TCPS Student Musicians Earn Spot in All-Shore Bands

Students from the Talbot County Public Schools band programs recently auditioned for the Eastern Shore Band Director’s Association (ESBDA) Junior and Senior All-Shore Band.  Students from every county on the Eastern Shore of Maryland compete for limited spots.  The following TCPS students were selected:

Easton Middle School – Directed by Donna Ewing

Flute: Emily Branic – 7th grade, Morgan Fike – 7th grade

Clarinet: Abigail Meadows – 8th grade

Trumpet: Ian Branic – 8th grade, Philip Horner – 7th grade, Brian Warner – 8th grade

French Horn: Kate Adelman – 7th grade

Trombone: Eduardo Diaz-Chavero – 7th grade, Julian Hutchison – 7th grade, John Schwaninger – 7th grade. Richard Villeda – 8th grade, Caleb Wooters – 7th grade

Baritone: Matthew Craig – 1st Chair – 7th grade,Logan Banks – 8th grade, Grant Kirby – 8th grade

Percussion: Louis Lentz – 1st Chair Timpanist; 1st Chair Snare Drum; 1st Chair Mallets – 8th grade

Photo: EMS band members. L-R, 1st row: Donna Ewing, EMS Band Director, Morgan Fike, Emily Branic, Richard Villeda; 2nd row: John Schwaninger, Brian Warner, Kate Adelman; 3rd row: Caleb Wooters, Eduardo Diaz-Chavero, Philip Horner; 4th row: Julian Hutchison, Grant Kirby, Matthew Craig; 5th row: Abigail Meadows, Logan Banks, Louis Lentz, Ian Branic

St. Michaels Middle High School – Directed by Christopher Flaherty

Senior All Shore Trumpet and Featured Pianist – Molly Fullerton – 10th grade

Junior All Shore: Trumpet – Marty Fullerton 7th grade, French Horn – Madison White – 7th grade

Easton High School – Directed by Bri’Yahn Ritchie

Tenor Sax – Ian Mann – 12th grade

Trumpet – William Ross – 9th grade

The All-Shore Band festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 5th &6th at Queen Anne’s County High School Auditorium, with the concert Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

“We are extremely proud of these talented and hard-working musicians,” said James Redman, Fine Arts Curriculum Supervisor.  “Many students audition for a very few spots in these bands, so we are thrilled to have so many of our students representing TCPS at this year’s Festival.”

Talbot Announces 2019 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year Finalists

Each year, Talbot County Public Schools honors teachers and support staff through the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year Program. This provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding educators who have innovative ideas, focus positive attention on education, and demonstrate superior commitment to students.

Any member of the community may nominate teachers or support staff for these prestigious awards. Four finalists have been selected from the nominations for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year. TCPS is pleased to recognize these outstanding educators.

Top: Lynn Aleman and Kevin Carroll. Bottom: Christopher Flaherty and Caitlin McKee.

Teacher of the Year Finalists:

Lynn Aleman teaches fourth grade and ESOL at Easton Elementary – Moton. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Salisbury University in 2006 and a Master of Arts-ESOL for Pre-K – 12 in 2011, also from Salisbury. She has been a member of the TCPS Team since 2006.

Kevin Carroll teaches Special Education 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.

Christopher Flaherty is an Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Director at St. Michaels Middle High School. He received a Bachelor of Music from Catholic University in 2003 and a Master of Music from Arizona State University in 2007. He has an Advanced Professional Certificate in PreK-12 Music Education. He began his teaching career in Arizona in 2007 and joined Talbot County Public Schools in 2014.

Caitlin McKee is a Special Education Teacher for students in grades PreK-1st at Easton Elementary – Dobson. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Unified Elementary and Special Education from Juniata College in 2006 and a Master of Science in Special Education from Drexel University in 2015. She holds Advanced Professional Certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education, and has been a Special Education teacher for Talbot County Public Schools since 2011.

Top: Anne McCauley and Jennifer Miller. Bottom: Quanesha Miller and Sindy Reyes.

