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

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 nowen@umd.edu 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 https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces/gis/.

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.

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 www.childrenshomefoundation.org to contribute.

Saint Michaels Middle/High Announces Fall Productions

St. Michaels Middle High School Drama presents: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) Act I and The Actor’s Nightmare, directed by Carol Reed and Daniel Smith.

Performances will be held on Thursday, November 2nd at 7 pm, Friday, November 3rd at 7 pm, and Saturday, November 4th at 7 pm at the SMMHS Auditorium at 200 Seymour Ave. St. Michaels, MD 21663. Tickets are $5 students and $7 for adults.

About the Plays:

Reduced Shakespeare Abridged: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s classic farce, two of its original writer/performers (Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield) have revised the show to bring it up to date for 21st-century audiences, incorporating some of the funniest material from the numerous amateur and professional productions that have been performed around the world. It quickly earned the title of London’s second-longest-running comedy after a decade at the Criterion Theatre. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is one of the world’s most frequently produced plays. Fast paced, witty, and physical, it’s full of laughter for Shakespeare lovers and haters alike.

The Actor’s Nightmare: An accountant named George finds himself inexplicably backstage one day. When he is confronted by the stage manager, it becomes apparent that he is the understudy for an actor who has apparently broken both his legs. The man must perform in his stead, but cannot remember attending any rehearsals or being an actor at all. To make matters worse, he is unable to get a straight answer as to what the play is. He attempts to improvise his lines; however, the play inconsistently shifts between scenes and in the final part of the play, the man is alarmed to learn that he is to play the part of Sir Thomas More – and the execution seems a bit too real for his liking.

Upcoming Programming at the Library in November

The Dance Begins by Robert T. Horvath

Children’s Programming

Easton

Young Gardeners Club sponsored by the Talbot County Garden Club
Thursday November 2, 3:45-4:45 p.m. Festival of Trees
For grades 1-4. Pre-Registration required.

Story Time
Tuesdays, November 7 – December 5, 10:00 a.m. For children 5 and under accompanied by an adult.

We Are Makers
Wednesday, November 8 & 15, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Create gadgets and gizmos with guided instruction and a fun-box full of supplies. For children 6 and older. Pre-Registration required.

S.T.E.A.M. Festival
Saturday, November 11, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Paint with light, take a Virtual Reality field trip, meet live birds of prey and reptiles, enjoy light refreshments, music, and more! Festival made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Read with a Certified Therapy Dog.
Tuesday, November 21, 4:00 p.m. Bring a book or choose a library book and read with Janet Dickey and her dog Latte.

Sue Ellen Thompson

St. Michaels

Family Unplugged Games
Thursdays, November 2, 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 need to be accompanied by an adult).

Story Time
Wednesdays, November 8 & 22, 10:30 a.m. For children age 5 and under accompanied by an adult.

Minecraft
Wednesdays, November 8 & 22, 3:30 p.m. Explore Minecraft on the library’s computers. For ages 5 and older.

Native American Culture Celebration
Thursday, November 9, 2:00 p.m. JoAnn Brown of Justamere Trading Post will share Native American artifacts, trivia, storytelling, and the opportunity to participate in crafts. Pre-Registration required. For all ages (children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

Teen & Adult Programs

Easton

Knights of the Sky: the WWI Aviation Art of Robert T. Horvath
Thursday, November 9, 6:00 p.m. Robert T. Horvath, whose paintings have hung in the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum among others, will discuss his art and the exploits of men who flew planes that were little better than kites with motors and machine guns attached. Five of Horvath’s paintings will be on display.

Stitching Time
Monday, November 13, 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.

Marriage, Metaphor and Mortality: The Poetry of Jane Kenyon
Monday, November 13, 6:00 p.m. Local, Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Sue Ellen Thompson will discuss the relationship between Jane Kenyon’s tragically short life and her poetry. Thompson’s lectures are always well-thought-out, well-delivered, and immensely popular. This program is supported with funds from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Robert Messick

The Long Walk Home
Thursday, November 16, 6:30 p.m. Local attorney Robert Messick talks about his 2,190 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine as a fundraiser for Easton’s Talbot Interfaith Shelter. Using a multi-media presentation, Messick will share the hardships and joys encountered while trekking across 14 states over rising and falling elevations that amounted to 16 ascents and descents of Mt. Everest.

