March 8, 2017
A 14-year MCPS veteran, Kelly Gruitt has been named School Psychologist of the Year by the Montgomery County School Psychologists’ Association (MCSPA). Gruitt is the school psychologist serving Winston Churchill High School and Stone Mill Elementary School.
Administrators and colleagues call Gruitt a leader who is bright, well-informed and collaborative. In her nomination packet, one colleague wrote, “from the moment you meet Kelly in a professional setting, you are impressed by her ethical and professional behavior.” She is considered one of the most knowledgeable school psychologists in Montgomery County in educational law and equitable practices and is frequently sought after to consult on challenging cases.
She has served as co-president of MCSPA for two terms, on the Joint Collaborative Committee for Psychological Services for several years, and has chaired committees on Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and the changing role of psychologists.
“Kelly treats all families, staff and students with respect and care,” wrote one administrator. “She has strong communication skills and is always working collaboratively with other staff members and parents to ensure success for all students.”
Gruitt will now compete for the Maryland School Psychologists’ Association’s School Psychologist of the Year Award, which will be announced in the spring.
Somerset Elementary School Media Specialist Nominated for State Honor
Tracy Jeffcott, media specialist at Somerset Elementary School, is a nominee for Maryland School Librarian of the Year by the Maryland Association of School Librarians.
An Ohio native, Jeffcott received a degree in Early Childhood Education from Miami University (Ohio), a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, and is working on an Administration Certification through Hood College. Tracy began her career teaching third grade. She works collaboratively with classroom teachers to support the integration of information literacy skills into daily instruction. She uses Google Apps for Education to maximize collaboration, instruction and student engagement. Most recently, she created a dynamic Makerspace for all students to engage in independent STEAM-related inquiry.
She serves on the school leadership team, administrative core team and STEM Professional Learning Community (PLC). She is the representative for elementary school media specialists on the Montgomery County Education Association’s Councils on Teaching and Learning and a member of the Montgomery County Educational Media Specialists Association. For the last two years, she has worked as a mentor to first-year media specialists at MCPS. She facilitates professional development at the school and county levels. She has participated in curriculum summits to create instructional resources for Montgomery County elementary educators, and last fall, was honored to host media specialists from around the U.S. as a part of the School Library Journal Leadership Summit tour.
Board Makes One Administrative Appointment
At its Feb. 14 Board meeting, the Board approved the following appointment:
- Anand R. Modak, supervisor, Telecommunications and Information Security
Amal Ibrahim, special education bus attendant with the Bethesda Depot, died on Feb. 20. She had been with MCPS for more than 10 years.
Vasilia A. Vassila, music teacher at Beverly Farms and Bells Mill elementary schools, died on Feb. 6. She had more than 26 years of service with MCPS.