Daly ES Teacher Appears on Wheel of Fortune
Alex Funsch Croyle, third grade teacher at Capt. James Daly Elementary School, is still riding high after her recent appearance on one of her favorite TV shows, Wheel of Fortune.
On the episode, Croyle came in second, earning $8,400. She said she had always wanted to be a contestant on the show, so one day while watching, she Googled “how to become a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.”
“Lo and behold, I found an online application,” she said. “I completed it, “selfie-d” an application video and submitted it.”
She soon received an email inviting her to audition for the show in New York. Two weeks after she returned, she received a letter inviting her to become a contestant on the show during Teacher’s Week. “The money,” she said, “is definitely a bonus, but the experience was priceless.”
Two Principals Win Environmental Education Awards
Lee Derby, principal at Cedar Grove Elementary School, and Keith Jones, principal at Summit Hall Elementary School, have been honored with the Marcia Sward Award for Environmental Education presented by the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS). They were selected because of their leadership in promoting a “green” school culture and leading their schools to the Maryland Green School and National Green Ribbon School awards—significant awards that reflect a whole school commitment to environmental literacy and sustainability.
The Marcia Sward Award is presented in memory of the group’s former education director, who passed away seven years ago. It honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promote environmental literacy in schools.
For years, ANS has worked with Derby and Jones through its GreenKids partnership with MCPS. They are very involved with their teachers and students, often stopping by to observe lessons in the schoolyards and to help their students explore nature.
The awards were presented on Oct. 22.
Two MCPS Health Educators Honored by State Group
The Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) has honored two MCPS staff members.
Teresa Shatzer, resource teacher at Paint Branch High School, received a Teacher of the Year award for health education. Shatzer helped write the county health curriculum, and serves as the leader for health resource teachers in the district. She facilitates a “lunch bunch” with students that meets often to discuss current issues. She puts out health newsletters to staff, highlighting departmental and health updates, inspirational quotes, and recognition of student achievements. She has set up staff wellness activities such as “Walk at Work Day,” and organizes weekly workout sessions of Zumba, Jazzercise and aerobics. Shatzer is the only MCPS health educator to have a set of Chromebooks, which has allowed her to develop interactive and engaging lessons for her students.
Tom Benco, physical education teacher at Wilson Wims Elementary School, was given a Teacher of the Year award for elementary physical education. Benco has facilitated fitness clubs for students at all grade levels. He has helped coordinate a community Wellness Day called “Fit is Fun Day,” and has helped keep staff healthy by offering weekly wellness workouts. For three years, he served as the lead curriculum writer in MCPS for elementary P.E. He has been invited to the White House as a MCPS representative for the U.S. Healthier Schools Initiative. In the last four years, he has also led his school staff to eight Top 10 finishes in the MCPS countywide fitness competitions, and was the first in the county to successfully integrate Promethean board technology into elementary P.E.
Shatzer and Benco were given the awards at a ceremony on Oct. 16.
Ridgeview MS Principal Invited to Capitol Hill
In September, Ridgeview Middle School Principal Monifa McKnight was invited to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress, along with other state Principals of the Year. The group discussed key education issues and urged policymakers to support school leaders in current and future legislation. McKnight met with Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland’s 5th Congressional District). Earlier this year, McKnight was honored as the Middle School Principal of the Year, given by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Clemente MS Music Teacher Given Prestigious Award by County Executive
Randi Levy, instrumental music teacher at Roberto Clemente Middle School, has been given the 2015 County Executive’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities in Education. The County Executive’s Awards are the most prestigious awards given by Montgomery County to individual artists, scholars, organizations and cultural patrons that have made a difference through the arts and humanities. Along with other award winners, Levy was honored at a ceremony on Oct. 26.
Seneca Valley Media Specialist Featured on Public Radio
Nicole Little-Cook, media specialist at Seneca Valley High School, was recently featured on public radio. She spoke on behalf of the Maryland Humanities Council’s (MHC) One Maryland One Book reading program, in which several MCPS high schools participate. The One Maryland One Book program encourage people across the state to read the same book and meet to discuss it. The MHC provides copies of books to high school library programs that apply. Hear the podcast.
Two longtime staff members at Lakewood Elementary School are retiring. Carol Glodt, teacher and reading specialist, is retiring effective November 1, after 18 years at Lakewood. Diane Melis, attendance secretary, is retiring effective December 1 after 37 years.
An in-house celebration is planned for Glodt. Those who wish to contribute to a gift may send donations to Melis.
A celebration is planned for Melis from 5:30–7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 at Lakewood Country Club, 13901 Glen Mill Road in Rockville. The cost is $40, which covers the reception and gift. If you wish to attend, RSVP by Oct. 30 to Patti Staines. Letters of remembrance or congratulations may be sent to Staines.
Marla Caplon rocks! She’s passionate about feeding kids, especially those in need. She thinks outside the box to make it happen. Great supervisor and business woman who gives the credit to her staff.
—Tom Davey, warehouse specialist, Division of Food and Nutrition Services
Congratulations to Peggy Callaghan! She won third place in the Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America’s Lone Star Writing Contest for her young adult novel, Sublime Karma. This is her second novel to be published. Go, Peggy!
—Diane McManus, teacher, John Poole Middle School
David Love and the entire building services crew go above-and-beyond, getting involved in our students’ lives and supporting them outside of the school day. We’re lucky to have such caring individuals!
—Heather Yuhaniak, staff development teacher, Gaithersburg Middle School
Lesley C. Johnson, central office teacher with the Department of Professional Growth Systems, died on Oct. 13. She had been with MCPS for more than 14 years.