Western Maryland Teacher of the Year Retreat
Pictured above: Maryland Teachers of theYear along with Barbara Baker, Garrett County Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Darla Strouse, MSDE, and Regina Simpson, MSDE.
Teachers of the Year, representing 18 of the 24 public school systems in Maryland, participated in a three-day Western Maryland retreat held in Garrett County on May 15-17, 2013. Through an MSDE grant, the teachers shared in various activities and explored a number of sites in Garrett County.
On Wednesday, the teachers arrived at Penn Alps for lunch and then toured Artisan Village and the Casselman Bridge State Park. In the afternoon the teachers toured Deep Creek Lake by boat. The day concluded with dinner at Uno’s Pizzeria.
On Thursday, the educators participated in slalom demonstrations at the Adventure Sports Center International. Lunch was held at Cornish Manor, followed by a carriage ride through Oakland and tour of the Transportation Museum. With weather cancelling a wind farm tour, the teachers participated in a robotics demonstration at the GEARS building in Accident. In the evening, Maryland Department of Natural Resources conducted a program highlighting black bears in Maryland.
On Friday, the state teachers of the year visited the Hickory Environmental Education Center where they ate breakfast, went on a nature hike, and concluded with lunch before departing back to their various counties.
2012-13 School Calendar Ending Finalized
The Garrett County Board of Education approved changes to the end of the 2012-13 school calendar at Tuesday’s meeting. Mr. Keith Harvey, Director of Human Resources, indicated that all employee groups have contracts that need to be followed. However, according to the teacher contractual language, if student days are waived then teacher days must be waived, too. This contract language placed some inequities for all other employee groups because this language was not in their contracts. Mr. Harvey offered an adjustment to the end of the 2012-13 school calendar that should benefit everyone. The Board unanimously approved Mr. Harvey’s recommendations.
· The Board granted a three day waiver for students and employees.
· The final three days, June 10, 11, and 12, will change from a 2 hour early dismissal to a 3 hour early dismissal for students. This adjustment, per conversation with middle and high school principals, will not affect the time needed for final exams.
· The final day for students will be Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
· The staff will participate in professional development sessions on June 10 and 11 in the afternoon, after student departure.
· The afternoon of Wednesday, June 12, will be a record keeping time for staff as contractually agreed.
· As contractually agreed, Thursday, June 13, will be a professional day and the final day for staff with a 7 hour 36 minute work day.
· To make the waiver equitable for all employee groups, it was proportionally calculated to the number of days each group actually works. Therefore, 3 waiver days for 10 month employees, 4 waiver days for 11 month employees, and 5 waiver days for 12 month employees.
Southern High School’s FFA Excels at State Competition
Southern High School students traveled to the University of Maryland, College Park campus, on April 16th, and competed in the Maryland State FFA (Future Farmers of America) Spring Career Development Event. The competition involved the areas of Agronomy, Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems, Horticulture, and Milk Quality and Products.
The Agronomy team placed first in the state of Maryland. Team members were senior Kenya Rinker, who received 1st place honors in the competition; senior Charlie Harvey, placing 15th individually; sophomore Kaya Rinker, placing 2nd individually, and sophomore Sarah Miller, who placed 14th. The team is preparing to represent Maryland in the National FFA competition held in October at Louisville, Kentucky.
The Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems team placed 3rd in the state with senior Levi Lantz placing 2nd in the state individually, and sophomores Myles Perron, Zachary Pritts, and Devan Helbig placing 5th, 23rd, and 28th respectively.
Agronomy Team Photo (L-R): Sarah Miller, Kenya Rinker, Kaya Rinker, Charlie Harvey
Agricultural Mechanics Team Photo (L-R): Myles Perron, Zachary Pritts, Devan Helbig, Levi Lantz
Derek Berger Named 2013-14 Garrett County Teacher of the Year
Derek J. Berger, teacher at Northern Garrett High School, has been named the 2013-14 Garrett County Teacher of the Year. Derek teaches AP Physics, Earth Science, and Engineering Design and Development. He has been employed by Garrett County Public Schools since 2003, teaching all nine years at Northern High School.
Pictured in the photo are: Matthew Eggleston, Northern High School Assistant Principal; Paul Edwards, Director of Secondary Education; Derek Berger, Teacher of the Year; Barbara Baker, Assistant Superintendent and Coordinator of the Teacher of the Year Program; and Gary Reichenbecher, Northern High School Principal.
Derek graduated from Penn State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics and then received a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education from Frostburg State University in 2004. Derek indicated, “I realized I didn’t just want to understand astronomy and physics, but I wanted to share my knowledge and ideas with other people. Teaching would allow me to share my passion for the sciences, while interacting with students in hopes of sparking passion in them.”
Derek’s other key attributes are: an accredited instructor in Project Lead the Way, a member of the Northern High Common Core Transition Team, a STEM Professional Learning Community Team Leader, a Northern High class advisor, and a mentor at the Pulsar Search Collaboratory Summer Institute.
Derek stated, “Each day, I strive to develop and implement instructional strategies that not only impart knowledge, but also instill the values that I believe the students will need to lead meaningful and successful lives. The most rewarding part about teaching is not found in the test scores or grades, but rather in the knowledge that my students are leaving the classroom with the tools they need to keep pace with the rapidly evolving global society and to enhance the quality of life for themselves and those around them.”
