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Sparks Elementary

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NEWS
January 10, 1995
The devastation of the historic Sparks Elementary School in northern Baltimore County underscores that a school is more than a collection of rooms where children discover the three Rs. It fills countless community needs beyond academics. The Sparks school was an election-day polling station, a meeting hall for a neighborhood association, a place for Brownie and Girl Scout troops, a site for a religious congregation's services and more.The value of such an institution is enhanced when, as in the case of Sparks Elementary, it was a community focal point for decades.
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NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF | September 18, 2001
Sometimes, Leigh Anne Mayo looks more like the soccer mom version of Britney Spears than she does a first-grade teacher. There she is, in front of her class at Sparks Elementary School, wearing a headset microphone by her lips - a microphone that sends her "time to line up" instructions into the ear of every child from the front of the room to the back. The wireless contraption is part of Sparks' schoolwide sound amplification system - a set of speakers built into the ceiling of each classroom to promote maximum attentiveness.
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NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer | February 13, 1995
An article in The Sun Feb. 13 incorrectly identified the Highlands office park site under consideration for a new Sparks school as having previously been part of an adjacent, contaminated former Bausch & Lomb property.In fact, officials have found no indication of contamination on the proposed school site, although "there has been very little testing" there, according to J. James Dieter, director of the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.The Sun regrets the errors.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | June 11, 2001
Dark clouds are threatening to dump rain so Sparks Elementary School teacher Mary Strauss is understandably harried as she escorts a group of fourth- and fifth-graders outdoors to plant a garden. "It's going to pour any minute now so you better get to work," she tells pupils as they stroll over hills of clover. They're not planting just any garden, but a patch of beans, yellow squash and pumpkins, the kinds of vegetables Native Americans planted centuries ago before Europeans settled on the North American continent.
NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF | December 16, 1995
State officials have given preliminary approval to spending $6.7 million on school construction projects in Baltimore County, but deferred another 17 projects worth more than $23 million.Yale Stenzler, executive director of the Interagency Committee for State Public School Construction (IAC), notified the county schools yesterday that it is likely to contribute funds for four projects, one of which is already completed.The committee also gave the county schools planning approval for two more projects, including a replacement for Sparks Elementary, destroyed by fire nearly a year ago. The county has selected a site, but has not revealed the location because terms of the sale are not complete.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Patrick Gilbert and Scott Shane and Patrick Gilbert,Sun Staff Writers | January 9, 1995
A historic school that had served as the heart of the rural Baltimore County community of Sparks for 85 years was destroyed by fire yesterday, leaving behind charred stone walls and the childhood memories of many generations.Sparks Elementary School, second-oldest in Baltimore County and the original home of the nation's first agricultural high school, made room for a church, a community association, troops of Brownies and Girl Scouts and neighborhood sports teams.From its smoldering ruins, firefighters carried a tank of tropical fish kept by current pupils and a plaque honoring Sparks students who had served in World War I."
SPORTS
By Michael Reeb | October 2, 1990
The Baltimore Road Runners Club, which had been active in the production of the Maryland Marathon, will hold a marathon Nov. 24, race director Dave Cooley said Sunday.The race is not a replacement for the Maryland Marathon, which has been canceled for this year. Called the North Central Trails Marathon, the run will begin at Sparks Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. and finish on the trail."The club's interest is not to replace the Maryland Marathon but to keep the BRRC involved in the tradition of a marathon," Cooley said.
NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer | January 11, 1995
It was back-to-school night for Sparks Elementary.Burned out of the 85-year-old building on Sunday, the Sparks school started to come back together last night at a jammed meeting of parents, teachers, students and other community residents at Cockeysville Middle School, where they will be located for the rest of this year.Planned even before the move to Cockeysville was announced, the meeting was both informational and inspirational. "There were some real needs . . . to be back together with the Sparks family," said the elementary school's principal, Thomas Ellis.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Evening Sun Staff | October 2, 1991
When Wayne Harman, Baltimore County's new director of recreation and parks, describes the 241-acre Bacon Hall farm west of Interstate 83 in the north county as the site for a future park, he uses such words as "majestic," "brilliant" and "farsighted.""We see this as the magic moment," he said of the proposed $1.9 million purchase at a community meeting last night at Hereford Middle School.When school planner James Kraft talks about the 12.5-acre portion of the site that the school board can buy for an elementary school for $96,000, he stresses how crowded every north county school is and how much more crowded they will be by 1995.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | May 10, 1998
With hundreds of signatures collected on petitions, parents from Cockeysville to Hereford will rally tomorrowin an effort to delay -- or derail -- the planned transfer of students to the new Sparks Elementary School in the fall.The public hearing at 7 p.m. at Hereford High School is expected to draw hundreds of parents hoping to persuade Baltimore County school officials to find another way to redraw elementary school boundaries in the county's first widespread redistricting in years."There's very strong opposition," said Jane Buchanan, PTA president at Fifth District Elementary School.
