Biomedical Science – Project Lead the Way Program Receives Recertification

St. Michaels Middle High School’s Biomedical Science – Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program received their initial certification on December 18, 2012.  Schools that adopt the PLTW program sign a School District Agreement requiring them to begin the process of certification by the beginning of their second year and to renew every five years after that. The purpose of certification is two-fold: to ensure implementation of a high quality PLTW program and verify college credit eligibility for select PLTW courses.

The three-step certification process involves: a self-assessment, site visit and final certification report. PLTW certification standards are outlined in the self-assessment document and demonstrate schools meet PLTW quality standards in: professional development of teachers and counselors; implementation of curriculum using required equipment and software; and the formation of a Partnership Team, among others.

From L-R: Pamela Clay, Career and Technology Education Curriculum Supervisor; Marcelina Castleberry, student; Katie Stang, student; Robin Werner, Science and CTE Teacher; Caroline Lenkiewicz, student; Sincere Taylor, student; Tracy Elzey, Saint Michaels Middle High Principal

Certification Minimum Requirements

1. A teacher who has successfully completed PLTW Core Training teaches PLTW courses.
2. Classroom equipment and software meets or exceeds the PLTW specifications.
3. A partnership team that supports the program and meets on a regular basis with a specific agenda and goals to accomplish.

We are proud to say that St. Michaels Middle/High School’s Biomedical Science program has met the requirements and has been recertified for 5 more years.  High school students completing a four-course PLTW sequence at a certified high school have access to the biology college credit at the Affiliate Universities nationwide, according to the terms and conditions of each individual credit process at each affiliate university.  In Maryland, Stevenson University awards the college credit for students successfully completed the program of study.

“We are very excited about this important achievement for the Saint Michaels Middle High Biomedical Science – Project Lead the Way program and the opportunities it presents for our students.” said Career and Technology Education Curriculum Supervisor Pamela Clay.”  More information about Talbot County Public Schools Career and Technology Education is available through the Easton High School and Saint Michaels Middle High School guidance offices.

AAUW Presents “Waterwomen” of the Chesapeake

The Easton Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will present a discussion with two Talbot County “Waterwomen” of the Chesapeake on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10:00AM-Noon at the Talbot County Public Library in Easton. Judy Bixler, co-owner and captain of the 333 year-old Oxford-Bellevue Ferry and Kelley Phillips-Cox, founder, president and executive director of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center are featured. Both women have very interesting backgrounds and will share with us their current life on the water, their challenges, rewards, bits of information learned on the shore, as well as humorous stories of people and incidents encountered. Time has been allotted for questions and discussion.

This meeting is open to the public.

The Easton Branch of AAUW is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.  For more information about the organization see our web site: aauweaston (MD) branch.  For membership information, call Connie Wolfe, 410-8819-6789 or elaine Wilson, 410-770-5049.

AAUW advances equity for all women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Mid-Shore Education: Saints Peter and Paul School Rainforest Turns Nineteen Years Old

It may not be that unusual anymore for school to create a model rainforest as part of an introductory science course but when the Spy learned that the Saints Peter and Paul School rainforest is now going on its 19th year. It got our attention pretty quickly.

Ever since Lisa Morrell started to teach elementary science at the Catholic day school in Easton, the annual building of the rainforest has been one of the great traditions at a  school that already has a significant number of them. In fact, it’s safe to say that while only a handful of students create the rainforest every year, it’s also true that literally, every student at Peter and Paul’s lower school will walk through as well.

The Spy caught up with Lisa and a few of her students this week just before the rainforest was to be dismantled and stored while it waits for its 20th anniversary next year.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Saints Peter and Paul School please go here

Good Stuff: The Country School to Receive $250,000 Grant from Zaffere Foundation

The Country School received a generous contribution this week from the Philip A. Zaffere Foundation to establish a scholarship fund for children of significant need. Mr. Zaffere, a Federalsburg native and owner of Zaffere’s Bakery, which became Shoreman Food Technologies, passed away in January of 2016 and left a legacy built on lifelong learning, a love of animals and nature, and a deep commitment to his family and friends. His foundation gifted The Country School $100,000 and will contribute an additional $150,000 within the next 5 years.

The fund will be invested to produce income to be used toward tuition for a child who has demonstrated significant need and who exhibits the same qualities possessed by Mr. Zaffere: a deep curiosity for the sciences, a natural creativity, and an appreciation for the wonders of nature. This award will also recognize the value of diversity of all kinds.

Realizing that his small family bakery could survive only by creating new products and innovative baking processes, Zaffere began experimenting with making a crumb product. He developed and refined the formula, and designed ovens and other equipment to produce a consistently high quality product, which General Foods used in Stove Top stuffing mix. At one time the Federalsburg plant was producing all the crumb for Stove Top as well as breading for Mrs. Paul’s frozen products. One newspaper article dubbed him the “Crumb King.”

