The Gunston School Announces First Quarter Academic Honors

Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 academic year. To earn a place on the High Honors list, a student must have an A average and effort grades of “S” or above. To earn Honors, a student must achieve a B+/A- average and effort grades of “S” or above.

High Honors: Grade 12—Simon Cawley, Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Susie Fordi, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Chris Newberg, Alex Papadopolous, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps; Grade 11—Brooks Armstrong, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Will Gibson, Phin Howell, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schizy, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Yong (George) Yan; Grade 10—Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Emily Gray, Grace Holmes, Wyatt Howell, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Yaxuan (Joey) Zhuo; Grade 9—Avy Aubin, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Arianna Campi, Julie Ireland, Toni McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Adie Parish, Lydia Periconi.

Honors: Grade 12—Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjiee (Rose) Fan, Gillian Felton, Yohanes Gray, Wenyuan (Nick) Li, Robert Messier, Jack Morrison, Mitchell Naumann, Dutch Nickerson, Neel Patel, Garrett Rudolfs, Charlotte Sheets, Joey Smith, Alli Webb, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou; Grade 11—Dolan Carella, Shiloh Clark, Malachi Graham, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Ellie Merton, Marisa Pisapia, Drew Seaman, Katie Staley, Sam Umidi, Anna Wolf, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou; Grade 10—Andrew Amygdalos, MacCallum Borghardt, Mark Bourdin, Cotter Buckley, Natalie Cockey, Nina De Angelo, Frankie Fisher, Cedar Foster, Lynsey Hildebrand, Lily Judd, Nick Kellogg, Martina Kreienbuehl, Payton Lord, Hunter Mansfield, Michael Nickerson, Mason Rudolfs, Isabella Santobani, Max Scott, Peter Sharpless, Abby Silva, Owen White; Grade 9—Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Lily Bernsten, Maxmillian Brady, Tiger Christman, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Olivia Hershey, Campbell Parkhurst, Connor Reichardt, Emily Ryon, Joshua Sanford, Owen Santora, Charlie Shifron, Henry Shifron, Christian Walker, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Colin Ward.

Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library in December

Children’s Programs


Holiday Crafts
Saturday, December 2, 10:30 a.m. For all ages.

Story Time
Tuesday, December 5, 10:00 a.m.; program repeats at 11:00 a.m. For children 5 and under accompanied by an adult.

Read with Latte, a Certified Therapy Dog
Tuesday, December 12, 4:00 p.m. Bring a book or choose a library book and read with Janet Dickey and her dog Latte.

Cookie Decorating Program
Wednesday, December 13, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Stop in and decorate cookies! First come, first served. For all ages.

Steel Drums Program
Saturday, December 16, 1:00 p.m. Listen to steel drum music, hear the history of the instrument, and learn to play a complete song during this interactive program sponsored by Young Audiences of Maryland and Rockcreek Steel Drums. For all ages.

St. Michaels

Maker Space
Wednesday, December 6, 3:30 p.m. Enjoy STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), building with Legos, Zoobs, and more! For children 6 and older.

Story Time
Wednesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m. For children 5 and under accompanied by an adult.

L-R Barbara Kline & Kathy Bernard

Wednesday, December 13, 3:30 p.m. Explore Minecraft on the library’s computers. For ages 5 and older.

Family Unplugged Games
Thursday, December 14, 3:30 p.m. Bring the whole family to the library for an afternoon of board games and fun educational children’s games. For all ages (children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

Family Crafts
Thursday, December 21, 3:30 p.m. Make a Yarn Scarf

Teen & Adult Programs


Stitching Time
Monday, December 11, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Patrons are invited to work on their favorite project with a group. Limited instruction will be available for beginners. Newcomers welcome.

Two Boomer Babes to Discuss Their Debut Novel: Perfectly Seasoned
Thursday, December 14, 6:30 p.m. Radio’s Two Boomer Babes, Kathy Bernard and Barbara Kline, talk about the genesis of Perfectly Seasoned, storyline and character development, the writing process, finding a publisher, and the joys of becoming first-time authors a bit later in life. Bernard and Kline’s 2 Boomer Babes Radio Hour has received numerous programming awards, including one from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association and a Gracie for their series Beyond the Face of Alzheimer’s.

Lunch & Learn: Online at Your Library!
Thursday, December 21, noon. Online classes, free tutoring, genealogy resources, language learning with Rosetta Stone, magazines and more! Come and learn what your library has to offer 24/7, free with your library card. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Bring your lunch. Coffee and dessert will be provided.

Teen Game Board Night
Thursday, December 21, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Join us as we play real, live, face-to-face board games! Bring your own or use the library’s: Catan, Ticket to Ride, Chess, and more! For grades 6-12. Light refreshments.

St. Michaels

Judy Amdur

Brown Bag: Words and Music – A Celebration of the “American Songbook”
Monday, December 4, noon. Local musician Judy Amdur continues her celebration of the “American Songbook” with more composers and lyricists from the thirties through the sixties, including Cole Porter and Lerner and Loewe. These timeless artists were storytellers, poets, and masters of rhythm, melody, and language. Come rediscover the songs that have enriched our culture in so many ways. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Bring your lunch. Coffee and dessert will be provided.

