Radcliffe Creek School Announces New Head of School

After an extensive search and interview process, the Radcliffe Creek School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce its selection of Meghan “Meg” Bamford as the new Head of School. This announcement follows the decision of Molly Brogan Judge, founding Director and the innovator behind such an extraordinary educational environment, to retire on June 30, 2018 after 22 years of dedicated service to the community.

Meghan “Meg” Bamford

Bamford will join Radcliffe Creek School from the Hopkinton School District in New Hampshire, where she currently holds the position of the Director of Student Services.

Bamford’s career started in the classroom first within an inner-city school in Chicago and then at the Landmark School in Massachusetts, a private school for children with language-based differences, where she taught students in grades two through eight. After moving to New Hampshire, she worked as a Reading and Writing Specialist for more than nine years. She co- created an innovative model for reading and writing instruction at the elementary level and then was asked to design and teach graduate courses and create summer programming at Rivier University based on this model. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Educational Psychology (University of Nottingham, England) and another in Education (Simmons College).

Bamford will be joined in this move by her husband, Eliot and three children, Annie, Lucy, and Owen. Her role as Head of School will begin June 30, 2018.

Bamford remarked, “It is such an honor to be selected to be Head of School. To be able to work with such a caring, innovative staff that works so hard to personalize each student’s learning and optimize his or her growth, is truly a gift. I look forward to working closely with Molly to ensure a smooth transition so that the school continues to flourish. I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from the Board and the staff. When one walks into the school, it is clear that the Radcliffe Creek School is a child-centered, nurturing place where students flourish and teachers are passionate about learning. I am excited to begin our work together.”

Radcliffe’s Board President, Susan Newton-Rhodes, noted, “Finding a successor for Molly Judge presented no easy task for the Selection Committee, as they balanced a very strong pool of candidates, each with their own distinctive qualities and experiences. Change for any institution can prove challenging, especially in a small community and following a dynamic Founder. Recognizing Meg’s ability to expand on the foundation that Molly and her staff have built, the Board of Trustees support her in her new role as Head of Radcliffe and they welcome her to this community with her family.”

“Radcliffe’s community,” as stated by Judge, “Looks forward to the opportunities that a new Head of School will present. Meg’s easy going nature will lend itself well to the Radcliffe way of life. Her experience with children who thrive when learning in a different way and the management role that she presently holds will guide her well as she takes the lead of such a dynamic and engaging staff, supportive parent group, and enthusiastic student population. I look forward to assisting Meg and her family in this time of transition.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for children from infancy through pre-kindergarten.

please call for 410-778-8150 or the School’s website at www.radcliffecreekschool.org for more information

Talbot Goes Purple student club trained on Narcan

Easton High School’s Talbot Goes Purple student club last week received Narcan training from the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office.

As part of Talbot Goes Purple, Easton and St. Michaels High Schools have clubs comprised of students who have pledged to take a stand against substance abuse. The student-focused clubs help the kids learn they don’t need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges.

The clubs also help students learn about the signs and symptoms of drug use and what to do if a friend needs help. Last week’s Narcan training included information on how to spot the signs of an overdose and what to do, including how to administer rescue breaths and how to put a person into the ‘recovery position.’ Students in the St. Michaels High School Talbot Goes Purple Club also are getting Narcan trained in January.

“Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death in our youth,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We’re doing everything we can to fight this epidemic — training our students empowers them to join the fight against overdose deaths in our communities.”

Commonly sold under the brand name Narcan, Naloxone is a life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose yet has no abuse potential. It is easy to use is and is available over-the-counter without a prescription.

This year’s Start Talking Maryland Act mandated that all public schools provide prevention education and stock Narcan; Talbot County Public Schools is the first in the region – possibly the state – to train high school students.

“While we hope our students are never in a situation in which they have to administer Narcan, we are grateful that they are able to be trained on how to do so properly.” said Kirk Howie, Easton High Principal. “We are proud of the students in Our TGP Club for taking such an active role in fighting the opioid epidemic.”

The clubs started in September, after student ambassadors represented Talbot Goes Purple at several events during the summer. Since school started, the students have taken more than 15 school games purple, have hosted several educational speakers and are working on fun contests for the upcoming National ‘Purple Week’ in January.

An initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Talbot Goes Purple empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

Talbot Goes Purple is based upon THP Project Purple, an initiative of the Herren Project that helps people struggling with drug dependencies. Former NBA player Chris Herren founded both projects after speaking to a high school about his struggles with drug dependency.

