LA PLATA, Md. (March 10, 2016)—The Board of Education honored five students on Tuesday, March 8 for excellence in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility. Honored were Olivia McNeil, fifth grader, William A. Diggs Elementary School; Erika Urrego, fifth grader, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School; Kiara Thomas, fifth grader, J.P. Ryon Elementary School; Kierra Brevard, eighth grader, General Smallwood Middle School; and Jenesis Andrews-Kendale, sophomore, Thomas Stone High School.
McNeil was honored by the Board in the area of academic achievement. She is an honor roll student and exemplifies the Diggs' motto of "Soar to Success." So far this school year, McNeil has earned straight A grades and earned the top score among fifth graders on the mock Maryland School Assessment (MSA) science exam. McNeil also ranked among the top performing students last year on both the mathematics and reading PARCC assessments. She is a member of the school math team and Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), and plays the cello. Outside of school, McNeil participates in dance and enjoys singing, riding her bike and using technology. She aspires to become a special education teacher.
Urrego was also honored by the Board in the area of academic achievement. Among her peers, she is dependable and trustworthy and models the ideals of the school pledge, "respectful, responsible and ready to learn." Urrego arrives to school each day, ready to learn and demonstrates an eagerness to excel and help her peers. She is consistently named to the honor roll and is known among her teachers as a student who puts forth exemplary effort in all that she does. Urrego takes accelerated math and is a leader on the MESA scratch team, school safety patrol, history club and go green team. She also volunteers in the school library and enjoys art. Her work has been displayed at the County Fair art show. Outside of school, Urrego is a member of a traveling soccer team and serves as a defender and mid-fielder.
Thomas was honored by the Board in the area of career readiness. She is a role model student who does her best to help anyone in need. Her teachers describe her as a student with a maturity level well beyond a fifth grader. Thomas has an excellent work ethic and strives to do her best in order to be successful. She is a member of Lego Robotics, the school chorus, safety patrol and the Ryon Best Buddies group. Thomas has two main goals she would like to achieve after she finishes school: becoming a zoo keeper and a culinary chef.
Brevard was recognized before the Board in the area of academic achievement. She currently has the highest grade-point average among her peers at Smallwood and is taking geometry at Henry E. Lackey High School. She maintains straight A grades and enjoys taking advanced math classes. She is also a student in the Gateway to Technology program at Smallwood and is considering becoming an engineer. Brevard is the programmer and a driver for the Smallwood robotics team and also runs track. She plans to study engineering when she begins high school at Lackey. Outside of school, Brevard enjoys reading comics, action, mystery and science fiction books, and spending time with her younger brother.
Andrews-Kendale was honored before the Board in the area of personal responsibility. She currently has a grade-point average of 4.428 and is enrolled in honors courses at Stone, including Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History. She is the sophomore class president and well known among her teachers and peers as a role model student. She demonstrates a positive attitude daily and is interactive in all of her classes. Andrews-Kendale also completed a semester of health in which she learned about stroke symptoms. She recently had to apply what she learned in class when one of her family members began to experience a stroke. Andrews-Kendale recognized symptoms and urged her family member to be taken for medical treatment.
Each month the Board of Education honors students for their success in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.