Will Rieck Receives Garden Club of the Eastern Shore Scholarship

Will Rieck (center) with Lin Clineburg (left), Scholarship Committee member, and Dr. Virginia Blatchley (right), Scholarship Committee co-chair.

Will Rieck, a 2017 St. Michaels High School graduate, is the recipient of the 17th Annual Garden Club of the Eastern Shore (GCES) Scholarship. The $4,500.00 merit scholarship was awarded to Rieck in recognition of his outstanding academic record, strong work ethic, and commitment to environmental science and sustainable agriculture.

Rieck will enroll in the Honors College at the University of Michigan this fall. He has also been accepted into the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy where he intends to focus his efforts on environmental policy.

“In a field of outstanding candidates, Will stood out because of his commitment to working in the field of public policy to forward effective state and federal policies for environmental sustainability and conservation,” Dr. Virginia Blatchley, scholarship committee co-chair says. “We were particularly impressed with Will’s seriousness of purpose, inquisitive intellect, and willingness to challenge himself academically.”

The GCES offers a scholarship annually to graduating seniors from Talbot County public and independent high schools. Students being home schooled are also eligible. The scholarship is available to students with outstanding academic records, who are also considering careers in botany, horticulture, agriculture, landscape architecture or design, environmental science, or related fields.

Dr. Blatchley adds: “We have always had strong candidates for the GCES scholarship, but this year’s field was extraordinary. All nine candidates had distinguished themselves both academically and through their service to the community while in high school and we are certain that they will not only succeed in college, but excel.”

The GCES is committed to promoting environmentally sound landscape practices and to providing programs for the community that explore conservation practices and environmental issues. It spearheaded the extensive restoration of Easton’s Thompson Park. It also maintains several gardens in the community including those at Thompson Park and the Academy Art Museum in Easton.

“In addition to our other community involvement, our annual scholarship has the full support of every member of the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, “ Samantha McCall, GCES President says. “I personally believe that this investment in the future of the talented,hardworking young people in our county is the most important thing that we do as a group.”

For additional information about GCES programs or to make a contribution to the scholarship fund, please call Dorothy Whitcomb at 410-770-9035. -30

TCPS Announces Administrative Appointments

Talbot County Public Schools has announced two additional administrative changes.  Mrs. Alison Strickland has been appointed to Assistant Principal at Easton Middle School, and Mrs. Christine Davis will become Curriculum Supervisor for Secondary English & Social Studies, ESOL, World Language and Library Media.

Mrs. Strickland is a graduate of Easton High School. She attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Strickland taught kindergarten at White Marsh Elementary School for four years before moving to Easton Middle School as a sixth grade language arts teacher. During her time at Easton Middle School, she obtained her school administration certification from Towson University. In 2016, she was appointed to the administrative intern position at Easton Elementary School-Moton.

Mrs. Alison Strickland and Mrs. Christine Davis.

Ali and her husband, John, are proud mentors through Talbot Mentors. They reside in Easton with their daughter, Bradley.

Mrs. Davis graduated from Saint Michaels Middle High School.  She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. from Salisbury University, where she also became certified as a Reading Specialist.  She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Contemporary Curriculum & Instruction:  Literacy at Salisbury.

Christine has 20 years of experience teaching in public schools, with the last 15 years being with TCPS as classroom teacher at Easton Elementary, Saint Michaels Elementary and Saint Michaels Middle High School.  She has also worked as a Reading Specialist/Intervention and Enrichment teacher at Easton Elementary and Saint Michaels Elementary, and she held the position of Administrative Intern at Easton Middle School.In addition, she has worked as a Salisbury University, Eastern Shore Writing Project Summer Institute Instructor.

Mrs. Davis volunteered as a St. Michaels Middle High School Character Counts Coach from 2014-2015, has been a member of the St. Michaels Elementary School PTA since 2010, and served as Site Parent Advisory Committee Chairperson for the Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center-St. Michaels from 2010-2013.  She and her husband Andre are both Eastern Shore natives and reside locally with their sons Andre and Chris, who both attend Talbot County Public Schools.

Easton Middle Students Receive National Junior Honor Society Achievement Awards

The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes 500 NJHS members each year with a $500 529 college savings account managed by Oppenheimer Funds. Students are nominated by their NJHS adviser with approval by the school principal.

Winners are selected based on academic, service and leadership accomplishments, as well as their demonstration of good character and citizenship.  Six Easton Middle School 8th graders were chosen for the award this year and were recognized at the school’s year-end awards assembly.  This year’s winners are Haley Nestel, Mikayla Moaney, Katherine Chapple, Eric Milhollan, Caroline Compton, and Molly Johnson.