Coloring for Teens & Adults
Monday, December 4, 3:30 p.m. Explore the relaxing process of coloring!

Arts & Crafts
Thursday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Free instruction for knitting, beading, needlework and tatting. Bring your coloring books, Zentangle pens or anything else that fuels your passion for being creative. You may also bring a lunch.

Annual Book Sale
Saturday, December 9, 9:00 a.m. till we sell out. St. Michaels annual (huge) book sale.

Bay Hundred Chess
Wednesdays, December 13 & 27, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Learn and play the strategic game of chess. Beginners welcome. For all ages.

Memoir Writers
Thursdays, December 14 & 28, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Record and share your memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people. Participants are invited to bring their lunch.

Note: All library programs are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, patrons do not need to pre-register to attend a library program.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

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!”

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:

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

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

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!

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 or (410) 228-8800. This is an equal opportunity and equal access program.

State Highway Office Awards Washington College GIS Program

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office has awarded Washington College’s GIS Program a grant of $494,000 to continue its work helping minimize fatal and serious injury crashes on Maryland’s roadways. This is the fifth consecutive year the GIS Program has won the grant.

“The grant renewal is part of $11.7 million in federal highway safety funds that are distributed to various agencies and organizations throughout Maryland to assist the mission towards zero deaths,” says GIS Program Director Erica McMaster. The funds will support hiring an additional GIS statistical data analyst and will broaden the opportunities for College students who work in the lab.

“The GIS team has expanded and improved its support to the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) and local law enforcement,” McMaster says. The new analyst will be responsible for quality checking the datasets and running statistical methods on the data to report the findings to MHSO and Maryland’s Traffic Records Coordinating Council.

Six staff members and about 20 student interns are currently funded under the MHSO grant. Their work includes supporting the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)in six emphasis areas: impaired driving, aggressive driving, occupant protection, distracted driving, pedestrian/bicyclists, and highway infrastructure. Also, as law enforcement has quickly expanded its use of the Risk Analysis Vehicle and Environmental Networks, GIS staff travel statewide to train officers and agencies in how to use the web application, which maps hotspots and one-mile road segments for crashes and citations for each of the SHSP emphasis areas.

Along with affirming the GIS Program’s work, the renewed funding will give student interns greater opportunities to gain training and attend professional conferences that can expand their network of professional connections and help lead to a career after college.

For more information about Washington College’s GIS Program, 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

From High School Cheerleader to Shock Trauma Patient, Ashley Ricciuti Beats the Odds

One of the students receiving a CHF scholarship is Ashley Ricciuti of Preston, MD.  Ashley is in her second year at Chesapeake College.  Even before she graduates with a degree in nursing, Ashley is the embodiment of a very unique success.

In her senior year at Colonel Richardson High School, Ashley’s Goal, as quoted in her yearbook, was to become a nurse at Shock Trauma.  Ashley graduated on May 25, 2016.  On June 4th, she was in a catastrophic car accident and was flown to Shock Trauma by helicopter.  With multiple life threatening injuries, she had a head concussion, was put in a medically induced coma, and underwent two heart surgeries.Surgery requiring two rods, a steel plate and several pins to reconstruct her pelvis was also necessary. Because of a collapsed lung she was put on a ventilator as well.

When she and two friends were driving that night, a police car passed them.  Minutes later, they were hit by another car and that policeman heard the crash and rushed back to the scene.  He called paramedics to get the other girls on gurneys and to cut Ashley out of the car.  Although the two friends had very serious injuries, only Ashley’s was life threatening.  As fate would have it, a helicopter had just landed in Easton and was able to arrive on the scene shortly after getting the call.

Ashley was at Shock Trauma for a week and then transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for an additional two months.  She then returned home and underwent very intensive outpatient rehab for three months.  In spite of extreme obstacles, Ashley entered Chesapeake College in September of 2016.

Although focusing and concentrating were extremely hard during that first semester, Ashley was determined to push through.  She said, “Through this entire ordeal, my mom and grandmother have been my biggest cheerleaders.”

From a near-death experience, to a successful and dedicated college student, CHF considers Ashley Ricciuti a shining star and so deserving of the full scholarship she is currently receiving.

Emphasizing the word huge, Ashley said, “It’s been a HUGE gift that I was able to receive the CHF grant.”Along with the enormous stress and costs related to the accident, Ashley needed to buy another car to get back and forth to college.  She stated again that she and her family are so grateful that her tuition was covered,thus removing the major stress of incurring additional debt.

The Children’s Home Foundation (a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton) is a non-profit, outreach organization that provides scholarships to residents throughout the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Their scholarship recipients include recent high school grads as well as non-traditional students who are seeking a two year technical or career degree.  In the case of a nursing degree, the scholarships may be granted for a three-year program.  In addition, camperships are given to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a camp.

CHF shares this inspirational story as it kicks off its annual Thanksgiving Appeal.

Submitted by Suze Chaffinch
CHF Boardmember

Please go to to contribute.