Taylor Meredith is Easton High/Ben Franklin Artist of the Month for May

L-R: Mary-Ann Milligan, Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing; Jonathan Crist, Art Teacher; Taylor Meredith, May EHS Artist of the Month; Catessa Cain, Easton High School Assistant Principal.

Easton High Senior Taylor Meredith has been recognized as the Ben Franklin Artist of the Month for May.

“Taylor excels in drawing, painting and digital artwork,” said Art Teacher Jonathan Crist. “The artwork chosen is a figurative oil painting done in alla prima painting technique.  Taylor understands colors, shape and light very well for her age.  The painting was done purely from observation over the course of four days.”Taylor will attend Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the Fall.

Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing Center, in cooperation with Easton High Art Teachers, generously supports student Artists throught the Artist of the Month Program, and provides the winning students with a gift bag of art supplies and a gift card for the store.

Talbot County Board Of Education Approves FY20 Budget

The Board of Education finalized and approved the school system’s 2019-2020 budget at a special meeting held on Thursday May 30, 2019.  During their Work Session, the Board made the necessary $1.4 million in cuts from the original budget request. “This budget reflects our commitment to the Bridge of Excellence Master Plan, to the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan, and to the children of Talbot County,” said Dr. Kelly L. Griffith, Superintendent.

The total Operating Budget for the school district for the 2019-2020 school year will be $57,182,066. This represents an overall increase in operating revenues in the general unrestricted budget of 4.8% or $2.6 million.  “This increase will help us to meet the needs of each student attending the Talbot County Public School system by providing salary increases, additional staffing support, and the ability to offset increases in fixed charges,” added Dr. Griffith.   “We are grateful to the County Council for securing additional revenue sources to provide funding above maintenance of effort in the category of non-recurring costs as well as funding for the Easton Elementary School construction project,” Dr. Griffith added.

Through the budget development process, each school principal and department supervisor justified every dollar requested.   This process enabled the Superintendent, the Board of Education, and the general public to closely examine priorities. After a thorough evaluation of state and federal mandates, including the continued implementation for the State of Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards, the Board chose to include some additional staffing and resources in the budget request to support these mandates.   

The final FY 20 budget will maintain everything in the FY19 budget plus the following approved additional items:

  • Salary increases for all staff of one step and 1.75% Cost of Living AdjustmentAdditional Staffing Positions:

2 English Language Learner Teachers
1 Gifted and Talented Teacher
1 Special Education
2.5 Classroom Teachers4 Instructional Assistants

  • Increases in Employee Benefit costs including a 4% increase in health insurance
  • Increases in overall insurance of organization, Special Education Services, and Judy Center
  • Renewal of Software licenses, additional funding for Curriculum/Environmental field trips and Extended Day Programs
  • One additional school bus lease
  • Mowers
  • $409,170 capital requests
  • Easton Elementary School Replacement Project

The following items from the original request were not included in the final version:

  • Four Teaching positions, two IA positions, and Grant Manager
  • Summer School
  • New Technology requests
  • Additional athletic requests
  • Additional requests for office supplies
  • Additional funding for professional development and stipends
  • $389,130 deferred maintenance/capital item requests

“We appreciate the community support, the educational partnerships, and the overall commitment of staff during the budget process.  Together we will address the challenges for higher academic standards and create essential conditions for learning to ensure each child will graduate college and career ready,” said Dr. Griffith.

To review the entire budget and for other information about Talbot County Public Schools, visit www.talbotschools.org

Dr. Kari Clow Appointed Principal of Chapel District Elementary School for 2019-2020

The Talbot County Board of Education has approved the appointment of Kari Mielke Clow, Ed.D. to the position of Principal of Chapel District Elementary School effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Clow will replace Dr. Jodi Colman, who will transfer to Easton Middle School as

Dr. Clow comes to Talbot County following extensive experience as an educator in Caroline County. A graduate of Easton High, she earned a
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University in 2005. She received a Master of Science in School Administration from Johns Hopkins University in 2010, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University in 2015.

“We are very excited to have someone with such a strong background join our leadership team,” said Dr. Griffith. “Being a resident of Cordova will enable Dr. Clow to make a smooth transition into her new role at Chapel District, and I look forward to seeing her foster the continued success of this great school!”

