St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Maureen Wysham Named Agnes Meyer Winner

Ms. Maureen Wysham, a Music teacher at Greenview Knolls Elementary School was recently named St. Mary's County Public Schools' recipient of The Washington Post 2013 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.

The Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award was established more than 65 years ago by The Washington Post Company Educational Foundation to recognize teachers who exemplify excellence in the teaching profession and is named after Agnes Meyer, a staunch supporter and defender of public education, and the wife of Eugene Meyer, who purchased the paper in 1933.

"Ms. Wysham is an energetic, intelligent, articulate, well-informed, conscientious and imaginative teacher. She is a self-motivated individual who sets high standards and expectations for both herself and her students," wrote Greenview Knolls Elementary School Principal Elizabeth Servello in her letter of support for Ms. Wysham. "The Greenview Knolls School community is a better place because Ms. Wysham touches so many lives in so many positive ways."

Ms. Wysham earned her Master's degree in Music Performance from The University of Michigan and her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from West Chester State College. Before joining St. Mary's County Public Schools in 1987, Ms. Wysham taught Elementary Music in Texas. She has taught Elementary Music at Greenview Knolls Elementary for all 26 years of service with St. Mary's County Public Schools.

Ms. Wysham and other recipients, representing 19 local public school districts and one representing the area private schools, will be recognized on May 14, 2013 at a ceremony hosted by The Washington Post.

Shawn Snyder Selected as Teacher of the Year

St. Mary's County Public Schools announced the selection of Mr. Shawn Snyder, a Mathematics teacher at Leonardtown High School, as its 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Snyder, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has served as a Mathematics Teacher at Leonardtown High School since joining St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) in 1996.

"Mr. Snyder has demonstrated vision for the future of math instruction at Leonardtown High School," wrote Maureen Montgomery, Principal at Leonardtown High School, in her letter of support. "He agreed to continue in his leadership role as Mathematics Department Chair and is advancing the SMCPS goals for math at Leonardtown High Schools. His vision for his department is based on keeping math instruction focused on student engagement, individualized student attention, and incorporating technology in order to prepare our students to be career and college ready. His solid educational philosophy is valued, respected, and appreciated."

All county Teacher of the Year representatives will be honored by the Maryland State Board of Education at a recognition luncheon held May 21, in Baltimore. Mr. Snyder will represent St. Mary's County Public Schools as a candidate for Maryland Teacher of the Year. This award will be announced at a banquet held in Baltimore in October.

The Maryland Teacher of the Year will be presented with several prizes, will speak at numerous conferences and events, and will act as an advisor to the Maryland State Department of Education. The Maryland Teacher of the Year is also a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year.

Debra Bowling Named Distinguished Educational Leader

Ms. Debra Bowling, Principal of Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, has been selected as St. Mary's County Public Schools' recipient of The Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award exists to recognize those principals who go beyond the daily challenges of their position to create an exceptional educational environment.

Ms. Bowling taught in several capacities in the Charles County Public School system as a Reading Resource Teacher, Math Teacher, Curriculum Consultant/Writer, Elementary Teacher and numerous other positions from 1983 until 2003 when she joined St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) as Principal at Oakville Elementary School.

Debra Bowling earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with Administrative Certification from the University of Maryland.

"Mrs. Bowling is a career educator and is currently in her second principalship at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, an elementary school with a regionalized special education program," wrote Kelly Hall, Executive Director of Elementary Schools & Title I. "As the principal of Benjamin Banneker, Mrs. Bowling has fostered a positive climate and excellent reputation for the school within our community."

On May 7, 2013, The Washington Post will present the award to Ms. Bowling and the other principals representing public school systems in Maryland, Virginia, and The District of Columbia, as well as private school principals in the Washington metropolitan area.