Support Staff of the Year Finalists:

Anne McCauley is a Behavior Counselor, providing school-based mental health services for TCPS students. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Salisbury University. She began her career with Talbot County Public Schools in 2010.

Jennifer Miller is a Senior Computer Technician, responsible for the implementation and management of TCPS student information systems. She holds an Associates of Applied Science from Chesapeake College and is a graduate of St. Michaels High School. She began serving Talbot County students as a school secretary in 1992.

Quanesha Miller is an Instructional Assistant for English Language Learners at Easton Elementary – Moton. She is a graduate of Easton High School and has attended Chesapeake College and Coppin State University. She joined TCPS as a substitute teacher in 2016.

Sindy Reyes is an English as a Second Language Instructional Assistant at Easton Elementary – Dobson. She 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.

“We received many thoughtful nominations for this year’s Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year Awards,” explained Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “The heartfelt testimonies show the dedication of our amazing TCPS team members.”

The 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the year winners will be announced at the annual celebration on April 11, 2019.

Education Foundation Awards More Than $33,000 in Teacher Grants

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation is pleased to announce that $33,174 in grants were awarded to TCPS teachers during 2018. The Foundation has funded a total of 26 projects in the elementary, middle and high schools.

“Through the generosity of our community, the Education Foundation is able to fund innovative projects that give teachers and students the opportunity to take learning to another level,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, Advisory Board Chair. “We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who have taken the lead in supporting this very important mission, and are looking forward to seeing more requests.”

From L-R: F. Graham Lee, Ty Russ, Laura Heikes, Pam Clay, Kelly L. Griffith, Superintendent, Juanita Hopkins, Rebeca Firth, David Short and Michael Fisher.

Formed in the Fall of 2016 the Education Foundation partners with the Talbot County community to promote excellence in public education and to provide financial support and other resources to enhance the quality of academic opportunities for all TCPS students. The projects funded in 2018 through the Teacher Grants program are as follows:

Diversity in Classroom Libraries – SMES
Hands On Life Science – EES-D
Powering Computational Creativity- EMS
Strategy Game Club – SMMHS
The STEM Classroom – CDES
Equitable Learning With Literature – EHS
STEM with Drones – EMS
Choir Competition Gowns – SMMHS
Creating Robotic Engineers – GT
Destination Imagination Trip to Globals – SM
Outdoor Classroom – EMS
Students for Streams- All Elementary
No Soil, No Problem! – CDES
PBIS Weekly Lesson – WMES
Diverse Classroom Posters & Resources – WMES
SMMHS Production – All Shook Up! – SMMHS
InterAct Story Theatre – EES-D
Student Published Books – CDES
Population Ecology – 5th grade Gifted & Talented
Comfortable with College – SMMHS
Flexible Seating – SMES
Seas the Day Room – WMES
Keeping UP with Technology – EMS
Campus Mosaic – Shine it UP SM
Understanding Archaeology –
The Hill Project -3rd Gifted & Talented
Aquatic Science Field Lab – SMMHS

“We are excited about the educational opportunities that the Education Foundation has been able to supplement for our students,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “I would especially like to thank our staff who took the time to apply for the grants. This progress also would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and tenacity of the Education Foundation Advisory Board. We are grateful for their hard work!”

The members of the Education Foundation Advisory Board are: Patrick Fitzgerald, Chair; Laura Heikes, Vice Chair; Pam Clay; Gwen Fike; Michael Fisher, MD; Rebecca Firth, Ph.D.; Howard Freedlander; Greta Gartman; Jeremy Hillyard; Juanita Hopkins; F. Graham Lee; Victoria Gomez Lozano; Richard Marks; Jo Ann Asparagus Murray; Ty Russ; David Short.

The Education Foundation raises funds through special events, such as “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” and “Mission Possible –Celebrating TCPS Alumni and Supporting Teachers,” as well as the“Honor A Teacher” program, and annual and planned giving.The TCPS Education Foundation Funds are component funds of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.To learn more about supporting the TCPS Education Foundation visit their website at www.tcpsedfoundation.org or contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at 410-822-0330 ext. 102 or by email at dgardner@talbotschools.org.

