Summer Staff and Student News
MCPS staff and students were busy over the summer, amassing awards, winning contests and writing books. Read about their great accomplishments below.
Dr. Alana Murray, principal at Shady Grove Middle School, has won the Outstanding Alumni Award by the University of Maryland’s College of Education. She was selected for her leadership and commitment to the university, often being called upon to lend her voice to discussions about curriculum, equity and the profession of education. The award recognizes individuals who are pillars in their field and have made contributions that have inspired change. Dr. Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics and a doctoral degree in minority and urban education from the University of Maryland.
Erin Burrell, kindergarten teacher at Ashburton Elementary School, was named a winner of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The PIAEE award recognizes, supports and brings attention to outstanding environmental projects by teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning in K-12 education. Over the last seven years, Burrell has led students, staff, volunteers, parents and the community to transform her school’s courtyard garden into a vibrant outdoor classroom. Read more about Burrell’s work.
Sara Goodman Confino, who teaches English and journalism at Watkins Mill High School, had her second novel, She’s Up to No Good, picked up as an Amazon First Read in July. Her first novel, For the Love of Friends, was published in 2021.
Carver Class of 1955 Donates Commemorative Plaque
Carver Class of 1955 students created a plaque commemorating their time at George Washington Carver High School and Junior College. A dedication ceremony unveiling the plaque was held outdoors at Carver Educational Services Center in June. Watch the video.
Richard Montgomery Team Finishes Second in National Envirothon
A team of students from Richard Montgomery High School finished second in the national Envirothon, an environmental and natural resource conservation problem-solving, team building and leadership competition for high school students. The Richard Montgomery “Tree Troupe” team is made up of Sienna Burns, Lynna Deng, Josh Goozman, Connor Palansky and Katie Yang. Lissa Vincent is the team’s teacher advisor.
This year’s national competition, which took place in Ohio, had 40 teams. Envirothon challenges students to develop critical thinking skills to create inventive solutions to complex local and global environmental and natural resource issues. Students demonstrated their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry and wildlife management through written tests and interactive stations featuring Ohio’s natural resources.
In the national finals, the Richard Montgomery team finished first in three of the five testing categories (Wildlife, Aquatics and Waste Management) and fourth in the other two categories (Forestry and Soils). The second-place finish was the best-ever by a Maryland team in the national competition.
Six MCPS Students Win Medals at National ACT-SO Competition
Six MCPS students received medals at the national Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition in July. ACT-SO is a high school initiative sponsored by the NAACP to promote and encourage academic and artistic excellence. MCPS ACT-SO students received more than $50,000 in scholarships.
The 2022 medalists are:
- Consuela Watts, Vocal Contemporary, Gold Medal, Northwood HS
- Daniella Gonyoe, Delta Airlines Challenge, Silver Medal, Northwest HS
- Donovan Holt-Harrington, Instrumental Classical, Silver Medal, Seneca Valley HS
- Jeanne Lubika, Dramatics, Silver Medal, Clarksburg HS
- George Obongo, Delta Airlines Challenge, Silver Medal, Northwest HS
- Marcus Ross, Delta Airlines Challenge, Silver Medal, James Hubert Blake HS
Four rising college freshmen will receive $10,000 each from the Lancôme Write Her Future Scholarship:
- Bianca Calá, Northwest High School graduate who will attend State University of New York Purchase College Conservatory of Dance
- Jeanne Lubika, Clarksburg High School graduate who will attend The Juilliard School
- Obaahemaa Mensah, Paint Branch High School graduate who will attend The George Washington University
- Natalie Payne, Springbrook High School graduate who will attend Brown University
The NAACP Montgomery County branch of ACT-SO also awarded gold medals to eight other students for their commitment to academic and artistic excellence:
- Selamawit Asmare, Traditional Dance, Local Gold, James Hubert Blake HS
- Logan Byrd, Ballet, Local Gold, Northwood HS
- Bianca Calá, Contemporary Dance, Local Gold, Northwest HS
- Eugene Carson, Sustainable Building Team, Local Gold, Wheaton HS/Edison HS of Technology
- Tenin Dembele, Written Poetry, Local Gold, Northwest HS
- Tenin Dembele, Poetry Performance, Local Gold, Northwest HS
- Camille Kindrell Cobb, Sustainable Building Team, Local Gold, Walter Johnson HS/Edison HS of Technology
- Fasil Tefera, Sustainable Building Team, Local Gold, Wheaton HS/Edison HS of Technology
Takoma Park MS Student Named Merit Winner in 3M Young Scientist Challenge
Shriyadita De, an 8th grader at Takoma Park Middle School, was one of 31 state merit winners in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The 3M Young Scientist Challenge asks students in grades 5-8 to identify an everyday problem and submit a video communicating the science behind their solution. Entries were judged based on creativity, scientific knowledge and communication effectiveness.
B-CC Students Produce New Amplifier Magazine
In the spring, students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School produced the latest Amplifier, a countywide magazine started during the pandemic to unite students from high schools across MCPS. The issue includes writing, artwork and ideas from students at 15 high schools. Read it here.
Churchill Students Co-Author Book on Entrepreneurship
Winston Churchill High School students Amanda Kossoff and Luna Wang have co-authored a book on entrepreneurship, Make An Impact Through Business: A Teen’s Guide to Entrepreneurship, helping teens turn their passions into real impact. It is a 150-page workbook about how to create a nonprofit organization, and features resources and the authors’ journey and advice. The duo are donating half the book proceeds to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit organization providing entrepreneurship training and educational programs to middle and high school students, college students and adults.
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