“It is wonderful to see these deserving students recognized by NJHS for their outstanding achievements,” said Dr. Norby Lee, Principal of Easton Middle School.  “This is also a great way to encourage students to begin focusing on their college and career goals as they transition to high school.”

Easton High Students Share Research Projects at Environmental Science Night

Callie Blizzard and Katie Spofford developed a recycling program at Easton High.

Easton High School recently held an Environmental Science Night to celebrate the work of Students in Mrs. Rose’s Advanced Placement and regular level Environmental Science classes.  The event was held at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton. Students presented their research and action projects that they had been working on throughout the school year.  Parents, teachers and community members were invited to see what the students found to be major environmental issues on the EHS campus.  Topics ranged from littering to recycling to storm water runoff into our stream/the Chesapeake Bay.  With a grant obtained by the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy Group, students were able to develop solutions to some of these issues.  As part of their final grade, students created trifold displays and videos featuring what they had done throughout the school year to combat environmental issues at Easton High School and the surrounding Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Projects included: painting storm drains, buying a recycling bin and maintaining our rain garden on campus.

TCPS Provides Water Safety Instruction for 3rd Graders

Near the end of each school year, 3rd graders who attend Talbot County Public Schools participate in the TCPS Water Safety Program.  The program was developed to provide the students with skills to protect them in and around the water.  Water Safety instruction is provided by the school Physical Education teachers and certified water safety instructors.  The regular classroom teachers provide the classroom experience.

A committee of Talbot County Physical Education teachers concerned about water safety assisted in the development of this program in 1990-1991. The program is dedicated to the memory of Taraille Turner, a student in Talbot County, who lost his life in the spring of 1990 due to a swimming accident. Resources were obtained from Dorchester County Public Schools, the American Red Cross, the National YMCA, the Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Coast Guard. The curriculum was updated in 2013-2014.

Students participating in the program learn water safety tips, survival floating, treading water, proper use of personal flotation devices (PFD’s), non-swimming rescues, and the steps for calling 911.  The program is usually taught at the Bay Hundred and George Murphy Pools. This year, instructors faced unexpected challenges due to rain, unusually cool weather and cold water temps in the outdoor pools.  With school days running out, Mr. William Keswick, Curriculum Supervisor, reached out to the Easton Family YMCA for help.  The Y readily agreed and adjusted pool schedules so that students from Tilghman Elementary and Saint Michaels Elementary could complete the program.

“A county with over 600 miles of tidal shoreline has a civic responsibility to teach our children safety around water and the YMCA is pleased to work with Talbot County Public Schools to do this,” said Derek White, Branch Executive Director. “The YMCA has a rich history in this arena dating back to 1909 and the implementation of group swim lessons using radical new methods, which has created a natural partnership for the continued success of water safety for Talbot County youth.”

Thirty Two Students Graduate from St. Anne’s Episcopal School

Photo: St. Anne’s Episcopal School proudly presents the Class of 2017: Back row, left to right Adrian Reed, Hunter (Tayg) Murray, Alexander Kenney, Matthew Mitchell, Robert (Stewart) Zurbach, Caden Wood, Tyler Wood, Noah Hollander, Slater Phillips, Zachary Bovelsky, Nicholas Relova, Zachary Kinnamon, William (Billy) Nunn, and Andrew Mitchell. Front Row, left to right, Zoe Eckenrode, Lauren Hudson, Sailor Wiggins, Samantha Young, Clare Slinkard, Hope Kenney, Adia Vega, Nicolette Pate, Grace Travis, Margaret (Maggy) Ross, Jada Jackson, Heidi Cobb, Hope Slapcinsky, Ashlyn Lorentz, Eleanor Alban, Hannah Beckman, Mia Stryker, and Bryer Wood.

Thirty two young men and women graduated from St. Anne’s Episcopal School on Thursday, June 08, 2017.  They will attend sixteen high schools, among them Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, The Charter School of Wilmington, Groton School, The Gunston School, Mercersburg Academy, MOT Charter High School, Sanford School, St. Andrew’s School, Saint Thomas More Academy, Sussex Central High School, Tatnall School, Tower Hill, Tri-State Christian Academy, and Ursuline Academy.

Located in Middletown, DE, St. Anne’s Episcopal School (www.stannesde.org) focuses on academic excellence and spiritual growth in a small, family-oriented and diverse community. St. Anne’s is a co-ed independent day school for children in Preschool (age 3) through Grade 8. Founded by visionary educators from St. Andrew’s School in 2002, our academic program prepares students for honors course work in the finest area high schools through its commitment to intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, and artistic growth and character development.