Kirsten Moore, community health educator with the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office, provided the training for the students. Moore and Alexandra Duff, prevention supervisor with the TCHD prevention office, have trained more than 650 people in Talbot County since July.

For more information on Narcan or to get trained, visit www.TalbotsGotHeart.org or call the Talbot County Health Department at 410-819-5600.

More information on Talbot Goes Purple is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find us on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or contact us at talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

Mid-Shore Education: Kent School and Neuroscience in the Classroom

It’s hard to say that neuroscience is new these days. Over the last twenty years, there has been a breathtaking surge in neuroscience research which has radically changed the fields of neurosurgery, psychiatry, pain management, audiology, and countless other disciplines across a wide range of areas.

And so it may not be surprising that this study of neurons and nervous system functions would eventually find its way into the American classroom, but the Spy nonetheless found it remarkable that one institution that was a pioneer in this field would turn out to be the Kent School in Chestertown.

Last year, Kent’s head of school, Nancy Mugele, a strong advocate for using neuroscience techniques in primary education, sought out a three-year partnership with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning in Bethesda to apply mind and brain research to the pre-K-8 grade school’s curriculum and teacher training. By doing so, Kent became one of only seven schools in the entire country to participate in a program designed to maximize teacher effectiveness and stimulate students to achieve their highest potential.

The Spy was interested enough in this bold move to seek out Michelle Duke, Kent School’s Assistant Head for Academics, to explain what this means for both educators and students alike in this new and perhaps final frontier in how human beings learn.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the Kent School please go here

Hodson Trust Grants $3.5 Million to WC for Student Scholarship Endowment

The Hodson Trust, whose generosity has supported hundreds of Washington College students over 81 years, this year is donating $3.5 million to endow student scholarships. Representatives of the Trust, which has been the largest single benefactor to the College, presented the gift to College President Kurt Landgraf on December 7.

“It is hard to overstate how critical this funding is for our students and programs, and how much we appreciate the loyal support that The Hodson Trust continues to show Washington College,” Landgraf says. “We believe that the education and opportunities we offer to undergraduates are unparalleled, and we are grateful to Chairman Gerald Holm and the Hodson trustees for seeing that value and consistently supporting it with this endowment funding.”

This year’s donation provides$2.75 million to the Hodson Merit Scholarship endowment, and $750,000 to the George’s Brigade scholarship endowment. Already this academic year, as a result of previous Hodson gifts, 105 students are receiving an average merit scholarship in the amount of $21,000, for a total of $2.2 million from Hodson Trust-funded scholarship endowments.

“The need is great,” Landgraf says. “Gifts such as this generous scholarship funding from The Hodson Trust are invaluable for our students in their ambition to attain the strong foundation that a college education in the liberal arts and sciences provides.”

The Hodson Trust is the school’s largest single benefactor. Starting with a grant of $18,191.12 in 1935, the Trust has given Washington College nearly $80 million. The Trust that was established in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson benefits four Maryland educational institutions: Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College of Annapolis, and The Johns Hopkins University. Colonel Hodson, who received the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws,from Washington College in 1922, served on the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors from 1920 until his death in 1928.

Colonel Hodson, who grew up in Somerset County, Maryland, founded the Beneficial Loan Society to make small loans available to working-class Americans at affordable interest rates.  This groundbreaking business grew into the Beneficial Corporation, one of the largest consumer finance companies in the United States.  An initial investment of $100 grew over the ensuing decades into a trust that has awarded more than $240 million to the four beneficiary institutions. For more information, visit www.hodsontrust.org.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Mid-Shore Education: Radcliffe Creek School’s Molly Judge Takes a Bow

As Radcliffe Creek School director Molly Judge enters her last year leading the private school she founded in Chestertown as a regional hub for bright students who learn differently, it is safe to predict that what took place at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s annual awards lunch last Friday will be repeated quite a few times before she officially steps down at the end of June.

And that is because, as Buck Duncan, president of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, noted in his remarks to the overflow crowd in presenting Molly with the Foundation’s Town Watch Society Award, Molly has, “changed the educational landscape on the Mid-Shore forever.”

The Spy caught some of Buck’s comments and raided the Radcliffe Creek School’s Facebook page for some images of the school and its students.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School please go here


Radcliffe Creek School Launches Founders’ Fund with $1 Million Goal

In front of an enthusiastic audience attending its Fall Soirée on Friday, October 20, Radcliffe Creek School  announced the establishment of The Founders’ Fund and its goal of raising $1 million to create an endowed scholarship for students  needing financial assistance.

