School system having a remarkable year It's hard to...


November 25, 2001

School system having a remarkable year

It's hard to believe that the holiday season is once again upon us and students have been in school for three months. But during this period of time, some very positive things have happened in the school system.

We just received word that Mt. Airy Middle School has been selected as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the Maryland State Department of Education. Mt. Airy is one of nine public middle and high schools in the state to receive this honor. Earlier this year, Spring Garden Elementary School received recognition for being named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

In order to receive this prestigious honor, a school must demonstrate high achievement in the areas of student performance, instruction, parent and community involvement, and professional development. A panel of educators and community leaders serve as judges. The selections alternate each year between elementary and secondary schools.

The Linton Springs economics program was selected to receive a National Council for the Social Studies Programs of Excellence Award. Third-grade teachers Betty Bloomfield, Peggy McCullin, and Judy Southworth developed the program as a way of bringing economic concepts to life for their students. Earlier this month, the three teachers had an opportunity to present their program at a national conference in Washington, D.C.

The economics program gives students an opportunity to form companies in their individual classrooms. Students design products of interest to fellow students and actually sell stock, keep records of transactions, produce, advertise, sell, determine profits and pay dividends. They are also responsible for making decisions about contributions of profits to school and community organizations.

Michelle Plumer, Coordinator for English for Speakers of Other Languages, was selected as an honoree for the Excellence in Minority Achievement Awards. Michelle received this recognition because of her contributions to the progress of minority, disabled, or low socio-economic students.

This award is presented once a year by the Achievement Initiative for Maryland Minority Students Council and Steering Committee. The organization was started to assist in the advancement of success among minority students throughout Maryland.

Bruce Damasio, a social studies teacher at Liberty High School, was the recipient of the Social Studies Educator of the Year Award from the Maryland Council for the Social Studies. Selection for this prestigious award is based on specific achievements, outstanding service to students and social studies programs in the state, outstanding professional qualities, and contributions to the profession.

Sandymount Elementary School was named a Maryland Character Education School of the Year. This award is presented annually by the Maryland Center for Character Education.

Sandymount Elementary School has demonstrated a total school-wide approach to character education. Everyone, from classroom teachers to clerical and custodial staff, administrators and parents, is involved in supporting a character education concept.

Students at Sandymount have conducted food drives. The Peanut Butter and Jelly Club helped to feed others by making 1,141 bag lunches. Teachers have discovered unique and creative ways to incorporate character education into the daily curriculum.

Dave Booz, principal of Century High School, received Honorable Mention from the Maryland Student Service Alliance of the Maryland State Department of Education for Service Learning Leadership. The Alliance honors principals who exhibit outstanding leadership in service learning. Dave was selected for this award because of his commitment to promoting and providing high quality service-learning experiences for students.

And last, but certainly not least, the Board of Education had the distinct honor of presenting high school diplomas to thirteen World War II veterans. During an emotional graduation ceremony at Century High School, the school system and the community were able to express their gratitude to these outstanding individuals for service to our country. Because of the bravery of these fine men, we enjoy the freedom we have today.

These are just a few examples of the many positive things taking place in the Carroll County Public School System. And while many of our employees may not have been recipients of state and national awards, they still deserve recognition for the outstanding job they do each and every day.

C. Scott Stone


(The writer is a member of Board of Education.)

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