Two Innovative Scholarship Programs at WC Get $715,000 Boost

Washington College President Sheila Bair today announced an additional $715,000 that will support two of the school’s most innovative scholarship programs, Dam the Debt and George’s Brigade. The additional funding brings the programs, which President Bair inaugurated two years ago, to $1.25 million and $5.7 million, respectively.

“From the moment I became president of Washington College, affordability and accessibility have stood at the top of my to-do list,” President Bair says. “We could not have achieved all we have already through Dam the Debt and George’s Brigade without the generous and far-sighted support of our donors to these programs, who clearly see that making college more affordable for everyone must be a priority, both for Washington College as a small liberal arts institution, and for higher education as a whole.”

George’s Brigade pays full tuition, room, board, and fees all four years to high-need, high-potential students. Begun with the Class of 2020, the Brigade saw 14 students complete their first year in May, and 20 new students are expected to matriculate with the Class of 2021 this fall. The inaugural year of the program saw an 88 percent retention rate. Under President Bair’s leadership, the College’s overall retention rate for first-to-second-year students increased by four points from the previous year to 86 percent.

Of the $5.7 million accumulated to date for George’s Brigade, $3.7 million is endowed. New donors to George’s Brigade arethe J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation, which committed $160,000; the Hearst Foundation, which contributed $100,000; Morgan Stanley, which donated $80,000; T. Rowe Price, which committed $50,000, and the Charlotte and George Riggs Charitable Fund, which contributed $20,000. In addition, President Bair designated $160,000 of presidential discretionary funds to the Brigade to fund two four-year scholarships.

Since its inception in late 2015, George’s Brigade has received support from a variety of sources including H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. ’85, president of the Board of Visitors and Governors, The Hodson Trust, M&T Bank, DLA Piper, Avant, Bank of the West, PNC, Heron Point of Chestertown, Host Hotels Resorts, Ann D. Horner ’80, Nina Houghton P’85, GP ’11, the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Dr. Robert Kirkwood, M&A Enterprises, Mr. and Mrs. James Miller, Morgan Stanley & Company, T. Rowe Price, Thomson Reuters, Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Travieso ’66 ’66,Mr. and Mrs. James Aris P ’17, itBit, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, P. C. Massey III ’58, James Riepe, and Mr. and Mrs. Brian Rogers.

Taking a different tack on cutting college costs, Dam the Debt acts as a back-end scholarship that awards eligible graduating seniors a grant that pays for federally subsidized loans they have taken out for their last semester of college. Since its inception in May 2016, the program has awarded a total of $659,000 to 252 eligible graduating seniors, reducing the students’ overall debt by over 10 percent with an average grant amount of $2,615.

President Bair has designated $145,000 of presidential discretionary funds to Dam the Debt. Previous donors include BB&T, bloooom, inc., TD Bank, Santander Bank, Avant, John and Peggy Bacon, and Philip and Joan Riggin.

In addition to these two programs, the College has launched FixedFor4, which will fix tuition for four years for incoming freshmen, beginning with this fall’s incoming Class of 2021. Last year, the College also announced the Saver’s Scholarship, which matches the amount that families contribute from a 529 college savings plan or an Educational Savings Account, up to $2,500 per year, to pay for their student’s tuition. Learn more at http://www.washcoll.edu/value/.

In addition to these new programs, Washington College annually provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships, with 90 percent of students receiving merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid.

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.

Gunston Crew Completes Season with Milestone at National Championships

The Gunston School’s Rowing team completed their spring season with invitations to the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta in Cherry Hill, NJ. Competing against the top rowing programs in the country, Gunston was represented in the Boy’s and Girl’s Varsity 4+ categories.

Gunston’s Boy’s Varsity 4+ reached a milestone this year by breaking out of the first round of racing for the first time in this event in program history. Later in the day the crew went on to compete in the Repechage (second chance race) and placed 6th.

“The boys’ performance in their heat was exactly how we had practiced their race plan over the last few weeks. Thanks to their sprint they were able to edge themselves into 3rd place and avoid elimination from the regatta. They eventually reached elimination in the repechage but they were very happy with the way they rowed and left everything they had on the race course,” said Head Coach Nicole Stimpson.

Representing Gunston in the Boy’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Lauren Covell ‘17 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Ben Jones ‘17 (Chestertown, MD), 3 Seat Ethan Boone ‘17 (Centreville, MD), 2 Seat Alex Papadopoulos ‘18 (Townsend, DE), and Bow Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 (Centreville, MD).

