A young flag-bearer does her county proud


March 29, 2001|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HIGHLAND RESIDENT Emma Tucker was chosen to carry the Howard County flag for the celebration of Maryland's 367th birthday at St. Clement's Island on Sunday. A fourth-grader from each county and Baltimore was chosen to carry his or her home flag in the "Ceremony of Flags" at the Maryland Day Celebration in St. Mary's County.

Emma learned about the contest from her teacher, Marcia Brown, at Fulton Elementary School. According to Emma's mother, Sara Lustbader, Brown traveled to St. Mary's City last summer, and later fourth-graders at the school went on a field trip to the historic city. Emma was inspired by the trip, Lustbader said.

Emma attended the event with her mother, her father, Mark Tucker, and her brother, Eli. Before the ceremony, the winners were photographed with costumed St. Mary's City militiamen and enjoyed lunch with their families.

They also had an opportunity to visit the St. Clement's Island-Potomac River Museum. The museum traces the history of life along the Potomac River and includes the Schoolhouse Children's Museum, built in 1821, on its grounds. A monument marks the landing of the first Maryland colonists in 1634 on St. Clement's Island. The island is off Colton's Point in the Potomac River.

Later, the schoolchildren paraded through the audience gathered near the museum and went on stage for the ceremony. "It was fun," Emma said.

Emma won the chance to carry the flag by writing a paragraph describing why she would be the best fourth-grader to represent Howard County at the ceremony. The invitation to enter the contest was sent to all fourth-grade team leaders at county elementary schools by Corinne Gorzo, elementary social studies coordinator for the county schools.

A committee voted on the letters, and the decision was unanimous to choose Emma's submission, Gorzo said. "Emma had the most polished letter," she said.

Emma wrote, "I should do this because you can trust me to not allow the flag to touch the ground." She added that she respects Maryland's environment, would follow directions and be "responsible enough to get to St. Clement's Island on time."

"I can also split the state of Maryland into three or four pieces by geography and I know the difference between them," Emma wrote. "You should pick me because `Miniature of America' is an important state and I would be able to join the celebration and represent Howard County."

`Wizard' on ice

The Columbia Figure Skating Club of Maryland will present "The Wizard of Oz on Ice" on Saturday and Sunday at Columbia Ice Rink.

Elicia Epperlein of Woodbine will skate as the wicked witch, and Rachel Hogue of Clarksville will skate as Glinda, the good witch. Carrie Schoonover of Clarksville will skate as Toto.

Also skating in the production are Lauren Ely of Fulton, Alexandra Ulmer of Marriottsville, Anna Schoonover of Clarksville and Alexis Finks of Sykesville.

Shows will be held both days at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The rink is at 5876 Thunder Hill Road in Columbia.

Information or tickets: Beth Dattaro, 410-799-5356, or June Hackman, 410-750-0237.

Pom squad wins

River Hill High School's Pom Squad competed in the Mid-Atlantic Pom and Dance Association's Maryland State Dance Competition on March 17. The competition, at Long Reach High School, included 26 squads from across the state.

The Poms, coached by social studies teacher Leirdre Galloway, returned home with four trophies. The girls are state champions in the Prop Novelty category.

They performed an intricate Prop Novelty dance based on "I Love Lucy."

They also placed second in Long Pom, fourth in Jazz Funk and fifth in Short Pom. The team, captained by Katie Logan, had to qualify to compete in all four categories. Marissa Montanez and Jaclyn White are co-captains and assist in leading the team.

Congratulations to the team and to seniors Katie Logan, Lauren Hessan, Jaclyn White, Nicole Meyers and Jeanine Staub, who have performed on the team for four years.

Jump for heart

In February, more than 140 Manor Woods Elementary School children participated in the annual Jump Rope for Heart event. Students spent an afternoon showing off their rope-jumping skills and, in the process, raised more than $6,000 for the American Heart Association.

This month, more than 100 students took part in March Madness by participating in Hoops for Heart. They raised more than $3,000 for the American Heart Association.

Kudos to physical education teachers Anna Spring and Jason Conley for inspiring the children to achieve physical goals while helping others.

Computer contest

River Hill High was one of 30 high schools that competed in the University of Maryland's 10th computer programming contest March 10.

Teams from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland were tested on their programming skills and problem-solving abilities at the College Park campus.

Team members James Lee, George Sirois, Stephen Tung and Scott Wilson placed second in the competition, winning $2,500 for their school.

Sharon Kramer, instructional leader of technology, coached the team.

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