Dr. Clow has Advanced Professional Certification in Elementary Education 1-6 and Middle School, as well as Middle School: English Language Arts grades 4-9, and she is certified at Administrator levels I and II. She began her career teaching grade 6 general education/inclusion language arts at Lockerman Middle School in Denton, MD. In 2012 she became Assistant Principal of Preston Elementary School, and was appointed Principal in 2016. Since 2016 she has also been an Adjunct Professor at Salisbury University.

Clow developed and implemented the Caroline Aspiring Assistant Principal Academy (CAAPA) program to promote leadership succession planning. She also chaired School Improvement Teams at Preston Elementary and Lockerman Middle Schools. She has chaired, facilitated,
and implemented the Maryland Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) program at Preston Elementary School, which was
recognized as a 2016-2018 “Gold” school.

“I am very excited and proud to join the Talbot County Public Schools team and to serve the students, staff, and families of Chapel District
Elementary School,” said Dr. Clow. “Chapel District has a prestigious reputation for academic excellence, which I am certain, while working with various stakeholders, we will continue to uphold. I have thoroughly enjoyed the 14 years I spent working for Caroline County Public Schools, but look forward to being closer to my family and serving the community in which I live.”

Dr. Clow has served on the Caroline County Public Schools Teacher Principal Evaluation Convening Team hosted by the Maryland State
Department of Education (MSDE). She attended Harvard University’s New and Aspiring School Leaders Program and was nominated to participate in the 2016-2017 MSDE Promising Principals Academy. She has participated in numerous other professional development and leadership programs throughout her career. Dr. Clow also organized the North Caroline High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Program, which she coached from 2007 – 2012, as well as the Lockerman Middle School Afterschool Girls Youth Lacrosse program. She lives in Cordova with her husband Josh and two children.

Easton Middle School Students Support People in Recovery

As part of a service learning project, students in Mrs. Lauri Bell’s 8th grade Health classes presented care packages to Chesapeake Treatment Services, LLC.  The care packages will be given to people seeking treatment for addiction.  The 8th graders donated approximately 120 care packages, posters with encouraging sayings, and inspirational art work. With every care package, the students included notes of encouragement to the recipient.

Susan Knade and Matt James from Chesapeake Treatment Services, LLC visited Easton Middle School to pick up the care packages. Although this is not the first time Mrs. Bell has offered this project to her classes, the response this year was outstanding.  “I am very proud of my students for their generosity, and creativity,” said Mrs. Bell.  “It was wonderful to see their enthusiastic participation in this project!”

Chesapeake Treatment Services’ clinics are dedicated to the recovery of individuals struggling with opioid addiction.The mission of Chesapeake Treatment Services is to help every patient break the cycle of addiction and to get on the pathway to sustained long-term recovery.  They provide affordable care in a respectful and welcoming environment.  Find more information on their website at http://www.chesapeaketreatmentservices.com.

APG Media Supports Education Foundation Fundraiser

The Star Democrat/APG Media has joined other local businesses in supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation’s second annual “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” fundraising event as a Principal’s Honor Roll Sponsor.

Photo: L to R – Juanita Hopkins & Becky Firth, Education Foundation Advisory Board; Betsy Griffin, Advertising & Marketing Sales Director and Paul Hagood, Chief Revenue Officer, APG Chesapeake and The Star Democrat; Pam Clay, Laura Heikes and Mike Fisher, Education Foundation Advisory Board.

All proceeds from “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” benefit the Education Foundation’s Grants for Teachers program. To date, the Education Foundation has awarded $33,000 in grants to TCPS teachers for programs at the elementary and secondary level in nearly every academic discipline. “At APG Media we understand how important it is to support public education in our communities and are thrilled to be part of this outstanding event,” said Betsy Griffin, Advertising & Marketing Sales Director, APG Chesapeake and The Star Democrat.

To learn more about supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation, please contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at dgardner@talbotschools.org or by calling 410-822-0330.

Morgan Stanley – The Easton Group Supports TCPS Education Foundation

Morgan Stanley – The Easton Group is generously supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation’s second annual“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” fundraiser at the “Principal’s Honor Roll” level.  The event will take place on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Easton High School Auditorium. Admission is free and all proceeds will benefit the Education Foundation’s Grants for Teachers Program.

Photo: L to R – Laura Heikes, Foundation Advisory Board Chair; Tom Hill, Financial Advisor and Curry Wilford, Financial Advisor, both of Morgan Stanley the Easton Group; Becky Firth and Mike Fisher, Education Foundation Advisory Board Members.

