Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

North Point senior selected for National Achievement Scholarship

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) today named Azeezat Adeleke, a North Point High School senior, as a scholarship winner in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Through the program, she will receive an annual renewable stipend of $2,000 per year for up to four years.

Adeleke is the student member to the Charles County Board of Education and editor-in-chief of North Point’s student newspaper, the Eagle Eye. She has been accepted to Yale University on a partial scholarship where she plans to study political science and global affairs. She was chosen for the scholarship from out of more than 160,000 students who requested consideration in the 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program.

The program is sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and highlights the achievements of African-American students, who request consideration when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMQST) as high school juniors. Recipients are the highest scoring program entrants in their states and are selected on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous studies.

The NMSC is a non-profit organization that was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit and National Achievement Programs. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC’s funds and more than 500 business organizations and other educational institutions with the goal of honoring the nation’s scholastic students and the pursuit of academic excellence. For more information about the NMSC programs, visit

Piccowaxen counselor named State Counselor of the Year

William Marchione, a school counselor at Piccowaxen Middle School, was recently selected as the Maryland Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA). The award recognizes school counselors for outstanding achievement and service to students and for providing leadership in the development of existing and future counseling services.

Piccowaxen Principal Kenneth Schroeck nominated Marchione for his passion and dedication to student success, for implementing several positive school-based initiatives for students, and for serving as a role model and leader for students and staff members. Schroeck said Marchione’s work ethic and commitment to children are exceptional.

“I respect and admire the way he inspires students, models character and inspires passion. Mr. Marchione not only embodies the quality of the award but he inspires me to find new and better ways of reaching children. What defines Mr. Marchione is that he is a humble, passionate, dedicated counselor who is willing to do whatever it takes to help students,” Schroeck wrote in an award nomination letter.

Marchione began his career with Charles County Public Schools in 2007 as a counselor at Piccowaxen. During the past six years, he has implemented several programs such as peer tutoring, peer mediation and conflict resolution, as well as coordinated quarterly counseling lessons, monthly Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) lessons and anti-bullying programs.

Marchione said he is honored to be recognized for working in a profession that he loves. “I am very honored to receive this award, though I do find it hard to be in the spotlight because I know so many counselors who work just as hard, or harder than I do. I came into this career looking to make a difference in the lives of students from the start. I am extremely honored to be recognized by the Maryland School Counseling Association as the Middle School Counselor of the Year,” Marchione said.

Nominees must have at least five years of school counseling experience, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, and must be certified as a school counselor by the State of Maryland. Nominees must also have been responsible for providing leadership in counseling services and outstanding service to the school community, as well as are members of the Maryland School Counselor Association and the American School Counselor Association.

Marchione received a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University and a master’s degree in school counseling from Long Island University. He will be honored by the MSCA at their annual conference on April 19. For more information on the MSCA, visit their website at

Neal named 2013 National School of Character finalist

Mary B. Neal Elementary School was recently named a 2013 National School of Character Finalist by the Character Education Partnership (CEP). Neal is one of 21 nationwide public elementary schools selected as a finalist, and among more than 131 schools and school districts. A total of 35 national finalists were selected, based on the quality of their written applications, and Neal is the only Maryland school named a finalist. Each finalist will undergo an intensive screening process that includes schools visits, and an analysis of the impact of their character education program on academics, student behavior and school culture.

Earlier this school year, Neal was chosen as a 2013 Maryland School of Character award recipient by the Maryland Center for Character Education (MCCE) at Stevenson University. As a state award winner, Neal was eligible for consideration in the National Schools of Character program. Schools are selected for the state award based on their demonstration of the Character Education Partnership's 11 principles of Effective Character Education.

The principles focus on the promotion of ethical values and a caring school community, fostering students' self-motivation, and engaging school staff to help with character-building efforts. Schools are required to apply for character education awards annually.

Neal was also chosen as a Promising Practices in Character Education 2010 National award winner. As part of the National Schools of Character awards program, the Character Education Partnership gives Promising Practices awards to schools for implementing unique and specific strategies in character education.

The 2013 National Schools of Character will be announced in early May, and these schools will be honored at the 20th National Forum on Character Education this fall. For more information on the National Schools of Character Education program, visit

Board approves minor changes to student transfer rule

The Board of Education this week approved minor changes to the student transfer rule, which provides guidelines that govern when and how students are allowed to attend a school other than the one to which he or she is assigned.