BUSINESS
By Charles Belfoure and Charles Belfoure,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 24, 1999
For those thinking of moving to Sparks, one of the most treasured sights in the community happens to be long and green and just off Belfast Road.It's not the rolling countryside in this northern Baltimore County neighborhood, but the distinctive green roof of Sparks Elementary School, considered one of the best academic public schools in the state.Real estate agents will say that schools are a strong force in determining where a family wants to buy a home. And Sparks seems to be an excellent case in point.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | June 17, 1998
The Baltimore County school board last night approved boundary line changes that will force more than 500 students to change schools over the next two years, but decided not to take up a request by parents at Woodbridge Elementary School to add a seventh grade for the fall.The redistricting changes affect middle school students in the western and northwestern county as well as elementary school students who live near Sparks Elementary School in the northern county.The board's inaction on the Woodbridge proposal essentially rejects it for this fall, despite a pledge from parents this month to pay the more than $20,000 cost of renting and installing a portable classroom at the school to provide space for more students.
NEWS
May 18, 1998
Progress in our fight against cancer came with animal researchThis month has seen dramatic turns in the field of health care. It started with a news story about a pair of drugs that may have the potential to cure cancer ("Human trials planned for 2 drugs that eradicate cancer in lab mice," May 2).Then came the numerous experts warning that, based on historical precedents, those new cancer drugs, endostatin and angiostatin, may come up short in clinical trials. The reason: the fact that a scientist can cure cancer in mice does not mean the same treatment will work in humans.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | May 10, 1998
With hundreds of signatures collected on petitions, parents from Cockeysville to Hereford will rally tomorrowin an effort to delay -- or derail -- the planned transfer of students to the new Sparks Elementary School in the fall.The public hearing at 7 p.m. at Hereford High School is expected to draw hundreds of parents hoping to persuade Baltimore County school officials to find another way to redraw elementary school boundaries in the county's first widespread redistricting in years."There's very strong opposition," said Jane Buchanan, PTA president at Fifth District Elementary School.
NEWS
By From staff reports | November 19, 1997
TOWSON -- Five bars and restaurants from Randallstown to Middle River were fined $650 by the liquor board Monday for serving alcoholic beverages to underage, undercover police cadets.The owners of Nick's Place in the 8500 block of Liberty Road and the Riverwatch restaurant in the 200 block of Nanticoke Road were fined $100. Owners of Whitty's Spirits and Delly in the 1000 block of York Road; Ventures Four in the 2100 block of Middleborough Road; and Towson's Pizza Palace in the 100 block of York Road were fined $150 for the Oct. 2 violations.
NEWS
By Beth Reinhard and Beth Reinhard,SUN STAFF | October 22, 1996
Down the hill from the charred stony ruins that were Sparks Elementary School, students waded into Piney Stream, wearing thigh-high rubber boots -- learning more about the environment than they could in a classroom.The 50 or so fourth- and fifth-graders were part of a science field trip yesterday near the site of their old school, the second oldest in Baltimore County and the nation's first agricultural high school, which burned in January 1995. Holding nets, twine, paintbrushes and other tools, the Sparks students -- whose classes are held at Cockeysville Middle School -- collected water samples, captured fish and insects that they returned to the stream and sketched the surroundings.
NEWS
By Monica Norton and Monica Norton,Evening Sun Staff | September 28, 1990
Eight children sit at a table in their classroom coloring circles to form a frog design. In another corner, parent volunteers work with students to group numbers and objects. A couple of other youngsters sort through a toy box.Another typical day in morning kindergarten at northern Baltimore County's Sparks Elementary School -- almost.The classroom, lined with tiny chairs and tables, blackboards and colorful bulletin boards, looks like any other, except it's in the basement of Bosley United Methodist Church, about four miles from the elementary school.
NEWS
By Larry Carson | January 25, 1992
The governor has withdrawn money approved for a new elementary school in Jacksonville, apparently miffed that Baltimore County officials changed priorities after he visited nearby Sparks Elementary and vowed to do something about overcrowding there."
NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF | December 16, 1995
State officials have given preliminary approval to spending $6.7 million on school construction projects in Baltimore County, but deferred another 17 projects worth more than $23 million.Yale Stenzler, executive director of the Interagency Committee for State Public School Construction (IAC), notified the county schools yesterday that it is likely to contribute funds for four projects, one of which is already completed.The committee also gave the county schools planning approval for two more projects, including a replacement for Sparks Elementary, destroyed by fire nearly a year ago. The county has selected a site, but has not revealed the location because terms of the sale are not complete.
NEWS
By Ed Brandt and Ed Brandt,Sun Staff Writer | February 21, 1995
The Greater Sparks-Glencoe Community Council's executive board has asked its membership to support the Highlands office park property as the site for a new Sparks Elementary School if it is found by an independent study to be free of contaminants.The board has mailed out ballots to its 350 members asking them to vote for one of three options:* Use of the Highlands site for the school and for 140 to 180 single-family homes;* Use of the site for residential housing only, in which case another property would have to be found for the Sparks school;* Commercial and industrial use of the 150-acre site.
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