Honoring Contributions to Special Education
Thirty-nine students, parents, educators and programs were honored at the 26th Annual Special Education Recognition Ceremony on May 12 at Rockville High School. The event, sponsored by the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA), recognized individuals and groups that provide support, motivation and encouragement that helps ensure success for special education students.
Honorees were named in several categories and included:
- Alexandra Washington, Cloverly Elementary School
- John (Dino) Zagami, Sherwood High School
- Madeline Cornejo-Mendizabal, Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA)
- Matthew Torrence, Damascus High School
- Barbara Siegel, GT/LD Network
- Joan Taylor, MCCPTA Special Education Committee
- Stephanie Pisto, Lucy Barnsley Elementary School
- ED Cluster Program, Great Seneca Creek Elementary School
- Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled program (GT/LD), Col. W. Brooke Lee Middle School
- Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled program (GT/LD), Lucy Barnsley Elementary School
- Learning for Independence/School Community-Based program (LFI/SCB), Damascus High School
- Magruder High School
- Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA)
- Allison Wymer, Lucy Barnsley Elementary School
- Amy Greenberg, Stonegate Elementary School
- Amy Petrucelli, William Tyler Page Elementary School
- Catherine Najarian, Cloverly Elementary School
- Cheryl Moore, William Tyler Page Elementary School
- Christa Gordon, Lucy Barnsley Elementary School
- Donovan Griffin-Blake, Northwood High School
- Gloria Pound, Paint Branch High School
- Heather King, Stonegate Elementary School
- Jeannette Blackwood, Argyle Middle School
- Jennifer Foster, Col. Zadok Magruder High School
- Kalie Borries, Cresthaven Elementary School
- Kathleen Tiedemann, Montgomery Village Middle School
- Kirsten Crabtree, Wood Acres Elementary School
- Kristin Secan, Autism Unit
- Larry March, Roberto Clemente Middle School
- Marisa Stemple, Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled program (GT/LD)
- Megan Sullivan, Tilden Middle School
- Patricia Udovich, Interdisciplinary Augmentative Communication and Technology Team (InterACT)
Honorable Mention, Educators
- Anthony Tramontano, Lakelands Park Middle School
- Chris Lyons, Cloverly Elementary School
- Etty Wannon, North Chevy Chase Elementary School
- Joan Natelson, Albert Einstein High School
- Joslyn Stewart , Flower Valley Elementary School
- Onerlin Bledsoe, Gaithersburg High School
- Suzanne Pape, DuFief Elementary School
Saluting Food and Nutrition Services Personnel
Food service employees, who serve 15 million meals to Montgomery County schoolchildren each year, were recognized in conjunction with the annual Salute to Food and Nutrition Service Personnel Day. Seven employees were selected to be recognized for their dedication and outstanding performance; they were given certificates at a breakfast held on May 15.
From left to right, this year’s honorees are: Patricia Sakhi, cafeteria manager IV, Gaithersburg Middle School; Cai Qin Li Zhou, cafeteria permanent substitute, Division of Food and Nutrition Services; Crystal Liao, food service satellite manager II, Ronald McNair Elementary School; Li Chin Huang, food service satellite manager III, Twinbrook Elementary School; Jieyi Huang, cafeteria worker I, Central Production Facility; Ivyrose Bean, cafeteria manager III, Rosa Parks Middle School; and Kay Goon, cafeteria worker I, Arcola Elementary School and Wheaton High School.
The hard work and valuable contributions of MCPS food and nutrition service personnel were honored by the Board of Education at its May 13 meeting.
Graduate Students Honored with Aspiring Teacher Awards
Graduate students Karla Bercaw and Diana Lim are the recipients of this year’s Marian Greenblatt Awards, which recognize scholarly excellence and a commitment to working with students with diverse needs among aspiring teachers at MCPS. Bercaw is a paraeducator at Viers Mill Elementary School, and in her student teaching as a Creative Initiatives in Teacher Education (CITE) intern, has taught in fourth and second grade classrooms. Lim, who will receive her master’s with certification in secondary mathematics education this summer, teaches algebra II to students at Montgomery Blair High School.
Matt Devan, principal at Viers Mill, offered high praise for Bercaw: “She shows impressive initiative with her detailed plans and collaboration with grade-level teams. Her positive attitude, strong work ethic, and ability to make every situation a positive experience for the students she works with are a true asset to our school.”
Lim offered these reflections on her experiences: “I have learned that teaching can be very overwhelming and it will require constant reflection and focused development with the help of other educators. Though I know that all of my students will not claim math to be their favorite subject at the end of the year, I now aspire for every one of them to recognize their capability to contribute knowledge and that there is value in their learning.”
Names and Faces
The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments at its May 13 business meeting:
- Stephen C. Whiting, principal, Clarksburg High School
- Kimberly N. Hayden Williams, principal, Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School
- Sherilyn R. Moses, principal, Ronald McNair Elementary School
- Kim M. Redgrave, principal Stephen Knolls School
Sligo Creek Volunteer Named a Finalist for State Award
Debbie Boger, a parent volunteer at Sligo Creek Elementary School in Silver Spring, was one of five finalists for the Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Awards (PIMA). This award is given annually by the Maryland State Department of Education.
When Sligo Creek lost its science teacher and lab, Boger leapt into action. She saw a large, underutilized interior courtyard and envisioned an outdoor classroom. Debbie rallied the PTAs of Sligo Creek and Silver Spring International Middle School to support the cause. She championed the project before school system officials and won approval. She worked with teachers and students on the design and developed partnerships with local designers, construction professionals and businesses to make the project affordable. She created an educational foundation to solicit and accept funding. The transformation of the space into a living classroom has been dramatic. Last year, an edible garden was planted and, this year, students are planning to grow enough crops to donate produce to a local food pantry. Debbie is now busy on the next phase of the project, which will incorporate a stage, a pond and a stone garden.
A retirement celebration is being held for:
- Deborah Lee, attendance secretary, and Vanessa Wilson-Favors, speech and language pathologist, both at Flora M. Singer Elementary School, after more than 18 years and 36 years of service, respectively. The celebration is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, at The Inn at Brookeville Farms, 19501 Georgia Avenue in Olney. The cost is $40, which covers dinner, dessert, soft drinks, tip and gift. Send payment to Kayla Pierson or Sarah Burnsky at Singer ES, 2600 Hayden Dr., Silver Spring, MD, 20902. RSVP by June 2 to Pierson. For more information, call 301-649-8000.
- Peggy Walker, ESOL teacher at Cloverly Elementary School, is retiring after 29 years teaching, 19 of them at Cloverly. Send cards, letters and good wishes to her via Cloverly ES, 800 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, MD, 20905, or email her.
- Denise M. Schaefer, counselor at Col. Zadok Magruder High School, died on May 10. She had been with MCPS for nearly 16 years.