Book Discussion: Dancing on My Grave by Gelsey Kirkland
Monday, November 20, 6:30 p.m.

Teen Game Board Night
Thursday, November 30, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Bring your own tabletop card and board games or use the library’s. For grades 6-12. Light refreshments.

St. Michaels

Arts & Crafts
Thursday, November 2, 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.

Bay Hundred Chess
Wednesdays, November 8 & 22, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Learn and play the strategic game of chess. Beginners welcome.

Memoir Writers
Thursday, November 9, 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. Pre-Registration required.

Coloring for Teens & Adults
Tuesday, November 14, 3:30 p.m. Explore the relaxing process of coloring.

Book Arts for Teens & Adults
Monday, November 27, 3:30 p.m. Japanese Stab Binding Book

Tuesday Movie @ Noon
November 28: Due to licensing requirements, we cannot release the name of this thriller rated PG-13. Please call the library for the name of the film.

Note: All library programming is free and open to the public.

Contact: Scotti Oliver, telephone: 410-822-1626

Gunston Raises over $80,000 at the Bull & Oyster Roast

Freshman parent Chris Nittle and Headmaster John Lewis.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son, and Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.

Gunston parents (L-R): Colleen Moran-Silva, Beth Campbell and Trish Lucus.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son & Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.

Education Foundation Announces Advisory Board

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural Advisory Board. The Foundation was formed in October of 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Shore Community FoundationIts mission is to engage and utilize community resources to provide Talbot County Public Schools students and teachers with otherwise unavailable enrichment opportunities that will enhance the TCPS educational experience and produce exceptional graduates. The Advisory Board includes the following distinguished members of our community, who share a commitment to supporting quality public education in Talbot County.

The TCPS Education Foundation Announces its first Advisory Board. L-R: F. Graham Lee; Rebecca Firth, Ph.D.; JoAnn Asparagus Murray; Juanita Hopkins; Richard Marks; Victoria Gomez Lozano; Patrick Fitzgerald, Chair; David Short; Laura P.Heikes, Vice Chair.

Rebecca Firth, Ph.D.
Former TCPS Parent
Retired Teacher and Learning Specialist

Patrick Fitzgerald, Chair
TCPS Alumnus
Partner, Ewing, Dietz, Fountain & Kaludis, P.A.

Laura P. Heikes, Vice Chair
Senior Vice President
Government and Community Relations Officer
Shore United Bank

Juanita Hopkins
TCPS alumnus and former parent
Attorney
Talbot County Board of Education Member

Susan Langfitt
TCPS Parent
Community Volunteer
Non-Profit Development Professional

F. Graham Lee
Former TCPS Parent
Vice President for Philanthropy, Shore Regional Health

Victoria Gomez Lozano
TCPS Parent
Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center

Richard Marks
Chief Executive Officer, Arbre Group Holding Corp.

JoAnn Asparagus Murray
Former TCPS Parent
Former Talbot County Board of Education Member
Magistrate, Caroline County Circuit Court

David Short, CPA
TCPS Parent
Former TCPS Board Member and PTO President
Managing Partner, Weaver Mavity Short Associates, LLC

Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald, Chair of the Advisory Board, addressed TCPS Employees at their Opening Day Celebration in August.   “I’m a product of Talbot County Public Schools, and I know the impact the school system had in shaping my future,” said Fitzgerald.  “I also know that providing high quality public education is vital to the sustainability and prosperity of our community, both now and in the future.”

Mr. Fitzgerald also outlined the accomplishments made by the Education Foundation since it was formed last fall.  This includes establishing the partnership with Mid-Shore Community Foundation, conducting a first “Year-End Appeal,” forming committees, launching the Honor A Teacher program, conducting a staff survey, and developing a grant application process.  To date, the Foundation has raised a total of $88,000, of which $77,000 are endowed funds, which will provide long term stability for the foundation and TCPS.

To learn more about supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at dgardner@tcps.k12.md.us or feel free to reach out to a member of the Advisory Board.