Local High School Students Selected for Maryland General Assembly Page Program

Minahil Cheema (right) will serve as Page and Lydia Shreves (left) will be the alternate.

Two local high school students have been chosen to represent Talbot County in the Maryland General Assembly Student Page Program this year.  Minahil Cheema will serve as Page and Lydia Shreves will be the alternate.

Minahil Cheema is a Senior at Easton High School.  She is President of the Interact Club and the LEO Club and Vice President of the Health Community Service Club.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Yearbook Staff  and the Latin Honor Society.  She has also been a member of the Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball team as well as the Varsity Unified Bocce and Tennis Teams and participates in Tae Kwan Do.  She currently serves as an Intern for Global Vision 2020, a non-profit which provides basic eye care screening and prescription eyeglasses to people in low resource and/or remote areas of the world.

Minahil has received numerous awards including a Rotary Citation with Presidential Distinction, a Rotary Youth Leadership Award, and recognition for Leadership Initiative in Interact Club.  She also received the Minds in Motion Scholar Athlete Award and awards for Excellence in several classes, including Advanced Placement Biology and Chemistry.  “I am both grateful and blessed to have such a rewarding opportunity at an early age,” Minahil said.  “I’m looking forward to this experience and exposure to working with those who contribute to our local governance,” she added. “This will fuel my inspiration for my personal future goal of running for the MD Senate when I’m eligible,  as well as my current focus on philanthropy within my community.”

Lydia Shreves is the 2018-2019 St. Michaels Middle High student representative to the Board of Education  A senior, she has held numerous other leadership positions, including Yearbook Editor, Student Government Association President, class president and class treasurer, and President of the National Honor Society. She volunteers for Character Counts, Games on Wheels and the Six Pillar Century Ride.  She has been recognized with the American Legion School Award  and Minds in Motion and was the Laws of Life Essay contest winner.  Lydia has also been active in athletics, serving as team captain for the Basketball team and earning Offensive MVP, Rookie of the Year and “Saints” awards.  She played Tennis in the #1 singles spot as well as playing on the Varsity Field Hockey team.  Lydia plans to attend a 4 year college or university to study Political Science.

Maryland high school seniors have served as student pages for members of the state legislature since 1970. Each year 105 pages and 36 alternates from across Maryland are selected by their local school systems to represent their schools and Counties.  Each selected page serves two nonconsecutive weeks in either the Senate or House of Delegates.  During the thirteen weeks of session, which run from the second week in January to early April, each page serves one week during the first eight weeks and returns for a second week during the last five.  The duties of pages are driven by the schedule of the chamber to which they are assigned.

Requirements include being a high school senior, residing and attending a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland, having an interest in government and history, a record of good conduct, scholastic achievement and being outgoing, courteous, reliable and efficient.  Interested students should apply through their schools in September and selection is completed by October 1st of each year.

Nominations are Being Accepted for TCPS Teacher and Support Staff of the Year

Talbot County Public Schools is excited to announce that the process to select the 2019 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year has begun!  Is there a teacher or member of the TCPS support staff who is truly outstanding, has made a significant impact on your family, and/or goes above and beyond in their commitment as a professional?  The Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year programs are a fantastic way to recognize educators who exemplify this year’s theme, #WeAreTCPS.

The Talbot County Teacher of the Year program honors teachers who represent the best in the profession. It provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding teachers who are doing incredible things both inside and outside of the classroom. It also helps us to focus positive attention on public education. The teacher must meet the following requirements to be considered for the Talbot County Teacher of the Year:

• Hold state certification in area(s) of assignment, Pre-K through 12th Grade
• Be a current full-time classroom teacher as defined by a teaching contract, to include: librarians, specialists, intervention teachers, ESL teachers, gifted education teachers, instructional coaches and special education teachers
• Have a minimum of five years of exemplary teaching experience
• Plan to continue in an active teaching status for at least one year
• Submit a professional resume that addresses the following: Education, Certifications, Experience, Leadership and Awards/Other Recognition.

