Keddell honored as Educator of the Year


May 08, 2002|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BOB KEDDELL, a math and science teacher at Wilde Lake Middle School, was selected as Educator of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce at the chamber's Community Awards last month.

Keddell was chosen for his efforts to improve computer technology at the school.

Since Keddell began teaching at Wilde Lake Middle last year, he has obtained funding to build three computer labs at the school, one for each grade. He is also working with the Johns Hopkins University's Thinkport project, which has plans to launch a Web site next year with lesson plans for teachers.

On Tuesday, the school will receive a check for $9,850 from the Toshiba America Foundation to continue the Aqua Havens for Education project, created by Keddell. The Aqua Havens project gives middle school pupils the opportunity to establish and study ecosystems from different parts of the world.

"We have aquariums simulating the natural habitat from the rift lakes in Africa at the head of the Nile," Keddell said. "We also work online with professionals from Princeton University and Virginia Tech University. The kids work on student-generated projects as well as replicate experiments that the professional researchers are doing."

Keddell lives in Kings Contrivance village with his wife, Karen, and daughters Katie and Jenny. He said he was grateful to be chosen for the award.

"It's humbling because I know my fellow nominees are just as deserving as I am," Keddell said. "The most gratifying thing is that parents, students and faculty wrote letters of recommendation for me, and I feel grateful for the balance of students, parents and colleagues standing up and saying I deserved something."

Seven other educators were recognized at the chamber's event as Outstanding Educators. They are Charles Ashcraft, Glenelg High School; Reg Hahnne, Atholton High School; Stacey Kopnitsky, Lime Kiln Middle School; Connie Lewis, Atholton High School; Vinitha Nithianandam, Howard Community College; Tracy Parent, Swansfield Elementary School; and Teresa Waters, River Hill High School.

Alzheimer's group

Dr. Donald Price, professor of pathology, neurology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, will speak at the Howard County Alzheimer's Support Group meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Florence Bain Senior Center.

A resident of Harper's Choice, Price has been working in the field of neurodegeneration for 33 years. He said that about 5 million people in the United States, including 40 percent of people ages 80 and older, have Alzheimer's disease.

"Alzheimer's is very prevalent," Price said. "There's a very good chance that your parents or your aunt and uncle, and eventually your friends or spouse, will get something like this if they live long enough. All of us are at risk."

Price said that Alzheimer's patients have trouble with multi-tasking and recent memory. "The clinical signs are a person who is 68 to 75 years old who doesn't remember where they left their keys or glasses or where they parked the car. But that happens to many people over the age of 50," Price said. "Alzheimer's patients become increasingly forgetful and may have trouble with language and calculations. ... There's an insidious progression and they become what we call `demented.'"

Price said the disease typically evolves over a period of 10 to 12 years. "Eventually these people can't take care of themselves," he said. "It can be a great burden on a family's resources."

During his presentation, Price will share information on the latest research on Alzheimer's and new treatments for the disease. "I've been thinking about neurologic and psychiatric diseases for most of my life," he said. "This is the most exciting time that I could imagine. If you had told me when I started out at Harvard as a resident that I would see this potential for [treating] devastating diseases, I never could have imagined it would be this exciting."

Timely tips

You may have noticed a brightly colored trailer surrounded by tables and umbrellas on the parking lot at The Mall in Columbia last week. The trailer was part of a presentation, sponsored by Florida orange growers, offering tips on how to minimize the chaos in your household by becoming better organized.

Time-management expert and author Ronni Eisenberg shared tips for getting organized with people who stopped by to look at the exhibit.

Set priorities: "No matter what you think, not everything holds the same weight," Eisenberg said. "Decide what must be done and what can wait."

Plan ahead. "Think through your time. Anticipate what it is you need and anticipate what might go wrong," she said.

Have a system and routines. "Keep things near where you use them," Eisenberg said. "Your keys and glasses should go back to the same place every time. Your insurance against losing things is putting them back in the same place every time. Establish a system and routines so that you don't have to think about it; you just do it."

Eisenberg, of Westport, Conn., has written nine books, including, Organize Yourself! The Overwhelmed Person's Guide to Time Management and Organize Your Family!

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