None of the 47 people tested in connection with the positive diagnosis of a Hammond High School student has contracted tuberculosis, Howard County's top health officer said.
"It was as we expected," said Dr. Peter L. Beilenson. "There were no positive diagnoses. This is essentially over."
Beilenson's office sent out letters Monday to the Hammond High community that said everyone had tested negative, and that the case has been resolved.
The school community was informed of the diagnosis Feb. 25.
Letters were sent Feb. 23 to the 47 students who rode the bus with the student, warning of possible exposure and urging them to get tested. By that time, eight people - family members and friends of the student - had been tested for the disease, with the results coming back negative, Beilenson said.
Tuberculosis is an airborne communicable disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It usually attacks the lungs but can attack any part of the body. If not treated properly, the condition can be fatal.
The 47 people on the bus with the infected student were asked to come to Hammond on Feb. 29 to be interviewed to determine whether each was in need of a skin test that detects the infection.
The student, whose identity is being withheld, is "fine," Beilenson said.
Student board member
The process to elect the next student representative to the school board is under way, and candidates are gearing up.
Adejire Bademosi, a junior at Marriotts Ridge High, and Phil Lasser, a junior at Atholton High, were picked by a committee of students and school system employees from seven candidates.
Roger Plunkett, the school system's business, community and government relations officer, is working with the two candidates to make a campaign video that will be shown in every school a few days before the election April 18.
In the meantime, candidates can enlist the help of supporters at schools to help campaign, Plunkett said.
"They can't go to schools during the school day or during lunchtime," he said, adding that candidates are limited to $200 in campaign expenditures.
"They are both excellent," Plunkett said. "All the applicants are great. I'm very impressed with our student leaders. They are dedicated; they do their homework; they are very committed."
Applicants must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and not have any failing grades. They also are expected to have the support of their principal.
The responsibilities for the position are formidable. The student member is expected to attend board meetings, which at times can exceed four hours.
The student member can vote on most matters, except for issues such as appointment and salary of the superintendent, collective bargaining, employee discipline, capital and operating budgets and student suspensions and expulsions.
Students in grades 6 through 11 are eligible to vote. Last year's election attracted 19,454 voters, or about 80 percent of those eligible. Plunkett hopes for a better turnout this year.
Julie Morse, a junior at Atholton High, is serving as elections coordinator.
Recognition of teachers
Thirteen high school teachers in the county were recognized Thursday afternoon during the 2008 Outstanding Teacher Award luncheon, held at the school board in Ellicott City.
The teachers were chosen by each school's senior class. The award has been given annually for more than a decade.
Teachers are selected for their ability to exemplify the school system's goals that each student meets or exceeds rigorous performance standards and that each school is safe and nurturing.
During the luncheon, the teachers were shown a videotaped reaction of themselves when they were surprised by the news of the award at their schools.
"It was very heartwarming, and it was a great luncheon," said board member Sandra French, who attended.
This year's winners are:
Cynthia J. Blade, social studies, Atholton; Ronald Martin, mathematics, Centennial; Philip Singleton, English, Glenelg; Lee A. Reed, English, Hammond; Terri B. McLean, Homewood Center; James E. Burrows, English, Howard; Donna D. Sunderdick, English, Oakland Mills; Lisa P. Vitali, English, Mount Hebron; Janet F. Freeman, English, Long Reach; Tracey A. Rizzo, English, Marriotts Ridge; Marcus Hurt, history, Reservoir; Regina C. Hobbs, science, River Hill; and Herbert L. West, social studies, Wilde Lake.