As Derek considers the state of education, he indicates, “We need to shift the paradigm from viewing our current state as full of challenges, to one that instead is full of opportunities; opportunities to reach for and exceed the standards set out for us, and opportunities to show our students that each one of them has unique talents that, when applied, can enhance their lives and the lives of those around them."
BOE Recognizes Garrett County Carson Scholars
Pictured: Mr. Jason Shank, Southern Middle School Principal; Brandon Green, Southern Middle School student; Alexandra Miller, Northern High School student; Mrs. Cynthia Downton, Board of Education President; and Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent of Schools.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Garrett County Board of Education recognized two students who were named Carson Scholars for 2013. Brandon Green, sixth grade student at Southern Middle, and Alexandra Miller, 9th grade student at Northern High School, received the Carson Scholar award for the third and fifth time, respectfully, at the 17th Annual Awards Banquet on April 7, 2013, at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, Maryland.
The Carson Scholars Fund announced that 425 students across the country were named 2013 Carson Scholars. Each year the Fund recognizes a select group of high achieving students in grades 4 – 11 who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and humanitarian qualities. Students receive a $1,000 college scholarship award and the coveted honor of being named a Carson Scholar.
The Carson Scholars Fund is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) public charity founded in 1994 by Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, Candy. The Carson Scholars Fund is dedicated to impacting the nation in a positive way by cultivating future leaders who are academically talented and socially conscious.
NHS Recipient of Margaret Rosch Jones Grant
Northern High School is the recipient of a Margaret Rosch Jones Grant in the amount of $1,000.00 as part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program sponsored by the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). The funding for this grant program was made possible by the generous support from Maryland State Highway Administration. The money will be used to continue the Cove Run Restoration project.
High School Graduation
Both high schools will hold graduation ceremonies at the CARC (Community Aquatic and Recreational Center) at Garrett College on Saturday, June 1, 2013. Southern High School’s graduation ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM with Northern High graduation at 3:00 PM.
Crellin Elementary School Featured in Documentary on PBS
In the Fall of 2011, Crellin Elementary School (teachers, students, parents, community members) was filmed for a documentary to be aired on PBS across the nation. The title of the documentary is "Schools That Change Communities" by Bob Gliner. There are five or six schools from across the nation highlighted in the film. “We were honored they asked us to be a part of it”, said Dr. Dana McCauley, Crellin Elementary School Principal. “The whole process was a great reflection exercise!” The documentary has already been airing on PBS stations in various states, but will be aired in Maryland on Sunday, May 19th, at 5:00 PM. The program will air on Maryland’s PBS second station, MPT2.
On the website for documentary filmmaker Bob Gliner, he states: “When we think about schools, it usually evokes images of places separated from the larger community, place where students go to learn. Occasionally during the school day students venture outside classroom walls to take field trips meant to enhance the academic rigor of their classroom experience, but the classroom as the primary vehicle for educational success remains largely unchallenged despite often questionable levels of achievement. Yet, a few public schools across the country are trying a different approach to engaging students in the learning process, using the community and neighborhoods where students live as classrooms - creating not only a different type of learning environment, but a different kind of student. ‘Schools That Change Communities’ focuses on a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states - Massachusetts, Maryland, South Dakota, Oregon, and California - that have the potential to refocus the national debate around the direction educational reform should take.” (from http://www.docmakeronline.com/schoolsthatchangecommunities.html)
Schools for Success Program
Schools for Success Program 2013, a Garrett County high school senior recognition banquet, was celebrated on Tuesday, April 30, at Northern High School. The Garrett County Schools for Success Program was sponsored by the Garrett County Board of Education and NewPage Corporation.
Pictured above: Schools for Success students from Southern High School were recognized by Mr. Jim Maddy, Principal.
Pictured above: Schools for Success students from Northern High School were recognized by Mr. Gary Reichenbecher, Principal.
Northern High Team Wins Envirothon
Northern High School students earned top honors at the Garrett County Envirothon Competition. The Garrett County Envirothon Competition was held at the Western Maryland 4-H Education Center in Bittinger on Tuesday, April 30. The team comprised of seniors Christine Carpenter and Jessica Klotz, Sophomore Blake Meyers, and freshmen Katie Carpenter and Kyle Klotz placed first in all individual categories and overall. The team earned an 83% on the wildlife component of the competition, 93% in soils, 94% in current environmental issues, 95% in aquatics and a 104% in forestry. The teams overall score was a 93%. These students will now represent Garrett County at the State Competition. Envirothon is a national program for high school students in grades 9-12 to learn about the natural world. Envirothon teams are made up of five students and study Maryland's natural resources over the course of the school year. The first wave of competition begins in the spring with local teams competing for the county Envirothon title. The county winner advances to the statewide Maryland Envirothon. This 2 day competition features a number of outdoor activities, including night hikes, campfire chats, and wildlife demonstrations, along with additional training in all five resource areas. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon earns the right to represent the state at the Canon Envirothon. This year’s state competition will also occur at the 4-H Center in Bittinger on June 19 and 20.Pictured are (from left) Christine Carpenter, Kyle Klotz, Jessica Klotz, Katie Carpenter and Blake Meyers.