Hundreds of parents, staff, veterans and community members gathered at John T. Baker Middle School on Sept. 16 for its annual flag-raising ceremony. The ceremony marks the start of a new school year and the students’ commitment to academic excellence, hard work and good citizenship. It also is a time for the community to commemorate the life of William Ruth, a former social studies teacher at Baker. He was working at the Pentagon as a Chief Warrant Officer for the U.S. Army on 9-11, and died when the building was struck by American Airlines Flight 77. This year’s guest speaker was Fred Mitchell, commander of American Legion Post 171.
Performing the Star Spangled Banner and My America were the Baker Middle School Concert Band and the Baker Middle School Concert Chorus.
Whitman Student Wins $1,000 World Languages Scholarship
Hannah Donner, a student at Walt Whitman High School, was selected to receive the 2019 World Language Scholarship, an award given by the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, Dr. Walter and Mrs. Perlita Jones, and the Plasma Fellows. Hannah, who has studied Chinese at the elementary, middle and high school levels, received a $1,000 scholarship. Dr. Marshal Greenblatt and Dr. Walter Jones surprised Hannah with the award earlier this month.
The World Language Scholarship was initiated by the Jones family in 1998 to recognize outstanding student achievement in a foreign language. Since 2007, the Greenblatt Fund and the Plasma Fellows also have contributed to the effort. The $1,000 scholarship is available to a junior from any MCPS high school. The winner is selected based on recommendations from the World Language Department at his or her school and an essay submitted by the applicant.
“We were particularly impressed with Hannah’s commitment to learning Chinese in ways outside the traditional classroom setting,” said Françoise Vandenplas, supervisor of the MCPS World Language Program. “From extracurricular activities to volunteer work to studying in Nanjing, China for six weeks during the summer, her language learning experience is preparing her for the demands of our increasingly global society.”
The Plasma Fellows are former U.S. Naval Research Laboratory plasma physicists who all profited from learning world languages early in their careers and want to honor students who do the same.
The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1988 to honor the memory of Dr. Marian Greenblatt, a leader in education and education policy in Montgomery County. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded more than $175,000 to outstanding teachers and students.