Devan Ogburn Elected Masc President

The Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC), a state-wide student led organization, elected Miss Devan Ogburn from Leonardtown High School to the position of President at their recently held state convention. While assuming full duties and responsibilities of this state-held position, Devan will play an instrumental role by promoting student leadership and helping MASC achieve its goals. In addition, Devan will coordinate state-wide student leadership conferences. Miss Ogburn will take this position and its responsibilities beginning June 1.

Miss Ogburn is a tenth grade student at Leonardtown High School and is an active participant in her school's student government association. She participates in several leadership activities at her school, and serves on the St. Mary's Association of Student Councils' Executive Board. Devan has served on the Superintendent's Blue Ribbon Task Force to Eliminate the Achievement Gap, as well as on the Education That is Multicultural Committee. In addition, she volunteers with various community organizations to promote civic engagement and involvement, such as the Relay for Life Campaign and the Christmas Caring Program for Kids.

When Miss Ogburn takes on this leadership role position for a second term, her efforts will center on increasing student membership throughout the State of Maryland, and promoting student advocacy. In addition, Miss Ogburn wants to continue supporting state-wide initiatives and regional student councils in their efforts of having positive influences on communities through an array of service-learning oriented projects. This past year Devan led the effort of encouraging regional student councils to support the Healthy Maryland Initiative. This initiative supported legislation that will increase the tax on cigarettes and non-cigarette tobacco products to reduce teen tobacco use and to raise funds for critical health care and public health needs. She also oversaw the state-wide charity efforts of supporting Operation Second Chance, which is a non-profit organization that works to support veterans and their families throughout their recovery in military hospitals. These examples demonstrate Devan's commitment to empowering students through the action of service, and having a lasting impact within respected regions.

Chopticon High School's Student Council Earns the Felix Simon Award

Chopticon High School's (CHS) student council, under the leadership of Ms. Jessica Bosse, earned the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) Felix Simon Award for the 2012-2013 school year. This award is given to middle and high school student councils that demonstrated superior achievement in leadership and service throughout the school year.

In order to achieve this honor, CHS completed a rigorous application process that required the student-led organization to document their active participation at state-level conferences, as well as their involvement to promote school-wide improvement efforts. Each application is evaluated against a set of high standards that center on student leadership, service, and student empowerment.

Chopticon High School highlighted their continued efforts to end hunger within the community by participating in the Southern Maryland Food Drive, as well as supporting the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in the fight against cancer. Besides focusing on community outreach programs, the student council at CHS assisted at a new student orientation that concentrates on assisting eighth grade students, as well as transfer students who are new to the Chopticon community, as they transition to high school. In addition, the CHS student council representatives have active voices on the School Improvement Team as the school addresses such areas as school climate, and school/community relations. These examples demonstrated that CHS' student council cultivates a rich student environment that promotes students' expression and provides a platform for students to exchange their ideas and to encourage all students to have active productive roles within their school community.

2013 National Carson Scholars Fund Award Recipients Announced

The Carson Scholars Fund is pleased to announce that 425 students across the country have been named 2013 Carson Scholars. Each year the Fund recognizes a select group of high achieving students in grades 4 - 11 who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and humanitarian qualities. Students receive a $1,000 college scholarship award and the coveted honor of being named a Carson Scholar.

First time recipients from St. Mary's County Public Schools are Rohan Kankaria, attending Great Mills High School, and Amber Major, attending the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center. Rebecca Sachs, attending Leonardtown High School, is being recognized for her renewed Carson Scholar status. Rebecca Sachs is a previous winner who has maintained high academic standards and a strong commitment to her community. "I am so proud of these outstanding students who work hard to maintain high academic standards and demonstrate a strong commitment to their community," said Dr. Martirano.

The Mid-Atlantic scholars were honored at the 17th Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday, April 7, at Martin's West in Woodlawn, Maryland. The Carson Scholars Fund was founded in 1994 by Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, Candy. The Carson Scholars Fund is dedicated to impacting the nation in a positive way by cultivating future leaders who are academically talented and socially conscious.

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