The Founders’ Fund honors the final year of Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge, as well as the other dedicated original  advisors and investors of the school. Opening its doors 22 years ago with 13 students in grades one through seven, Radcliffe’s goal has  always been to create a learning environment where bright children, who learn differently, could succeed. The school today thrives under  Judge’s visionary, dedicated leadership and with the support from a committed group of staff, parents, grandparents, and friends the  vision continues. The kindergarten through eighth grade program currently enrolls 82 students, while Little Creek, Radcliffe’s preschool,  serves 52 students from infancy through pre-kindergarten.

Radcliffe Creek has truly changed the educational landscape of the Eastern Shore, and beyond, with students traveling from seven  different counties in Maryland and Delaware to attend the school. Many students come to Radcliffe unsure of themselves not just as  students, but as individuals. Because of the small class sizes, compassionate teachers, and hands-on learning, these students leave  Radcliffe Creek with an understanding about what it takes to succeed. And succeed they do.  Radcliffe alumni go on to college, the  military, graduate school, and beyond. Many alumni point to their Radcliffe Creek School education as the turning point in their  academic career.

“This is the most significant fundraising effort ever undertaken by the School,” said Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees President, Susan  Newton-Rhodes. “The Board of Trustees knows the goal is high, but believes it is only fitting. This new fund will address the Board’s  highest priority – financial aid for worthy students – by creating a lasting fund for those families and children who need Radcliffe the  most.”

For the last 22 years, Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees has allocated as many financial resources as possible to families who cannot afford a  Radcliffe education without assistance. This year alone, $350,000 has been distributed in financial aid to kindergarten through eighth  grade students. As the school continues to grow, so will this need.

“This effort will be a big challenge, but I’m passionate, as well as confident, that we can accomplish this goal to establish a $1 million  legacy in honor of the many creative minds that united together to build Radcliffe Creek School,” said Judge. “My hope is that others will  learn more about our past, embrace the goal of the fund, and continue to develop this endowment for years to come.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates  unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for  children from infancy through pre-kindergarten, please call 410-778-8150 or click here.


Maryland Panel Weighs New School Construction Funding Bill

Today, an estimated 65,297 students in Maryland public schools are in temporary classrooms such as trailers, and there is $23.3 billion in estimated statewide school construction needed through fiscal year 2023, according to the Maryland State Department of Education and local schools.

Maryland Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s, discussed a revised version of an earlier bill, the Maryland Overcrowding Reduction Act of 2018, at Tuesday’s meeting of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission in hopes of combatting school overcrowding problems across the state.

The legislation did not pass last spring, however Rosapepe said he is confident in his revisions and efforts for the upcoming session.

“Facilities are one thing — we need them. I don’t see us educating in cornfields. They’re just as important as the programs taught,” said Martin G. Knott Jr., chair of the commission.

Rosapepe explained that this $23 billion construction estimate is unaffordable, and the state and local governments will not significantly boost borrowing for schools in order to pay for all of the projects. All 24 jurisdictions have the ability to build and repair schools at much lower costs, Rosapepe told the commission.

Schools prioritize their money in different ways, he said, and one school might spend more on a building’s upkeep and another on hiring a new math teacher.

According to the state’s Department of Legislative Services, the average cost for a new public school is $46,000 per student, however recent construction costs in Maryland have ranged from $19,000 to $87,000 per student, a large gap that Rosapepe wants to narrow.

The goals of the legislation are to reduce overcrowding, repair old buildings and to end the need for portable classrooms. By designing, approving and building schools faster, reducing costs per student for new schools and incentivizing 21st century construction methods, Rosapepe said, change can be made.

For example, Rosapepe said, there no longer is a need for computer labs in schools now that students can bring their own devices. By cutting out an entire room, this is demonstrating 21st-century development techniques and is just one way that schools can be more cost-effective.

Similarly, old buildings can be converted to save money. Baltimore’s Monarch Academy, which enrolls 990 students, was formerly a Coca Cola Bottling Plant.

According to Rosapepe, with these strategies, the number of school construction projects can increase by 50 percent at no additional cost by just reducing the average cost per student. However, there would be no mandated changes for local school systems and governments who do not opt in to these recommendations, under the bill.

Additional recommendations dealt with setting funding goals and reviewing school designs. Recommendations in discussion included conducting statewide facility assessments and streamlining the review process for projects.

“These recommendations are spot on, they are a great step forward and we support the senator’s recommendations,” Stephen Baldwin, a commission member, said.

Before the final meeting in December, Knott said, the commission will hone their recommendations and are expecting members of the commission and others to weigh in on them.