Six teams of 5th graders from all of the TCPS Elementary Schools will test their knowledge and skills, answering questions from a broad range of categories.  Each team also includes a celebrity guest from the sponsoring organization or school community.  Morgan Stanley will sponsor the team from Chapel District Elementary School, and Mr. Curry Wilford, Financial Advisor, will participate as the team’s celebrity guest.

To date, the Education Foundation has awarded more than $33,000 in grants for programs for elementary, middle and high school students in a variety of disciplines.  “At Morgan Stanley we believe in the importance of investing in our community’s most valuable resource, our children,” said Mr. Wilford. “We are very pleased to support the Education Foundation’s Grants for Teachers program by sponsoring this event.”

To learn more about the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation, please contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at dgardner@talbotschools.org or by calling 410-822-0330.

Paris Foods Supports Education Foundation Event

Paris Foods has joined other local businesses in supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation’s second annual “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” fundraising event as a Principal’s Honor Roll Sponsor.

Located on Ocean Gateway in Trappe, Paris Foods Corporation supplies frozen fruits and vegetables to the Foodservice and Industrial markets. Operating from three facilities on the Eastern Seaboard, Paris packages product and distributes in full or partial shipments to the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest. Paris strives to be the most responsive and responsible supplier to its customers.

Photo: L to R – Jane Bramble, Ronshea Duncan, John Schreiber, Laura Heikes (TCPSEF Advisory Board), Shannon Parker, Richard Marks, Emilee Kingsley, Bridget Babich-Dadds, Anthony Dixon, Rosalyn Wilson, Marciesha Holland, Sharon Turner, Amie Taylor, Wendy Pitts, Juanita Hopkins (TCPSEF Advisory Board) Christina Dulin, Jennifer Haller, Carol Fegan, Lisa Woolford.

“At Paris Foods, we recognize the importance of a supporting our public school system,” said Amie Marks Taylor, President,“and we are grateful for the many exceptional members of our team who are graduates of TCPS!”

All proceeds from “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” benefit the Education Foundation’s Grants for Teachers Program. In 2018, the Education Foundation awarded $33,000 in grants to TCPS teachers for programs at the elementary and secondary level in nearly every academic discipline.

To learn more about supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation, please contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at dgardner@talbotschools.org or by calling 410-822-0330.

TCPS Announces 2019-2020 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year

Kevin Carroll and Sindy Reyes

Talbot County Public Schools held a “star-studded” celebration honoring teachers and support staff and announced this year’s winners of Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year at the Milestone in Easton on April 11. The Teacher and Support Staff of the Year Program provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding educators who have innovative ideas, focus positive attention on education, and demonstrate superior commitment to students.

The 2019-2020 Talbot Teacher of the Year is Mr. Kevin Carroll. Mr. Carroll teaches Special Education Self-Contained/Functional Living Skills at Easton High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Special Education K-12 from Grand Canyon University and a Master of Arts in English (TESOL) in 2018. He began his career with TCPS as an Instructional Assistant in Special Education in 2008. Mr. Carroll’s responsibilities include conducting Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and educational testing for students as well as Maryland State Alternative Testing for Special Ed and ELL. He plans and delivers Equity/CARE Professional Development for EHS staff, is the Department Chair for Special Education and serves as a Special Education Transition Coach. In addition, he is the TCPS Night School Manager for the Drop-out Prevention and Re-engagement program.

Mr. Carroll serves in numerous leadership roles advocating for and supporting all students. He is Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Certified and is a Mentor to new Special Education Teachers.He has led Professional Development including a Courageous Conversations Summit and a workshop entitled “Voices of LGBTQ Students…What They Wish Their Teachers Knew.” He is an Easton High ELL Student Advocate/Mentor, assisting students with classroom assignment support, after school tutoring and college and career readiness and has worked in collaboration with Chesapeake College and the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center to develop a support group for ELL students.

Carroll has been recognized by parents through the Special Education Citizen Advisory Committee multiple times throughout his years working with special education students and their families. He has also been named the Giant Teacher of the Month and received Easton High’s Staff “R” for responsible Award.He has volunteered for Talbot Mentors and Special Olympics, and has served as Lead Director for YMCA Camp Lazy Days, a free 5 week summer camp for students with special needs.

Ms. Sindy Reyes has been chosen as the 2019-2020 Support Staff of the Year. Ms. Reyes is an English as a Second Language Instructional Assistant at Easton Elementary – Dobson, where she provides English language support services for kindergarten and newcomer students. A qualified English/Spanish Interpreter, she also assists with enrollment, parent-teacher conferences, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, and special events.

