Name: Joann Berrian, a 3 1/2 -year resident of Owen Brown...


November 29, 1992

Name: Joann Berrian, a 3 1/2 -year resident of Owen Brown Village.

Hobbies/Activities: Mrs. Berrian works as a teachers' assistant full time at Dasher Green Elementary School and volunteers at Owen Brown Middle School. She has worked as a substitute teacher and a school crossing guard. Mrs. Berrian helped to open the middle school in 1990 as the Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher while a permanent substitute, until a new teacher was hired.

Her hobbies include arts and crafts and gardening. But her favorite pastime is singing in senior citizens homes and around her own home.

Organization's comments: Mrs. Berrian is a parent volunteer at Owen Brown Middle School and was nominated for the Maryland Governor's Volunteerism Award in 1991, when she received a certificate for her efforts. She was on WMAR-TV for the tutoring program she helped to start.

She has been involved in many projects at the school. Mrs. Berrian challenged the school's Parent Teacher Association to volunteer more, saying she would work two hours for every hour of time PTA members contributed in a program called It Takes Two.

She has kept her promise, said Barbara Kleinknecht-Hall, Gifted and Talented resource teacher at Owen Brown Middle School.

"It is a real talent to be able to balance work and have a healthy family unit. This is what I admire most about Mrs. Berrian. I had the pleasure of teaching two of her three daughters," said Ms. Kleinknecht-Hall. "For a teacher, it's always a joy to have pleasant, high-achieving and thoughtful students. Both of the Berrian children are exemplary children. I credit both parents for these traits."

Mrs. Berrian is the Parent Volunteer Coordinator for the middle school PTA. She has helped bring in senior citizens to work with the children. She called 50 parents to arrange for chaperons for outdoor education and bakers for bake sales. She set up the band banquet by decorating, organizing food service and cleanup.

During disAbility Awareness Day, she set up the tables, baked goods for breakfast and made sandwiches for more than 40 people for lunch. For the Gifted and Talented program she put up a display showcasing the procedures for participating in the program.

In the home economics department, Mrs. Berrian put up three bulletin boards and provided a specialized list of parent volunteers for every teacher who needs help.

"Mrs. Berrian is one of the kindest and hardest-working persons I have ever seen," said home economics teacher Ann DeLay.

Last year, Mrs. Berrian helped launch the tutoring program at the school and was the chairwoman for providing food for the school's ethnic Salad Day. She also spent many hours on the phone making sure many ethnic groups were represented.

Volunteer's comments: "There are lots of reasons," said Mrs. Berrian about her volunteering efforts. "My husband is in the military and we travel all over, and it's the best way to get to know people and for them to get to know me. Coming to this school, from a school in California, I noticed there were some things missing here . . . and I worked to bring them here."

She cites the tutor aid program, where students aren't forced to participate, she said, but they have to agree to get along with a mentor to work out problems academically or personally.

"I absolutely love the middle school kids," said Mrs. Berrian. "Parents kind of drop out of their life as parents, some are going back to work. They [teens] are misunderstood, and parents aren't as interested. They are kind of scary, for instance, when you see them in the mall -- because of what they are wearing or how they are acting -- but they are really great kids."

About Mrs. Berrian: Mrs. Berrian is married to Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Berrian and has three children: Brieanna, 13, Cadie, 11, and Amanda, 9.

To make a nomination or receive a nomination form, call Jill L. Kubatko at 418-8013 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 418-8016.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.