“If anyone thinks we’re stuck in the past, we’re not. We’re moving forward. We’re taking bold initiatives,” Knott said.

At a meeting Wednesday, Maryland’s Board of Public Works unanimously approved $426 million for Baltimore City public schools’ construction and revitalization — a 21st Century Schools project.

By Georgia Slater with correspondent Julie Depenbrock contributing to this report.

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Valcik is Named Acting Principal at Eason Middle

Talbot County Public Schools has announced that Mrs. Jaclyn Valcik has been appointed Acting Principal of Easton Middle School. Valcik replaces Dr. Norby Lee, who has served as Principal of EMS since 2010. Dr. Lee has taken a leave of absence due to a family illness which will extend through January 25, 2018, at which time she will retire.

Mrs. Valcik earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Towson University and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision I from Loyola University. She has Maryland Advanced Professional Certification in Elementary Grades 1 – 8 and Administration & Supervision I and II. She has served as Assistant Principal at Easton Middle School since 2014.

“Mrs. Valcik’s professional background, including her educational experience, will enable her to provide a smooth transition and effectively lead through the remainder of the school year,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent.

Valcik began her career with Talbot County Public Schools in 2003 as a long-term Substitute at Chapel District Elementary. She then taught third grade at Easton Elementary – Moton from 2003 to 2007, first grade at Easton Elementary – Dobson in 2007-2008, and sixth grade English/Language Arts at Easton Middle School from 2008 – 2010. Mrs. Valcik was Talbot County Teacher of the Year for 2010 – 2011. She was promoted to Assistant Principal at Easton Elementary School in 2010, where she remained until 2014.

“I am honored to lead this group of eager, enthusiastic and talented staff and students,” Valcik said. “Dedicated staff, determined students,and supportive parents and community members ignite the pathway to our unlimited potential at Easton Middle School. We are excited about the many opportunities for our families and community members to become involved at Easton Middle School.”

WC Announces New Dual-Degree Partnership with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment

Environmental science and environmental studies students at Washington College will now have the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, thanks to a new partnership between Washington College and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

The agreement, known as dual-degree, allows qualified students to leave Washington College after their third year and enroll at Duke, where they can study for a master’s degree in either environmental management or forestry. After successfully completing their first year at Duke, they will be awarded their bachelor’s degree from WC. The new dual-degree program joins others at the College, including one in engineering with Columbia University, and in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland.

Washington College students get hands-on with Chesapeake blue crabs.

“To me, in environmental science and studies, it’s about creating more opportunities for students,” says Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics and McLain Associate Professor of Physics and Environmental Science and Studies, who oversaw the development of the dual-degree program with Duke. “I love that they can come into Washington College and see themselves at the end of this really cool path. Parents like that too, because they want to know what’s the next step. So, I think these opportunities are really powerful in that way, because if nothing else, they give you some imagination to see what the possibilities are.”

Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean of the College, says the new arrangement illustrates the College’s determination to provide distinctive opportunities to its students, and it continues to build upon the College’s growing and energetic environmental program.

“Environmental science and studies is increasingly one of our most popular majors, and this will only enhance what is already a strong, exciting program,” DiQuinzio says. “It also lends force to the power and breadth of the liberal arts, which form the foundation of all we do here.”

Although the program takes effect immediately for incoming freshman in 2019, current freshmen and sophomores are also eligible to work toward the dual-degree. Leslie Sherman, co-chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies and W. Alton Jones Associate Professor of Chemistry, says the department will work to help current students attain needed requirements, as well as support incoming students to ensure they stay on track.

“I had envisioned environmental science students wanting to do the forestry program, because we don’t have forestry here,” Sherman says. “But our science students want to do environmental management too, which is exciting. This opens a clear pathway to this wonderful program at a fantastic school. And students who wish to finish their four years at Washington College and then seek graduate admission to Duke will also be able to take advantage of this relationship.”

The Nicholas School of the Environment is internationally known for not only its forestry and environmental management elements but also the Duke University Marine Lab. Two recent Washington College graduates, Anna Windle ’16 and Kelly Dobroski ’16, are currently enrolled at the Nicholas School in the environmental management master’s program, and Sherman is planning for them to return to campus to talk with interested undergraduates. Windle, studying coastal environmental management, in September won a highly competitive NOAA/North Carolina Sea Grant fellowship to assess oyster reef health.

For more information about Washington College’s Environmental Science and Studies program, visit https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/environmental-science-and-studies/

For more information about Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, see https://nicholas.duke.edu/.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.


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