Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Nominate an outstanding teacher for Post’s Agnes Meyer award

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is accepting nominations for the Washington Post’s 2015 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. The annual award honors exemplary teachers who demonstrate excellence in teaching and outstanding leadership, encourage creative and quality instruction, and contribute in a substantive way to the improvement of education.

Nominees must be full-time teachers in grades prekindergarten through 12 and have a minimum of five years teaching experience. Three of those years must have been with Charles County Public Schools. Teachers, students, former students, administrators or community members may submit nominations. Teachers may not nominate themselves. Nominees must also maintain their teaching position throughout the 2015-16 school year.

Nomination materials must include a minimum of four statements of support, one of which must be from a professional educator; a career summary; a description of contributions in each of the nomination criteria categories, and a vertical headshot color photograph of the nominee (submitted both on a disc and printed out). These materials must be included in a presentation binder and not exceed 40 pages total.

Nominees must be teachers who:

-- instill in students a desire to learn and achieve;

-- understand the individual needs of students, encourage their talents and foster their self-esteem;

-- demonstrate a thorough knowledge of subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students;

-- foster cooperative relationships with their colleagues and the community;

-- demonstrate outstanding leadership; and

-- maintain their teaching position throughout the 2015-16 school year.

Charles County’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award recipient will be one of 21 recognized by the Post from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Nominations packets are due Friday, Jan. 30. Materials should be sent to Pam Mucciolo, Office of Human Resources, Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Md., 20646.

The winner will be selected by a screening committee and kept confidential until the Washington Post announces each winner from all counties. Additional information about the nomination process is available on the Charles County Public Schools website at

The Post established the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards in honor of Agnes Meyer, a supporter of public education who was the wife of Eugene Meyer, who purchased the Post in 1933.

Board recognizes outstanding students

The Board of Education honored five students on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for excellence in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility. Honored were Nicholas Long, fifth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School; Amir Moore, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School; Morgan Martin, fifth grade, J.C. Parks Elementary School; Devyn Thompson, eighth grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; and Jeanne Franchesca Dela Cruz, junior, St. Charles High School.

Long was honored in the area of personal responsibility and has received honor roll grades every year. He recently scored advanced on the third- and fourth-grade Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in math and reading. His teachers describe him as a leader in the classroom who advocates for himself and others. Long is a member of the student council, Destination Imagination and Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) teams. His favorite activity in school is student council because he likes talking to other students and thinks all students should have the same opportunities.

Martin was recognized in the area of academic achievement and is described by her principal, Thadine Wright, as a “quiet storm.” She is an honor roll student who recently scored at the advanced level on the MSA in both reading and math. She is a thinker, problem solver and true leader, and does so in a soft, supporting way. Martin is a member of the MESA and Destination Imagination teams and constantly strives to be the best at whatever she does. She is also well known among her classmates and teachers as a role model for others.

Moore was honored by the Board in the area of academic achievement and is consistently recognized by his teachers as a strong student and excellent role model. He has maintained exceptional grades throughout his school career and has met and/or exceeded county and state benchmarks. His teachers describe him as compassionate, reliable and hard worker who is always prepared and works well with others. Moore is interested in running for student council this year and feels this will give him an opportunity to have a positive impact on his peers. He is also an active member of the chess club and MESA team.

Thompson was recognized by the Board in the area of career readiness and is an honor roll student. She is currently taking Algebra I and Spanish I at the high school level and is an active participant in the National Junior Honor Society and student government association. After graduation, she wants to study political science to showcase her public speaking and writing skills. Thompson’s future plans include pursuing the presidency of the United States. She is a leader who is honest, articulate and shows great compassion for others.

Dela Cruz was recognized in the area of career readiness and is a student who goes above and beyond in the classroom. She is a student in the interactive media program at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center and participates in the drama club and the National Art Honor Society. She is a straight “A” student and is described by her teachers as being neat, focused, organized, goal-oriented and motivated. She loves drawing and is currently participating in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Each month the Board of Education honors students for their success in academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.

Board honors exemplary employees

The Board of Education honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees during the Nov. 11 Board meeting, including Erin Berfield, Danielle Carpenter, Latisha Chase, Melissa Gross and Jane Pilkerton.

Berfield is a music teacher at Malcom Elementary School. She was recognized for consistently delivering quality instruction to her students in music. Berfield’s lessons are well planned and she focuses on matching activities with the developmental levels of her students. She strives to instill the love of music in all children on a daily basis. Outside of her instructional day she takes on numerous assignments, as well as organizes the winter and spring concerts. She is also an active participant with All-County chorus rehearsals and performances. Malcom Principal Wilhelmina Pugh said Berfield demonstrates a high degree of pride in her work and has an exemplary work ethic. “Ms. Berfield is key in modeling a positive and caring environment at Malcolm. She always is one of the first staff members to step in as needed and willingly volunteers her time to assist with projects or schoolwide initiatives,” Pugh wrote in her nomination letter.

Carpenter is a social studies teacher at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. She creates lessons for her students that are engaging and differentiated so all students are given opportunities to learn. Carpenter always connects her students to the lesson through real world applications and works hard to include their interests in each lesson. Stoddert Principal Kenneth Schroeck said Carpenter is an outstanding role model for her students and peers. “It is obvious that her students are at the center of her instruction in everything she does. Ms. Carpenter is the epitome of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for her job,” Schroeck wrote in his nomination letter.

Chase is an instructional assistant at St. Charles High School. She has been employed with CCPS for the past five years and demonstrates a positive attitude in all that she does. She provides valuable input, and often seeks out what some consider difficult tasks. Chase mentors students and provides academic interventions to struggling learners. St. Charles Principal Richard Conley said Chase’s leadership and ability to serve as a role model are qualities that make her an outstanding employee. “One of Mrs. Chase’s greatest attributes is her willingness to serve in various capacities in order to improve the school community. She is willing to go the extra mile to better the school,” Conley wrote in his nomination letter.

Gross is the secretary to the principal at J.C. Parks Elementary School. She has worked for CCPS since 1992 and is passionate about and dedicated to her job. Gross has held this position for the last three school years and is known as the go to person at her school. She is always the first to arrive for the school day and the last to leave. Gross is described by her co-workers as a helpful resource for information who always has an answer, suggestion or words of encouragement. As the secretary in charge of financials at the school, Gross has coordinated exemplary audits and meets all deadlines before they are due. Parks Principal Thadine Wright said Gross is a valuable asset to the Parks community. “Mrs. Gross’ attentiveness to details coupled with a clear understanding of her responsibilities, has assisted her with anticipating the needs of staff, and most importantly, the students,” Wright wrote in a nomination letter.

Pilkerton is a reading resource teacher at Dr. James Craik Elementary School where she is a valuable member of the instructional leadership team (ILT). Her expertise and leadership has been a critical factor in the success of the ILT at Craik. Pilkerton works closely with teachers to assist in planning and implementing curriculum. In addition, she has created a school bookroom that houses all of the leveled readers. In her letter of nomination, Craik Principal Debra Calvert describes Pilkerton as a positive and energetic member of her staff. “Her energy and positive attitude are contagious and her work ethic is unparalleled. She is truly an asset to our school and worthy of recognition,” Calvert wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.

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