The Talbot County Support Staff of the Year program recognizes exceptional support professionals such as instructional assistants, bus drivers, custodians, plant operations staff, administrative support, and other noncertified TCPS Team members who exemplify a positive attitude toward their role, strengthen and improve the learning environment, and demonstrate a strong belief in the value of public education.

Any individual within the school system or any member of the community may nominate a candidate to apply to be Talbot’s Teacher of the Year or Support Staff of the Year.The nomination forms are available on-line on the TCPS website homepage www.talbotschools.org.

Nominations for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year are due by Friday, February 1st.Nominations will be reviewed by the selection committee to ensure that each candidate meets stated criteria and submitted to Administrators for approval.  Eligible nominees will choose whether or not to submit an application packet for consideration.  Four finalists will be selected for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year.Finalists are recognized and winners announced at the annual Talbot Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year Celebration on April 11, 2019.

Easton High School Students are Inducted into National Honor Society

A ceremony was held at Easton High School to induct one senior and 4 sophomores into The J. Willard Davis Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). NHS is a national organization established in 1921, which serves to recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

To be considered for induction into the National Honor Society,students must meet minimum criteria which include a cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 86.5%, cumulative attendance rate equal to or greater than 94%, no more than 2 disciplinary referrals, and completion of at least 100 service learning hours.

The new inductees are (left to right) Taylan Brooks, Georgia Foster, Thatcher Knox, Henry Michaels and Colleen Pogue.

Qualifying students are given the opportunity to submit applications and recommendations, which are reviewed by Easton High School faculty. The Fall 2018 NHS inductees are as follows: Senior – Taylan Brooks; Sophomores – Georgia Foster, Thatcher Knox, Henry Michaels, and Colleen Pogue.

The induction ceremony included the lighting of the Knowledge Candle and the presentation of the Four Qualities of the National Honor Society by chapter officers Phoebe Fisher, President; Lucas Joshi, Vice President; Rachael Chansler, Treasurer and Emily Redmond, Secretary. This was followed by the reciting of the NHS Pledge by all current and newly inducted members.English Teacher Lenore Burkhardt serves as Easton High School’s National Honor Society Faculty Advisor.

India Johnston is Ben Franklin Artist of the Month

Easton High Senior India Johnston was  selected as the Ben Franklin Artist of the Month for November 2018.  India was chosen by Mr. Jonathan Crist, Easton High Art Teacher, for her exceptional still life drawings.

L-R: Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools; Jonathan Crist, Easton High Art Teacher; India Johnston, and Mary-Ann Milligan, Owner, Ben Franklin Crafts.

“I selected India’s work because of her ability to recognize human figures and develop her own approach to accurately representing those figures in her drawings,” said Crist.  “I also wanted to recognize her because she does such an awesome job helping my students that are just learning.”

Mary-Ann Milligan from Ben Franklin presented India with a special gift from the store in recognition of the award. “We really enjoy sponsoring this award for the outstanding art students at Easton High,” said Mrs. Milligan.  “It has been so rewarding for us to see their work and to hear about their exciting plans for the future!”

Maryland Report Cards are In for Talbot Public Schools; Chapel Elementary Leads the List

The Maryland State Department of Education released the new Maryland Report Card website today. The website contains report cards for every school in the state, including all Talbot County Public Schools.

The Maryland Report Cards provide each school’s overall score with total points earned, percentile ranking among all schools in Maryland, and a star rating based on the State’s new accountability system. These scores reflect school performance on multiple components. For elementary and middle schools, the system includes academic achievement, academic progress, progress in achieving English language proficiency, and measures of school quality and student success. For high schools, the system includes academic achievement, graduation rate, progress in English language proficiency, readiness for postsecondary success, and measures of school quality and student success. Other measures such as science and social studies assessments, school climate surveys, and computational learning will be added to the MD Report Card in the future, which could significantly impact scores.