Ms. Reyes has a degree in Elementary Education from Colegio Ana Geurra de Jesus, El Salvador and a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of El Salvador. She has also earned an Associate of Arts from Chesapeake College. She has worked for Talbot County Public Schools since 2001.In addition to her work at Easton Elementary, Ms. Reyes is a tutor at the Easton High Nigh School and an Equity Team member at EES Dobson.

Reyes is also very active in the community having served on the Affordable Housing Program Board since 2001 and on the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center Board. She holds leadership roles at the Iglesia Evangelica Emanuel in Easton MD as a worship leader, Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School coordinator.

“The quote, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’, describes these two individuals.” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “They each work at different ends of the educational spectrum, with Sindy serving our youngest and Kevin serving 14- 21 year-olds. Then at the end of the school day they work collaboratively to provide educational support for night school students.Both are so well deserving of this distinguished recognition for the commitment and passion they bring to TCPS! Congratulations to all of the nominees and finalists for making a difference in the lives of children.”

The finalists for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year were also recognized at the celebration.

Teacher of the Year Finalists: Lynn Aleman, fourth grade and ESOL teacher at EES – Moton; Christopher Flaherty, Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Directors at SMMHS, Caitlin McKee, Special Education Teacher, Easton Elementary – Dobson.

Support Staff of the Year Finalists: Anne McCauley, Behavior Counselor; Jennifer Miller, Senior Computer Technician; Quanesha Miller, Instructional Assistant, EES – Moton.

Team Equinox Wins Easton High’s 5th “Film-In”

On Friday April 6, 2019 the Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway hosted its fifth annual “Film-in” challenge. 15 students on three different teams competed to storyboard, film, and edit a one to four minute narrative sequence, all within the span of eight hours (from 12-8 pm).  The genre of each team’s film, as well as a box of props, an event, theme, film title, and sound effect that had to be incorporated, were not revealed to students until the start of the event. Students were restricted to public spaces in the town of Easton to shoot the entirety of their film. In addition, the Avalon Theatre, MCTV studio, and The Academy of Art, Easton sponsored the event and students were granted access to film at those locations. Members of the Interactive Media Production advisory board were present at the event to support and assist students through the process.

All Film-In participants and community members

Advisory board members Nick Richards, MCTV manager, and Nancy Tabor, Vice President of the Chesapeake Film Festival worked with students and acted as the event’s judges at the end of the evening. Past Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway completers returned as support for the teams. Present were Katelyn Verley and Nat Trice (class of 2018), McKenzie Bugg and Joseph Mueller (class of 2017) and Jonny Small (class of 2016).

At 3:00 pm, all filming ceased and students returned to Easton High School begin the task of editing and creating special effects for their films. It was also revealed at this time that in addition to editing, teams would need to design two posters for their film that focused on communicating the genre and the surprise constraints of their film. During this time, students created a bloopers reel AND wrote their own press release—the winning team’s press release can be seen below.

The teams rose to the challenge and produced diverse and engaging narratives. Team Equinox shot a crime flick in which a bobble head statue is stolen from the Academy of Art, Easton. Team Influenza filmed a musical with an original soundtrack written by Sophomore Galen Marquess and Juniors Neil Siegman and Seth Wagner. Team Sweaty Boyz sequenced a prank show parody with an epic scene that combines a leaf blower and a bowl of salsa and chips. Students applied industry-standard Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to edit their films.

At 8:00 pm students showcased their films and were assessed by the judges with a rigorous list of criteria including sequencing, application of effects, and incorporation of their surprise props and genre.

Team Equinox: (winning team from left to right) Henry Hills, Gary Magill, David Gardner, Britney Lee, Thomas Lee

Chosen as the top film for the evening was “The Usual Suspects,” created by team “Equinox,” which included Easton High School senior Thomas Lee, Junior Henry Hills, and freshmen Gary Magill, David Gardner, and Britney Lee. The students’ completed films will air on MCTV along with an interview about the Film-Inn event. Easton resident Heather Grant and local businesses KilnBorn Creations, Eastcor Engineering and The Tidewater Inn sponsored the event by donating prizes for the winning teams.

