Pupils get tips on goal-setting from county executive


November 11, 1999|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

VIDEO CAMERAS rolled and an occasional flash went off as Howard County Executive James N. Robey answered questions. He talked about his motives for going into politics, explained how he sets goals for the county and described difficult decisions he sometimes must make.

His interviewers followed up, probed for more and deftly steered the discussion into new territory.

The budding reporters from the gifted and talented program at Glenwood Middle School were learning how to set goals in life from a real-life leader.

Eighth-graders Julia Facchina, Lindsey Dombert, Zain Shariff, Philip Crehan, Sarah Simmons and Jennie Walters met with the county executive when he visited their school Monday.

"During your campaign and now, how do you and your team set goals and prioritize them?" one young reporter asked.

Among other questions:

"What is a major goal that you would like to accomplish in your term, and what steps are you planning to take to accomplish your goal?"

"What experiences in your life caused you to change directions and go for the police chief and then the county executive?"

"What experiences prepared you for your goal?"

In another room, a group of pupils interviewed Robey's wife, Janet.

Brittany Gibbons, Julie Smith, Erica Tilley, Julia Joseph, Lauren Raouf, Sonja Boras and Samantha Braun asked Mrs. Robey about her life goals, her role as "first lady of Howard County" and how her husband's job has changed her life.

"They were preparing all last week, brainstorming questions," said teacher Priscilla Geisler. "By concentrating on goal-setting, they hope to tie in school goals with real-life goals."

All pupils at Glenwood have been learning about the importance of setting goals and devising ways to accomplish them.

"It's all part of a `results' focus we're stressing with the kids," said Principal Dan Michaels. "We want to help them identify the end result of their efforts."

Michaels explained that pupils have had several opportunities to see how steps can be taken to achieve goals.

They have calculated their grade-point averages and been asked whether they are happy with the number. If not, teachers encourage them to decide what they want their average to be and how they will achieve this.

Groups of eighth-graders are in the process of visiting local community colleges to gain a better understanding of the college experience. If college is to be a goal, their teachers ask them, how will they get there?

Michaels says these experiences are designed to help the children realize that "they have choices to make and they are very much in control of those choices."

Those who interviewed the Robeys were selected because of their "poise, outgoing personality, interest in new experiences and ability to respond to adults in an intellectual manner," Geisler said.

All are involved in Type III independent research projects.

The interviews were videotaped by a student crew and will be edited to create a videotape that can be shown in short segments to the school on closed-circuit television.

The technical staff included middle-schoolers Michael Feagans, Chris Cobleigh, Dylan Bargatze, Christy Smith, Jason Strewig and Jeff Dewberry.

Scholarship winners

The Howard County Fair Association has announced its 1999 scholarship winners. Each year, the association presents $1,000 to outstanding high school or college students who have been actively involved with the County Fair.

This year's winners are:

Megan Rynarzewski, 17, a senior at Glenelg High School. She wants to be a veterinarian and has exhibited sheep, swine, artwork, vegetables, crafts and prepared foods at the fair. A member of the Daisy Agriculture 4-H Club, the Woodbine resident also tutors fellow students.

Stephanie Grutzmacher, 18, a freshman at Syracuse University who is majoring in public policy. She has exhibited in 11 categories at the fair, assisted at the livestock auction and chaired the food preservation and candies department. An eight-year member of the Dayton 4-H Club, the Highland resident is a member of the Maryland All-State Band and the Maryland All-State Orchestra.

Ellicott City resident Jamie Bullock, 18, a freshman at East Carolina University who is a member of the West Friendship 4-H Livestock Club. She is majoring in mathematics and statistics, with an interest in agricultural statistics, and has shown sheep, dairy cattle, goats and rabbits. She recently collected money and supplies for North Carolina 4-H members affected by Hurricane Floyd.

Amy Iager, 19, a sophomore at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She is majoring in dairy science and plans a career in veterinary medicine or pharmacy. In 11 years as a member of the 4-H Dairy and Goat Club, she has shown dairy cattle and goats, market steers and swine, poultry, homemade clothing, baked goods, breads and crafts. The Fulton resident also volunteers at Viva House soup kitchen, works with the Christmas in April project and sings at nursing homes.

Moxley honored

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