Sharing a love of writing, teaching for 36 years


June 15, 1999|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE FIRST time I met Jean Queen was at my son's Back to School night four years ago. Parents of students in her Honors Intermediate Composition course filled the classroom, sharing stories their sons and daughters brought home. Queen had quite a reputation among the students. She was tough. She was good. And even the brightest students went into her classroom with a sense of awe.

Then, she walked into the classroom, a petite brunette dressed in a tailored suit. She gathered her papers, marched up and down the aisles -- and every parent stopped talking and sat up straight. She ruled the classroom. And her message was clear: English composition was hard work, but learning to write well was a privilege, an honor to be proud of.

Queen shared her love of writing with students, for three years in California, then 33 years at Arundel High School. Yesterday was her last day. Queen announced that she was retiring only last week. Timothy Poole, a member of Arundel's English faculty, says, "More than just her teaching will be missed. Her presence and guidance in the department were invaluable. As a new teacher, I could imagine no one better to give me guidance."

Poole added that, as English department chair, Queen always supported the teachers and students and stood up for their best interests. Laura Cernosek, a 1995 Arundel graduate, took Queen's course in 1992 and went on to major in English at James Madison University. Like many other students, Cernosek's writing style was strongly influenced by Queen. She carried a list of Queen's writing rules to college and used it to revise papers.

Other Arundel grads do that. After finishing a paper, they look at it and think, "What would Ms. Queen say about this writing?" And her voice is still in their heads, urging them to write more clearly, more sharply, and more purposefully.

Laura Adcock, a 1999 Arundel graduate, enjoyed working in the National Honor Society with Queen as faculty sponsor. She said about Queen, "She taught us to write. And she motivated people to do good things."

Youth Sunday

Youth Sunday will be observed June 20 at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton. Middle and senior high school members of the church youth groups will lead the 9 a.m. contemporary service and the 10: 30 a.m. traditional service.

Information: 410-721-2313.

Open forum on violence

Parents are invited to a meeting at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Crofton Thursday at 7 p.m. for a discussion on violence in our culture and on building a culture of life.

Information: Jack O'Malley, 410-721-5775.

Athletic council registration

The Crofton Athletic Council is holding registration for fall sports programs. Registration forms are available at the library and at Town Hall. Registration may be done online at the CAC's Website, A walk-in registration session will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Bell Branch sports complex on Route 424.

Information: 410-721-9412.

Carryout and bake sale

Trinity United Methodist Church in Odenton will hold a chicken carryout and bake sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 26. The menu will include chicken salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, lettuce, pickle and roll for $6. A flea market will be held, beginning at 9z a.m. the same day at the church. Trinity United Methodist is at 956 Patuxent Road, in the Woodwardville neighborhood of Odenton.

Information: Margaret Hornbeck, 410-544-2785.

Pub Date: 6/15/99

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