Mrs. Garnette Hines, the Interactive Media Production teacher at Easton High, organized the event to challenge students and give them an opportunity to work with professionals in the film industry. Each year she has tried to grow the event to make it better than the last year. This year, all teams were challenged to use an actual film title—“The Usual Suspects,” and reinterpret it in their own way. At the end of the evening Hines announced “The winning film is…The Usual Suspects.”

TCPS Musicians Excel at Solo and Ensemble Festival

Members the Talbot County Public Schools Bands traveled to North Caroline High School last month for the Eastern Shore Band Directors Association (ESBDA) Annual Solo & Ensemble Festival. All participants receive ratings from I to V with I being “Superior”, the highest rating. A rating of II is deemed “Excellent”. Those who earn an Excellent (II) or a Superior Rating (I) receive certificates and are able to order medals representing their achievement. Students who earned a superior also qualified to audition at the state level at Towson University in May.

Photo: Representing St. Michaels Middle High School, Nathan Henckel, Madison White, Molly Fullerton and Marty Fullerton performed at the Annual Solo & Ensemble Festival and earned Superior Ratings.

St. Michaels Middle High School had three musicians compete as follows:

• Molly Fullerton –Trumpet Solo*
• Marty Fullerton – Trumpet Solo*
• Madison White and Nathan Henckel – French Horn and Oboe Duet*

Easton High School Students:

• Mara Stoyanov and Natalie Englehart – Flute Duet*
• Mara Stoyanov and Chillian Cuthbert-Emon – Flute Solo and accompaniment
• Sandra Lane and Calvin Davis – Tenor sax and accompaniment

Photo: Five students from Easton High School competed at Eastern Shore Band Directors Association (ESBDA) Annual Solo & Ensemble Festival earning Superior ratings. Left to right: Calvin Davis, Sandra Lane, Natalie Englehart, Mara Stoyanov, Chillian Cuthbert-Emon.

Easton Middle School Students:

• Abigail Meadows – Clarinet; Charlotte Moseley – Flute; Ian Branic– Trumpet*
• Olivia Tagbo – Flute; Merceyde Wolf – Flute; Elgin Hawley – Alto Sax*
• Grant Kirby – Baritone; Matthew Craig – Baritone; Ian Branic– Trumpet*
• John Schwaninger – Trombone; John Payne – Baritone; Eduardo Diaz-Chavero – Trombone*

• Rebecca Wright – Alto Sax; Livia Lewis – Oboe; Honey Bonilla-Velasquez – Bass Clarinet
• Nancy Trejo-Herrera -Flute; Ashley Sanchez-Morales – Flute; Caleigh Freeman -Flute
• Caroline Horner – Flute ; Matthew Svehla -Alto Sax; Matthew Craig – Baritone
• Julian Hutchison- Trombone; Finn McGuckin – Alto Sax; Caleb Wooters- Trombone


• Taylor Chaney – Clarinet; Ja’Kyra Ware–Clarinet*
• Maya Mosslih– Baritone; Corinne Mead – Trombone*
• Louis Lentz – Snare Drum; Samantha Mason – Snare Drum*
• Louis Lentz – Snare Drum; Sam Pierson – Snare Drum*
• Jeremiah Carter -Snare Drum; Anderson Bartolon – Snare Drum*
• Lily Harrison – Flute; Chloe Machovsky – Tenor Sax*
• Morgan Fike– Flute; Anna Kate Leight – Alto Sax*
• Yuliana Jimenez-Colchado -Alto Sax;Rebecca Wright – Alto Sax
• Jenna Stinson – Snare Drum; Elijah Brown -Snare Drum
• Jenna Stinson – Snare Drum; Brooke Ensminger – Snare Drum
• Anna Fink – Snare Drum; Amorie Blake – Snare Drum
• Anna Fink – Snare Drum; Elijah Brown – Snare Drum
• Ian Branic– Trumpet; Louis Lentz – Snare Drum
• Brian Warner -Trumpet ; Ahltair Baltimore-Trumpet
• Zaniya Lowman – Flute; Aunesti Williams – Clarinet
• Emily Branic – Flute; Kate Adelman – French Horn
• Phillip Horner – Trumpet ; Robert Norbury – Trumpet
• Logan Banks – Baritone ; Maya Mosslih – Baritone
• Isabelle Ludwig -Snare Drum; Kate Adelman – Snare Drum
• Remy Robinson – Baritone; Richard Villeda – Trombone
• Anna Szwaja – Alto Sax ; Jessica Hammond – Flute

*Earned Superior Rating and will audition at the State Level at Towson University in May.

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