Talbot County Public Schools Recognizes Advanced Placement Scholars

The Board of Education recognized students who have achieved the status of Advanced Placement Scholar through their performance on AP exams throughout high school. The list includes members of the classes of 2017 and 2018. AP exams are scored on a 5-point scale, with many colleges and universities granting credits for scores of 3, 4 or 5. A scores of 3 or higher indicate a student is considered “Qualified” for college credit and capable of being successful in a college level introductory course in the particular content area.

There are 4 levels of AP Scholar, with definitions as follows:

National AP Scholar – Score of 4 or higher on all exams; completed at least 8 exams
AP Scholar with Distinction – Average of 3.5 or higher; 3 or higher on 5 or more exams
AP Scholar with Honor – Average of 3.25 or higher; 3 or higher on 4 or more Exams
AP Scholar – Score of 3 or higher on 3 or more exams

The following students are Talbot County Public Schools’ Advanced Placement Scholars for 2017 by level, graduation year and school:

AP Scholar with Distinction

Easton High Class of 2018
Matthew Langfitt
Alyssa Lucero
Katie Spofford

Easton High Class of 2017
Claire Anovick
Deirdre Gallagher
Ella Joshi
Samuel Newmier
Maleah Nichols
Rachel Quimby
Brendan Wazniak
Samuel Woertz
William Zhao

Saint Michaels High Class of 2017
Will Rieck
Zoe Thomas

AP Scholar with Honor

Easton High Class of 2018
Martin Eutsey
Kristin Ketterman
Joseph Odenwald
Abigail Wittman

Saint Michaels High Class of 2018
Jack Gill

Easton High Class of 2017
Maija Griffioen
Monte James
Cameron Miller
Perrin Poole
Charles Shearman
Luca Tondin

Saint Michaels High Class of 2017
Julianna Burns
Christopher Chansler

AP Scholar

Easton High Class of 2018
Alexander Begley
Arlette Felix-Martinez
Jordan Friedman
Elizabeth Hostetter
Adrienne Hurst
Matthew Keeler
Julia Kuchnio
Hunter Mentges
Suzanne Pineda
Ellie Roser
Richard Teale
Caroline Wood

Saint Michaels High Class of 2018
Taylor Wheatley

Easton High Class of 2017
Katherine Ball
Andrew Daly
Benjamin Gardner
Corey Hall
Christopher Harrison
Cameron Mathis
Molly Oertel
Miranda Otwell
Shiv Patel
Ezekiel Redmond
Leslie Rodriguez Casti
Kendal Scharch
Gwendolyn Stevenson
David Stockman
Joshua Tindale
Martina Towers
Elizabeth Verteramo

Saint Michaels High Class of 2017
Ziola Berry
Cecelia Castleberry
Sheridan Cowell
Drew Trevelyan
Cassandra Wojcik

“Congratulations to all of these outstanding students on their accomplishments,” said Superintendent Kelly Griffith. “Advanced Placement courses offer our students the opportunity to experience college level courses, and in many cases, qualify for college credit based on their scores. We will continue to work to expand our Advanced Placement opportunities and encourage all students to try AP!”

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.

Maci Dixon is Easton High School’s Artist of the Month

L-R: Mary-Ann Milligan, Owner, Ben Franklin Crafts; Theresa Vener, Easton High School Assistant Principal; Maci Dixon, Artist of the Month; Matthew Ghrist, EHS Fine Arts Teacher.

Maci Dixon was selected as the October “Ben Franklin Artist of the Month” at Easton High School. A generous partnership with the local arts and crafts supply store has made it possible to celebrate some of the many talented art students at EHS.

Easton Library to Host S.T.E.A.M. Festival

On Saturday, November 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites one and all to attend a S.T.E.A.M. Festival in celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be on hand with their ever-popular Scales and Tales exhibit, featuring live, non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles.  Past stars have included a Great Horned Owl and an American Kestrel.

Google Expeditions will make it possible for patrons to take a hands-on Virtual Reality trip to exciting, exotic locales … without ever leaving the safety of the Talbot County Free Library.

Patrons visiting the FutureMakers Light Painting Lab (taking place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) will create brushes that paint with light.  With these brushes they will, in turn, “paint” long exposure photographs that capture light, color, and motion.  Participants will be able to take both their brushes and the photographs they create home with them.

The festival will also feature music, light refreshments, and more!  The library’s STEAM Festival marks the concluding event of the weeklong Maryland STEM Festival (more information at: https://marylandstemfestival.org/).

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend the library STEAM Festival.  For more information, please contact the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Scotti Oliver, telephone: 410-822-16266

Sir Roger Scruton on Intellectuals, Conservatism and President Trump

For many in both Kent and Talbot Counties, Washington College professor Joseph Prud’homme has been a very visible presence in bringing both communities unique public programming in his role as the Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Politics, and Culture. So while it wasn’t too surprising that he invited Sir Roger Scruton to Chestertown yesterday, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a big thing. It is.

The reason being is that Scruton is one of those rare endangered species commonly called a conservative intellectual.  Similar to America’s late William F. Buckley, Jr., Sir Roger has reached a similar cultural status in Great Britain for his controversial writing on politics as well as art and music.

The Spy couldn’t resist the opportunity to chat with Mr.Scruton at the Brampton Inn a few hours before his campus visit to talk about a variety of subjects including what many consider to be a war against intellectualism in this country. Sir Roger also shares his thoughts on how the conservative label may also be at risk as the Trump presidency refines the concept itself.

This video is approximately nine minutes in length. For more information about the Institute for the Study of Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College please go here

First Grade Pumpkin Decorating Tradition Continues

Ms. Charlene Deshields, first grade teacher at Easton Elementary School – Dobson, held her annual class pumpkin decorating contest! All of the entries were amazingly creative. The following students received awards:

Most Original Pumpkin – Grant Neild
Prettiest Pumpkin – Brooklynn Thomas-Young
Funniest Pumpkin – Delmira Caniza-Galvez
Scariest Pumpkin – Jackson Force

Congratulations to the entire class on a job well done!

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.”

Mid-Shore STEM Festival

The inaugural Mid-Shore STEM Festival will be held on Saturday, November 4th at the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, on the Chesapeake College campus in Wye Mills. The event will be held rain or shine from 10 am – 2 pm and is free and open to the public.

The Mid-Shore STEM Festival is being hosted by the University of Maryland Extension 4-H Program and is focused on providing hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math learning for youth of all ages and their families. Activities will include: interactive displays and activities, tours, and demonstrations. Youth can learn about DNA, soil, plants, agriculture, food science, environmental science, robotics, insects, and much more. Also, there will be tours of Chesapeake College and a special K-9 demonstration from 12:30-1:00 that you do not want to miss! And, lunch and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Bring your kids to participate during the Maryland Science Festival here on the mid-shore on November 4th for a fun science-filled day! For more information, please contact Navonne Owen, Dorchester County 4-H, at nowen@umd.edu or (410) 228-8800. This is an equal opportunity and equal access program.