Gorman Crossing principal combines fitness, fundraising in school's 2nd 5K Run/Walk

Education notebook

September 17, 2006|By John-John Williams IV

When Principal Cheryl Logan came to Gorman Crossing Elementary School three years ago, she brought her love of athletics with her.

The avid runner combined good health with fundraising Sept. 9 for the school's second 5K Run/Walk.

More than 360 people participated in the event, and the North Laurel school raised $6,000. Entry fees were $15 to run or walk. And participants wore T-shirts designed by Giovanna Guarnieri, an 8-year-old third-grader at the school.

Logan said the event was a way to promote the school system's wellness policy.

The policy essentially eliminates the sale of high-fat, high-sugar snacks and sodas during the school day and also encourages staff members to incorporate physical activity when possible into classroom instruction.

"Before I came to the school, it was traditional that they did pizza sales," Logan said. "This way, it is a community event. It is awesome. It is a great way to kick school off."

Elizabeth Isacco, a third-grade team leader at the school and co-organizer of the event, said it had a good mix of parents and pupils.

"The atmosphere was really great, and we had really positive feedback," Isacco said. "We had really strong staff support. It was an excellent community event."

School days

It seems as if school weeks are shorter and shorter these days for students in Howard County.

Could it be that five of the first eight weeks of school this year are four-day-weeks?

There was no school Tuesday because of the primary election; on Sept. 1 because of a countywide professional development day; and on Sept. 4 because of Labor Day. In addition there will be no school Oct. 2 because of Yom Kippur and Oct. 20 because of the Maryland State Teachers Association convention.

It was unavoidable, said system spokeswoman Patti Caplan.

"Really, the only thing that was different was the primary election," Caplan said. "There was nothing that we could do about that."

Caplan chairs the system's 16-member calendar committee, which develops a schedule for the school year in a two-month period. The committee is organizing in anticipation of presenting next year's calendar to the Board of Education on Nov. 9.

"We struggle every year to have as many uninterrupted weeks as possible," Caplan said. "It is an instructional calendar; it is to set our instructional year. It is not a vacation schedule."

The Sigaty effect

Mary Kay Sigaty is one step closer to her goal of being a Howard County Council member, which would cause a ripple on the county Board of Education.

On Tuesday night, Sigaty earned 54 percent of the vote in her Democratic primary victory for the District 4 County Council seat. If Sigaty wins the seat in November, she would leave the Board of Education. Her replacement on the school board would be filled by the next county executive.

This is not the first time that a school board member has been appointed to the board. The board's chairman, Joshua Kaufman, was appointed in 2003 by County Executive James N. Robey to fill a seat vacated by Virginia W. Charles, who resigned with three years left in her term. He was unanimously confirmed by the County Council as a board member Oct. 7, 2003.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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