The changes were made to Superintendent’s Rule 5126, which establishes criteria for student transfer approvals. The most significant change includes the establishment of a May 1 deadline for all requests.

The Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Department of Student Services determines all transfer requests. Transfer requests must meet criteria, and schools must have adequate space, including in the particular grade and instructional programs. Adequate space in a school is determined by state-rated capacity. Additionally, acceptable requests include those made for a particular academic program not offered at the student's zoned school or for an unusual hardship case. Hardship cases do not include issues common to a large number of families, such as the need for a particular schedule, redistricting, sibling enrollment or typical day care issues.

Requests for transfers, which include approved changes by the Board, will also be accepted from the following:

-- A student who changes residence after the start of the second semester may request to stay at a school for the remainder of the school year. Students who move out of county will be charged tuition.

-- A senior in high school who moves out of the high school zone at any time during the school year may request to complete the school year at their current school. Students who move out of county will be charged tuition.

-- A student whose parent/guardian has entered into a contract to purchase a home within the first quarter of the school year may request a transfer to the zoned school for the prospective home. Verification of occupancy in the new home must be provided by the end of the first quarter to avoid tuition charges and/or removal from the new school.

-- A student whose parent/guardian is a full-time CCPS employee may request a transfer to the elementary, middle or high school zone for that parent/guardian’s work location.

-- A student who lives outside of Charles County and whose parent is a full-time CCPS employee may request to enroll in the CCPS elementary, middle or high school zoned for the parent’s primary work location.

Students who are transferred to a new high school on or before the first day of school are not eligible for athletics for the entire school year. Students who are transferred to a new high school after the first day of school are not eligible for athletics for one full year, which is determined by the transfer date.

Additionally, students receiving transfers must provide their own transportation to and from school. Approval for all transfers is reviewed annually.

To view additional content outlined in Rule 5126, visit the Board Docs site located on the CCPS website at and do a search for Rule 5126.

County students compete in state DI competition

Eight Charles County Public Schools Destination ImagiNation teams advance to the global tournament, scheduled for May 22-25 in Knoxville, Tenn., after winning first, second or third place at the state competition held April 13 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The following teams earned a spot to compete in the global tournament as a first-, second- or third-place winner:

In the Zone challenge:

-- John Hanson Middle School, DI Like Donuts team, first place;

-- North Point High School, AC/DI team, second place; and

-- Henry E. Lackey High School, The Little Rascals of Lackey team, third place.

Wind Visible challeng:

-- Dr. James Craik Elementary School, Craik Kinetic Inventors team, third place; and

-- Milton M. Somers Middle School and La Plata High School, Breaking Wind team, third place.

Change in Realitee challenge:

-- Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, Mustacheo Girls team, third place.

Twist-O-Rama challenge:

-- Maurice J. McDonough High School, Out With a Bang team, third place.

Reel to Reel challenge:

-- Theodore G. Davis Middle School, Straight Jacket Ninjas team, third place.

Special awards were also presented to teams and individual students at the competition. The Twist-O-Masters team from Eva Turner Elementary School was presented with the Da Vinci Award, which recognizes teams for outstanding creativity. Sean Huber, a sixth-grader at John Hanson Middle School, also received the Renaissance Award, which recognizes students for outstanding engineering and project design.

Seven other Charles County Public Schools teams were recognized for placing in the top five in their challenge area. They are:

-- North Point, Um… what? team, fifth place, In the Zone challenge;

-- Lackey, PRETZEL Heads team, fifth place, Wind Visible challenge;

-- William A. Diggs Elementary School, Clever Dragons team, fourth place, In Disguise challenge;

-- Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School, DI Lightning Bolts team, fourth place, Change in Realitee challenge;

-- La Plata, Dirty Bubbles team, fifth place, Change in Realitee challenge;

-- Arthur Middleton Elementary School, Nerdy Ninjas team, fourth place, Twist-O-Rama challenge; and

-- Turner, Twist-O-Masters team, fifth place, Twist-O-Rama challenge.

Destination ImagiNation is a creative problem solving program for students in grades kindergarten through college and is active in 50 states and more than 40 countries. Teams of up to seven members work to solve different challenges and present their solutions to a panel of judges. Students compete at the regional, state and global levels. For more information on Destination ImagiNation, visit

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