Board honors exemplary employees
The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at their Feb. 9 meeting for being the difference in the lives of children and for their commitment to the school system. Honored were Angela Baker, Nicholas Gardiner, Sarah Gobe, Christina Greer and Kristi Nelson.
Baker is a mathematics teacher at La Plata High School and was chosen for recognition before the Board by Principal Douglass Dolan for demonstrating an exemplary work ethic and commitment to student success. She has been teaching at La Plata for the past nine years and is well respected by both her colleagues and students. Her enthusiasm for teaching and the additional classroom support she provides help Baker develop and maintain positive relationships with her students. She holds high expectations for her students and strives to help them meet and exceed them. Baker is also a member of the Algebra content team and works with her colleagues to create engaging lessons focused on college and career readiness. She co-sponsors the Young Teens United club at La Plata and encourages students to respect one another while understanding diversity. In his nomination letter, Dolan said Baker is a great example for other educators on how to make a difference.
"She leads by example. She works hard each day to encourage her students to do their best in and out of the classroom," Dolan wrote.
Gardiner is a fifth-grade teacher at Berry Elementary School and was chosen by Principal Melissa Logan for Board recognition for his support of teacher mentors, collaboration with his peers to better serve students and commitment to infusing technology into engaging lessons. As the fifth-grade team leader, Gardiner holds weekly meetings to plan with his peers to ensure all students learn from exciting and engaging lessons. He incorporates technology such as Smart boards and document cameras to enhance his lessons and keep his students interested in what they are learning. Gardiner is well known among his colleagues as someone who consistently maintains a smile and goes above and beyond to help a child or staff member. He is also committed to supporting schoolwide activities through coaching students in Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), the unified basketball team, school newspaper and school math team. Gardiner is also a dedicated teacher mentor. In her nomination statement, Logan said Gardiner truly gives students his
"Berry" best daily. "Mr. Gardiner's high degree of pride in his work and exemplary work ethic shines each day. He not only can be depended upon to complete a task or assignment, but he can be relied on to demonstrate excellence and pride in completing the task or assignment," Logan wrote.
Gobe is a media specialist at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School and was selected for Board recognition by Principal Kathleen Morgan for her passion for working with students, transforming the library into an instructional center for the school and for helping to expand student access to technology. Gobe has been the media specialist at Higdon for the past four school years and transformed the library into an area with working spaces including child-friendly displays. She created a sitting area for students who wanted to sit and read, as well as a hands-on learning area and technology stations. Student visits in the media center have expanded from a quick visit to check out a book to students giving up recess time to come and read or work on activities. Gobe is also committed to professional development and supporting her colleagues. Every other Tuesday, she hosts a Tech 411 session for staff that focuses on new instructional resources and technology sites teachers can use to enhance lessons. She also oversees the morning news team and helped transition the program to a Google Hangout platform so students can view the announcements at different times during the day. Morgan said Gobe is an exceptional leader and asset to the school.
"Sarah has created a learning environment within our school's media center that epitomizes the Superintendent's message on teaching and learning. It is a great honor to have such an exceptional teacher such as Sarah Gobe working with students and families at Dr. Higdon Elementary School," Morgan wrote in her nomination statement.
Greer is a fourth-grade teacher at Eva Turner Elementary School and was nominated by school staff for Board recognition. She has been teaching at Turner since 2004 and currently teaches fourth- and fifth-grade mathematics. Greer is the fourth-grade team leader and her passion for student achievement and strong work ethic are apparent. She is well known as a teacher who works hard to ignite student interest through hands-on activities and higher-level thinking. Her lessons are fun, exciting and relevant and she uses flexible group strategies to ensure all students are learning at their ability levels. This school year, Greer helped to coordinate first quarter student clubs to provide enrichment activities for students to learn about self-confidence and extracurricular opportunities. She also supports the school community as the Destination Imagination and Just Say No club sponsors, math team coach and co-chair of the technology committee. In her nomination letter, Turner Principal Orlena Whatley describes Greer as a leader.
"She is a team player and leader. Christina's teaching practices the fine art of involving students in learning by making it fun, exciting and relevant. Her classroom is an exciting place where the kids believe they are with the best teacher in the world," Whatley wrote.
Nelson is a mathematics teacher at Piccowaxen Middle School and was nominated for recognition by Principal Wendell Martin for her commitment to student achievement and passion for teaching. Nelson teaches algebra 1 classes and is the chair of the math department. She has been teaching with Charles County Public Schools for the past 18 years. Her rapport with students is admired by her colleagues and she works hard to maintain positive relationships with them. Nelson provides engaging lessons that use hands-on activities to engage her students. She makes herself available before and after school for students who are in need of additional assistance with assignments. Nelson also supports her students as the Math Counts sponsor and helps to supervise student teachers. In his letter of nomination, Martin said Nelson is a key asset to the Piccowaxen community.
"She is always available for whatever is needed by the school. She has an outstanding rapport with students and is seen as a leader in the school," Martin wrote.
The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.
Board recognizes outstanding students
The Board of Education honored five students on Tuesday, Feb. 9 for excellence in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility. Honored were Kate Bright, fifth grade, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School; Jolie Prasad, fifth grade, Berry Elementary School; Gabrielle Tsistiwu, fifth grade, Eva Turner Elementary School; Madelyn Mudd, eighth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School; and Cameron Butler, senior, La Plata High School.
Bright was honored by the Board in the area of academic achievement. She is an exemplar student and is consistently named to the academic and personal responsibility honor rolls at Higdon. She ranks among the top performing students on academic assessments and is well rounded. Bright's extracurricular activities include Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), the school math team, the Just Say No club, and the Higdon Help and Library squads. She is also a classroom ambassador, trombone player in the school band and school representative to the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council.
Prasad was recognized before the Board in the area of academic achievement. She is consistently named to the principals honor roll and demonstrates a positive attitude in the classroom. Her work ethic is apparent in her assignments, and Prasad comes to class each day with a smile on her face and ready to learn. Prasad is the literature editor of the school newspaper, enrolled in accelerated math classes and is a member of the school math team. She also plays the violin and is an avid dancer. Prasad plans to become a marine biologist or author after she finishes school.
Tsistiwu was honored before the Board in the area of personal responsibility. She is well known by her teachers as a role model student and eager learner. She is respectful to her peers and school staff, and readily participates in all classroom projects. Tsistiwu displays extraordinary character daily and strives to demonstrate Turner's school rules of being respectful, responsible and ready to learn. Her extracurricular activities include the school math team, MESA, safety patrol, Destination Imagination and the Just Say No club. Tsistiwu also plays the violin.
Mudd was nominated for recognition before the Board as an exemplary student who excels in career readiness. She maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and demonstrates personal responsibility and punctuality in the classroom, as well as an eagerness to learn. She guides the school announcements daily and is a member of several school-related clubs. Her extracurricular activities include the student government association (SGA), the National Junior Honor Society and the Math Counts and Relay for Life teams. Mudd also performs with the Port Tobacco Players and wants to become a Broadway performer after she finishes school.
Butler was chosen for recognition in the area of personal responsibility. He is enrolled in the Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program and is a member of the Educators Rising student organization. He maintains exemplary attendance and has completed several Advanced Placement (AP) courses. In addition to his studies, Butler is a student athlete and serves as a captain of the varsity wrestling team. He also participates in SGA, the National Art Honor Society, the National Honor Society and the Technical Honor Society. His overall cumulative grade-point average is a 4.18 and he was recently signed to wrestle next school year at Clarion University.
Each month the Board of Education honors students for their success in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.