Gunston’s Girl’s 4+ placed 6th in their heat eliminating them from the regatta. “With a freshman coxswain, 2 sophomores, and 2 seniors the underclassmen in this crew were able to gain valuable race experience at this regatta,” said Stimpson. “After racing at nationals these younger athletes will be able to pass on their experiences and motivate their teammates this coming fall.”

Representing Gunston in the Girl’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Isabella Santoboni ‘20 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Olivia Sherman ‘17 (Middletown, DE), 3 Seat Elena Sherman ‘19 (Middletown, DE), 2 Seat Katie Easter ‘19 (Grasonville, MD), Bow Maddy Romberger ‘17 (Sudlersville, MD).

Schools System Proposes Report Card and Grading Changes

Talbot County Public Schools presented proposed revisions to the elementary student report cards and the grading system for grades 3 -12 at the May Board of Education meeting.

TCPS established a grading committee during the 2015-2016 school year comprised of three subcommittees, Early Childhood (PreK-2), Elementary (3-5), and Secondary (6-12). Each subcommittee included teachers, administrators, curriculum staff, and parents. All schools, along with a cross section of content areas were represented.

The impetus for establishing the grading committee was two-fold:
• Examine and reflect on current grading practices in light of College and Career Readiness
• Answer the question “Is there a better way to do this?”

The work of the committee was guided by the belief that grades must represent what students know and are able to do. “Our primary role as educators is to promote learning; and therefore, our grading practices must support student motivation to learn,” said Helga Einhorn, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.

The Early Childhood subcommittee is recommending revisions to the report cards for PreK-grade 2 so that they are more aligned with the Maryland State Standards and the curriculum currently taught. Each proposed primary report card includes the same major headings for curriculum areas in addition to a personal/social development component. The key for levels of proficiency is also the same for all of the primary grades with a 1-4 level designation, as compared with the current three levels. Each grade level report card also includes a place for teachers to write comments specific to student progress.

The Elementary subcommittee is recommending three changes to the proposed report card for grades 3-5. This includes the addition of the personal/social development skills. The second change is the inclusion of a text box for teachers to include specific feedback on individual student progress. The third change is the reporting of student progress as a letter grade rather than the current percentage grade system.

The Secondary Grading subcommittee is also recommending the shift from percentage grades to letter grades on report cards. The committee concluded in their research that percentage grades, while appearing precise, are impacted by many factors, which can include the point values assigned to a specific task, the number of assignments recorded, and whether an assignment is a formative or summative.

Currently TCPS is one of only two counties in the state reporting percentage grades. With the proposed change to letter grades, parents and students would continue to see percentage grades in Power School, but interims, report cards, and transcript will report letter grades.
A= 90-100%
B= 80-89%
C= 70-79%
D= 60-69%
F= 59% and below

Final grade will be calculated using quality points (0-4)

The next steps in the grading committee process will be to determine how these changes would be reflected in 9.25 Student Progress Report to Parents-AR; identify additional policies and ARs that would be impacted; and continue to gather feedback from parents. Questions regarding the proposed recommendations or feedback should be directed to Dr. Einhorn at heinhorn@tcps.k12.md.us or (410)822-0330 ext. 120.

Easton High Students Share Research at Annual Science Symposium

Students in the Biological Innovations and Advanced Placement Biology courses at Easton High School presented their research projects at the annual Science Symposium in the school media center on Wednesday April 26.

After conducting research in a scientific area of interest, students invited their mentors, parents and guardians, school administrators and the general public to an evening event that included a poster session along with formal electronic presentations.

Easton High students Peyton Elzey and Ian Stanley discuss their science research projects with Board of Education member Susie Hayward during the Annual Easton Science Symposium.

Research topics ranged from the medical field to the environment, including such titles as “The Effects of Personalized Medicine on Treatment Protocol of Cancer Patients”, “Smartphone Use and Effects on the Human Body”, “White Nose Syndrome in Bats”, “The Biochemistry of Taste and Smell”, “The Effects of Plastic Debris on Aquatic Life”, “Use of Viral Immunotherapy”, “Raising Awareness of Breast Cancer on the Eastern Shore”, “Schizophrenia: Nature vs. Nurture”, “Understanding Eating Disorders”, “Oyster Restoration” and “Dental Health and Alzheimer’s”.

Teachers Cheryl Overington and LeeAnn Hutchison organized the Science Symposium to celebrate the accomplishments of high school students in the area of scientific research, and to recognize the importance of scientists and health care experts as mentors, and an integral part of the TCPS science program.