Family members and friends remember him as a shrewd businessman who also possessed a playful, mischievous quality. A loyal, compassionate, and generous friend, Zaffere recognized and cared about the needs of others, and worked quietly to meet them however he could. He faithfully visited friends and family who were ill or shut-ins, and even put his college career on hold to take over the family bakery when his father died.

Although the sale of his business left him with significant assets that enabled him to establish his foundation, Mr. Zaffere never lost touch with the ethic of hard work, determination, and persistence developed in his youth. As one whose own college education was never completed, but whose curiosity and thirst for information never ended, he valued education and fine schools highly. It is with these tenets in mind that the Philip A. Zaffere Scholarship Fund was born at The Country School. Zaffere’s nephew, John Orban, was the director of technology for 15 years; John’s wife, Cindy, is the school’s librarian and diversity director. Their sons are alumni of The Country School, as are John’s two sisters.

“Although Uncle Philip never had children of his own, he was deeply interested in quality education for all children. With this scholarship fund, families who share his commitment to education but whose significant need could not be met through standard financial aid, will

be able to make a Country School education possible for their children. I can imagine nothing which would please him more.”

Easton AAUW to Honor Luminous Leaders: Women Who Make a Difference

The Easton Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is pleased to announce it will hold the 9th Women Who Make a Difference luncheon on Saturday, March 10 at the Miles River Yacht Club. This biennial event celebrates local women who have made stellar contributions to non-profit organizations. The theme of this year’s luncheon is Luminous Leaders: Women Who Make a Difference. The 2018 luncheon will once again highlight the many exceptional women who are nominated by local non-profit groups for this celebration.

AAUW’s Easton Branch has been empowering, inspiring, educating and advocating for women for 60 years, and our national organization has been a leading voice promoting education, equity and opportunity for women and girls since 1881. This AAUW-sponsored luncheon helps all of us learn about the many ways local women contribute to the non-profit groups that are essential to our civic life.

Non-profit organizations that wish to honor a member must complete the nomination form by February 10. For more information, contact Linda Tebbs at or call 410-763-8265.

The Gunston School Honors Harry “Stoney” Duffey

On Saturday evening, January 27, members of The Gunston School community gathered to honor Mr. Harry “Stoney” Duffey at the school’s Leadership & Loyalty celebration.  Over a 50-year period, Mr. Duffey has been a student, parent, grandparent, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  In his role as Board Chair, the school completed the largest capital campaign in school history, and grew enrollment by nearly 40%.

Pictured from left to right: Jij Duffey, Stoney Duffey and Headmaster John Lewis.

With his wife, Jij, by his side Stoney listened as several guests spoke of the many accomplishments he made during his tenure at Gunston. Speakers included current Chairman of the Board, Jim Wright, Stoney’s daughters Pat Parkhurst and Catherine MacGlashan, and Headmaster John Lewis. Lewis concluded his speech with this parting sentiment that echoes throughout the Gunston community  “I can think of few people in the history of The Gunston School who have given more of themselves or have had greater influence on this school. Stoney’s vision and leadership have been transformative, and he deserves our congratulations and our appreciation. He is a great friend and supporter of The Gunston School.” At the end of the tribute, Parkhurst and MacGlashan made a toast to their father, to resounding applause.

WC Researchers Present at St. Michaels Library February 17

Alisha Knight

The collaborative research of Washington College’s GIS Lab and an English professor seeking answers about the one of the country’s earliest and most influential African American publishing companies will be the topic of a talk at the Talbot County Free Library in St. Michaels, Maryland.

“Putting Them on the Map: Tracing African American Book History through GIS Technology” takes place on Saturday, February 17 at 2 p.m., as part of the library’s celebration of Black History Month. The event will be held at the library’s St. Michael’s branch.

Alisha Knight, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, will join Washington College junior Julia Portmann and GIS Development Manager Luis Machado to discuss Knight’s research into the Colored Co-Operative Publishing Company. Their collaboration resulted in a Story Maps project called “Putting Them on the Map” — a digital humanities project using data analytics to create a data visualization of the Colored Co-operative’s network of subscription agents.

Knight and her team will explain the connection between African American book publishing and geographic technologies as they share the story of the turn-of-the-century, black-owned publishing company’s efforts to become the mouthpiece and inspiration to African Americans throughout the world.

A unique and influential business that briefly flourished in the early 1900s, the Colored Co-operative promoted “the higher culture of Religion, Literature, Science, Music and Art of the Negro, universally.” It employed over time some 240 agents who sold the Colored American Magazine as far west as Seattle and as far south as San Antonio, Texas.

