club activities, Kiorpes and her students have visited the area several times to study its surroundings.

Mallows Bay is located on the Potomac River and is home to the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. The area features wildlife, fishing and boating access and a hiking trail. During their trips to Mallows Bay, students work together to test pH, or oxygen and acidity, levels of the water, to navigate canoes and to study the ecosystem. Kiorpes said students in the club not only learn from hands-on experiences, but enjoy sharing their experiences with their peers. “The students have been fabulous. They love to share what they have done. They often tell me they loved planting outside and ask me when we can do it again. It is encouraging to hear,” she said.

Several Ocean Guardian club members spoke to attendees during the Oct. 29 ceremony and highlighted their experiences. North Point senior Edward Park said he heard from a friend about a trip the club was taking to Mallows Bay and decided to attend. “It was my first canoe trip and I am glad I went. I learned so much more than I thought I would. I did not know there were so many invasive species. It was fun learning about the biodiversity of the ecosystem,” Park said. North Point senior Cameron Young talked about his experiences with the club planting trees at the school. “We spent one day planting trees outside. At the end of the day, it was amazing to look out and see hundreds of trees that you just planted. Everyone won that day,” Young said. He also talked about his experiences in Kiorpes’ classroom with raising trout and said it was hard to say goodbye to the fish when they were large enough to be released in their natural habitat.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Orlando and Christos Michalopoulos, NOAA’s deputy director for K-12 and informal education, presented the students with an official Ocean Guardian banner to hang in the school. Kiorpes said her students have enjoyed their experiences and look forward to continuing their work to promote the environment. “It’s been fun. The students have really enjoyed learning what they can do to help and getting those important hands-on experiences,” she said.

In addition to North Point, Piccowaxen Middle School received the Ocean Guardian School grant last year and J.C. Parks Elementary School recently received grant funding through the program for the 2015-16 school year. Schools can apply to participate in the program and must submit a community-based project as part of their application. Information about the program is available on the NOAA website at sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/ocean_guardian/application.html.

System hosts annual fall chess tournament

Charles County Public Schools held the annual Fall Chess Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Westlake High School. More than 100 students participated in the event, which 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. Other students that place among their division receive medals, 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:

• Jacob Golder, first place, second grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;

• Ryan Hughes, second place, second grade, Matula; and

• Jaylah Stephenson, third place, second grade, William B. Wade Elementary School.

Grades three and four:

• Samidha Nageshwar, first place, fourth grade, Berry Elementary School;

• Sameera Nageshwar, second place, fourth grade, Berry;

• Timothy Martinez, third place, third grade, Wade;

• Manav Soni, tie for third place, third grade, Matula; and

• Javier Iwanow, tie for third place, fourth grade, Wade.

Grades five and six:

• Robert Shelton, IV, first place, fifth grade, T.C. Martin Elementary School;

• Benjamin Moore, second place, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School;

• Liu Aumavae, third place, sixth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School;

• Rodney Harrison, tie for third place, sixth grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School;

• Blake Bowie, tie for third place, sixth grade, Somers;

• Thomas Addison, tie for third place, sixth grade, General Smallwood Middle School;

• Caleb Jenkins, tie for third place, fifth grade, J.C. Parks Elementary School;

• Nicole Silbermann, tie for third place, fifth grade, Indian Head Elementary School; and

• Blake Franchi, tie for third place, sixth grade, Somers.

Grades seven and eight:

• Jacob Stern, first place, seventh grade, John Hanson Middle School;

• Christopher Rand-Crawford, second place, eighth grade, Hanson;

• Matthew Coccaro, third place, seventh grade, Hanson;

• Brandon Luton, tie for third place, eighth grade, Somers;

• Eric Fotang, tie for third place, eighth grade, Somers;

• Leann Asher, tie for third place, seventh grade, Piccowaxen Middle School; and

• Jacob Embrey, tie for third place, eighth grade, Somers.

Grades nine through twelve:

• Franklin Olmsted, first place, senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School; and

• Alexander Booth, second place, sophomore, North Point High School.

Stone teacher is overall winner in back to school campaign

Chris Conway, left, president and chief executive officer for Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, presented Thomas Stone High School math teacher Daniel Weiss, second from left, with a $1000 check on Nov. 9 to recognize him as the overall winner in the credit union’s Tips and Tools for Back to School campaign held earlier this school year. Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Hill, second from right, and Stone Principal Michel Meiser, right, were also present during the Nov. 9 check presentation.
Chris Conway, left, president and chief executive officer for Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, presented Thomas Stone High School math teacher Daniel Weiss, second from left, with a $1000 check on Nov. 9 to recognize him as the overall winner in the credit union’s Tips and Tools for Back to School campaign held earlier this school year. Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Hill, second from right, and Stone Principal Michel Meiser, right, were also present during the Nov. 9 check presentation.

Daniel Weiss, a mathematics teacher at Thomas Stone High School, was recently named the overall winner in the Tips and Tools for Back to School campaign sponsored by the Educational Systems Federal Credit Union (ESFCU). As part of the campaign, interested educators were asked to submit helpful ideas and tips they planned to use to start the school year. Six weekly winners were selected to receive a $100 Visa gift card to use for back to school shopping. Weiss was chosen from the group to receive a $1000 overall prize which he donated to the Stone community.

Chris Conway, the president and chief executive officer for ESFCU, presented Weiss with a check during a visit to the school Nov. 9. Weiss’ idea focused on how to deal with students who are late to class. Implemented in the classroom is Weiss’ idea of making a student who is late to class be the last student to leave his class when the bell rings. The names of late students are displayed on the classroom board for their peers to see and Weiss’ students have adjusted to his late policy.

According to Weiss, each of his classes has created a “club name” for when their class period ends. For example, his seventh period college prep math class ends at 1:26 p.m. and the students now call out their peers when they are late and call it the “1:26 club.” Weiss said it has helped his students learn to come to class prepared and on time.

“Knowing my policy, unexcused tardy students will often enter my class telling me to go ahead and put their name on the board as they are already aware of their indiscretion. I rarely have students come tardy to class because this tool is so effective and I am consistent with it from the beginning of the year,” Weiss said.

For his selection as the overall winner in the credit union’s back to school campaign, Weiss said he was humbled by the recognition for an idea that models a simple concept that focuses on consistency. “This tool is extremely effective for me for many reasons. Students hate to be the last to leave class, so they often run to class to make certain that they are on time,” Weiss added.

Visit www.esfcu.org for more information on the credit union’s education-related programs.

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