MARK COATES, chairman of River Hill High School's art department, has a bright new certificate.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has awarded its prestigious certification to 924 teachers -- including Coates.
The teachers -- who were required to complete a grueling application process that included videotapes of classroom performance, written analyses of teaching methods, a daylong writing test, photographs and other documentation -- will join 912 teachers previously certified by the board.
In his 21st year in the Howard County school system, Coates is co-instructor for the county's Gifted and Talented Saturday Enrichment Program. He also is an instructor for the National Gallery of Art's high school seminar program.
Coates believes in being an artist-mentor to his students.
On weekends and holidays, he paints near his Baltimore home, or in the Maryland countryside.
His recent work is included in "Art Maryland '98," the current show at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City.
Coates is past president of the Maryland Art Education Association, in which he has been active for the past 12 years. He is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education's fine arts task force, and is the National Art Education Association's director-elect for secondary schools.
The River Hill High School chapter of the National Honor Society doubled its membership Nov. 17 as 122 juniors and seniors were inducted.
Inductees were "tapped" -- notified of their acceptance -- in their classes Nov. 6.
Society member Brian Tarricone played a trumpet fanfare at the door of every room in which a student was tapped.
Principal Scott Pfeifer announced the names of the students, who received flowers with their invitations to the induction ceremony.
Each applicant was evaluated by River Hill's National Honor Society Faculty Council, led by Barbara Jewett.
Council members included Alan Beier, Pam Land, Mary Jo Messenger, Annette Mooney, Lisa Reissig, Rhonda Rust, Debra Shannon and Arden Stara.
Inductees had to prove their excellence in scholarship, leadership, character and service.
Presiding at the ceremony were Honor Society officers: President Drew Woodbury, Vice President Steve Glasgow, Secretary Jennifer Anderson, Treasurer Nicole Gavelek and Parliamentarian Mona Kaleem.
Congratulations to the society's new members.
Swimmer makes team
Drew Woodbury, a senior at River Hill and the son of Ben and Eileen Woodbury of Columbia, was named to the 1998 U.S. Swimming Scholastic All America Team.
He was recognized for his accomplishments in the pool and in the classroom.
Sherril Nelson, chairman of the All America committee, notified Drew of the honor.
Young actress at Ford's
Drama student Stephanie Waters, a senior at River Hill High School, is playing the role of Martha Cratchit in the Ford's Theatre production of the Dickens tale, "A Christmas Carol."
The holiday production is a favorite with families and children.
The production marks the debut of Stephanie's professional career; she joined Actor's Equity -- the actors' union -- to perform.
River Hill's boys cross-country team became state champions this fall and was ranked No. 2 in The Sun's final boys cross-country poll.
The team set a 2A division record for lowest points scored in the history of the state championship meet.
The team placed runners in No. 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 14 and 36 positions.
In order of finish, team members included Michael Prada, Mike Styczynski, Shane Stroup, Zach Heidepriem, Steve Chu, Michael Fleg and David Anderson.
L The girls' team placed fifth at the state championship meet.
Scoring were Anna Lucas, Stacy Mallare, Kristina Giovannis, Missy Moore and Peggy Chu.
The girls cross-country team was ranked seventh in The Sun's final girls cross-country poll.
The Sun named Earl Lauer Boys Coach of the Year.
Heidepriem and Prada were named to The Sun's 1998 Boys All-Metro Cross Country Team, and Lee McDuff was named to The Sun's 1998 Girls All-Metro Cross Country Team.
Last year, the Discovery Channel awarded a grant to Glenelg High School's art department.
The grant was for art supplies for student artwork, to be displayed in the Discovery Channel's offices in Bethesda.
The work was so well received that the Discovery Channel has decided to keep the exhibit until the end of the school year.
Discovery has offered to purchase a mural created by four 1998 graduates -- Lauren Bender, Krista Brocenos, Marianne Hayden and Stacey Myers -- that was part of the exhibit.
The 4-by-9-foot mural, "Dream Animals," depicts members of endangered species in a dreamy, hazy atmosphere.
The image has been textured with modeling paste and sticks -- partially concealing some of the animals.
Brocenos, who was designated as an art scholar and given a full tuition scholarship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said the students worked on the mural at home and at school for 1 1/2 months.