The Story Maps project “Putting Them on the Map” can be accessed from Knight’s faculty page.  It’s also accessible from the Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society website.

For information about the Talbot County Free Library, see

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

At the Airport: Building a New Hanger with a Design by St. Michaels High School Students

While it remains an overused phrase at times, the words “it takes a village” does have a special ring to a unique mentoring program in the area for students to experience first hand the challenges and fun that come with being an engineer.

A case in point is this year’s project of ACE Mentor Program of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. ACE is an after-school program that introduces young people to careers in architecture, construction management, engineering and other disciplines. And for over thirty years, ACE has been providing Talbot County high school students  with the chance to work on a local engineering project, and this year, thanks to the collective effort of retired engineer and ACE volunteer mentor Jack Dempsey, the Easton Airport, and the “client’ John Galdieri, president of Trident Aircraft, a half-dozen young men and women have been asked to design a new airplane hanger this spring.

As Jack shares in his interview with the Spy, his students never fail to impress him on how quickly they can produce plans that are not only exceptionally well thought out but can equal at times the work of professionals.  Only last year, his team projected the cost of building a new Chesapeake Bridge to be close to $2.5 billion a few weeks before the State of Maryland engineers had calculated about the same cost range.  Not bad.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the ACE Mentor program please go here

Wye River Upper School Admissions Open House January 28

Wye River Upper School is hosting an Admissions Open House on Sunday, January 28 from 2 pm- 4 pm. The event is being held on the School’s campus at 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. Students and staff will be presenting and sharing information on the Wye River Experience. Wye River serves students from several Maryland counties including Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline and Kent. Bus service is available to and from Stevensville, Easton and Cambridge.

Wye River Upper School is an independent high school offering an engaging, supportive and challenging curriculum for students with learning challenges like ADHD or dyslexia. For more information, please contact: Katie Theeke, Director of Admissions and Communications, at 410-758-2922 or email

WC Announces New Partnership With Georgetown University Medical Center

Mindy Reynolds (left) co-chair of the Department of Biology and associate professor of biology, works with a student.

Washington College students who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in a range of biomedical science and research disciplines have a new opportunity thanks to a strategic partnership the College has developed with Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The new partnership enables qualified WC graduates to receive a 15 percent tuition discount for any master’s programs offered through Biomedical Graduate Education (excluding online programs).

“For pre-med students, this partnership provides an opportunity for additional training before applying to medical school,” says Mindy Reynolds, co-chair of the Department of Biology and associate professor of biology, who helped develop the partnership. “But the breadth of the programs also enables our students to launch a career in health-related and biomedical science and research. For instance, earning a master’s in bioinformatics would prepare a student to do high-level data analysis in a research lab.”

“We are thrilled to officially partner with Washington College and offer their students the opportunity to further their studies on our campus,” says Barbara Bayer, Senior Associate Dean of Biomedical Graduate Education and chair and professor of neuroscience. “Over the past few years, WC alums have successfully graduated from our various MS programs in areas such as Biotechnology and Health Physics, and gone on to start their careers in the metropolitan DC area. I am delighted that our institutions have come together to create a pipeline for bright and talented WC graduates to study biomedical sciences at Georgetown University.”

Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics who has been leading Washington College’s efforts to develop partnerships with institutions offering post-graduate options for students in the Division of Natural Sciences, says GU’s master’s programs provide excellent opportunities for students who are interested in the science and technology side of emerging social health issues. These include programs in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases; Biostatistics; Bioinformatics; Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy; Biotechnology; Complementary & Alternative Medicine; Integrative Neuroscience; and Systems Medicine.

But there are also programs focused on areas more related to the basic sciences and those interested in pursuing medical school, including Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Microbiology & Immunology; Pharmacology; Physiology, the Special Master’s in Physiology; and Tumor Biology.

“We’re very excited about this new partnership with Georgetown because of the diverse possibilities it offers our graduates,” Kehm says. “And, we know that the faculty in these programs work very hard to open doors for their students through their extensive network of contacts and partners in the Washington, D.C., area.”

Washington College students who complete their four years of undergraduate work still must go through the regular application process for the master’s programs at Biomedical Graduate Education. If accepted and enrolled, they will receive a 15 percent tuition discount.

Kehm says he hopes this will be only the beginning of what could become an arrangement similar to dual-degree programs Washington College has developed which enable students to fast-track their way to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Just last fall, the College announced a new dual-degree program for environmental science and studies students at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and other similar programs include one in engineering with Columbia University, and in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland.

For more information about the master’s programs offered by Biomedical Graduate Education at Georgetown University Medical Center, visit For more information about how to apply, visit

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