“Since this data has just been released, we will take time to delve into the details to determine strengths and areas for improvement,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools. “It is important to note that because of the varying demographics of some of our schools, some scoring components are not able to be measured and it may be difficult to compare some of our schools to one another. Overall, I am proud of the progress of our schools thus far while working the 2020 Vision strategic plan, and I look forward to continued growth in outcomes as we incorporate this information.”

Maryland introduced the new School Report Cards so students, parents, educators and community members could better understand how their schools are performing, just as report cards help parents understand how their children are doing. The goal of the school report card is to provide a starting point and to offer concise and easy-to-understand information for each school. The scores for Talbot County Public Schools are as follows:

Chapel District Elementary School earned 78% of the possible points, received 5 out of 5 stars and was in the 90th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Easton Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 70th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

St. Michaels Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 71st percentile compared to other schools in the state.

White Marsh Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 71st percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Tilghman Elementary School earned 78% of the possible points, received 5 out of 5 stars and was in the 89th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Easton Middle School earned 52% of the possible points, received 3 out of 5 stars and was in the 36th percentile compared to other middle schools in the state.

St. Michaels Middle High School earned a combined 62% of the possible points and received 4 out of 5 stars. Separately, St. Michaels Middle School was in the 47th percentile compared to other middle schools and St. Michaels High School was in the 67th percentile compared to other high schools in the state.

Easton High School earned 62% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 52nd percentile compared to other high schools in the state.

The school district is encouraging parents and other members of the community to explore the new Maryland Report Card website at MdReportCard.org, where the individual School Report Cards can be found, as well as additional resources which explain how the results were calculated. The Maryland School Report Card represents an exciting opportunity to empower and inform schools, parents, and community members so that every school and every student in the state can succeed. It not only gives us data about our schools, it also brings together that data in a usable way to help us ask questions, find answers, make decisions and take action.

New School Report Cards Released by Maryland State Department of Education

The Maryland State Department of Education released the new Maryland Report Card website today. The website contains report cards for every school in the state, including all Talbot County Public Schools.

The Maryland Report Cards provide each school’s overall score with total points earned, percentile ranking among all schools in Maryland, and a star rating based on the State’s new accountability system. These scores reflect school performance on multiple components. For elementary and middle schools, the system includes academic achievement, academic progress, progress in achieving English language proficiency, and measures of school quality and student success. For high schools, the system includes academic achievement, graduation rate, progress in English language proficiency, readiness for post secondary success, and measures of school quality and student success. Other measures such as science and social studies assessments, school climate surveys, and computational learning will be added to the MD Report Card in the future,which could significantly impact scores.

“Since this data has just been released, we will take time to delve into the details to determine strengths and areas for improvement,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools. “It is important to note that because of the varying demographics of some of our schools, some scoring components are not able to be measured and it may be difficult to compare some of our schools to one another. Overall, I am proud of the progress of our schools thus far while working the 2020 Vision strategic plan, and I look forward to continued growth in outcomes as we incorporate this information.”

Maryland introduced the new School Report Cards so students, parents, educators and community members could better understand how their schools are performing, just as report cards help parents understand how their children are doing. The goal of the school report card is to provide a starting point and to offer concise and easy-to-understand information for each school. The scores for Talbot County Public Schools are as follows:

Chapel District Elementary School earned 78% of the possible points, received 5 out of 5 stars and was in the 90th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Easton Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 70th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

St. Michaels Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 71st percentile compared to other schools in the state.

White Marsh Elementary School earned 71% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 71st percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Tilghman Elementary School earned 78% of the possible points, received 5 out of 5 stars and was in the 89th percentile compared to other elementary schools in the state.

Easton Middle School earned 52% of the possible points, received 3 out of 5 stars and was in the 36th percentile compared to other middle schools in the state.

St. Michaels Middle High School earned a combined 62% of the possible points and received 4 out of 5 stars. Separately, St. Michaels Middle School was in the 47th percentile compared to other middle schools and St. Michaels High School was in the 67th percentile compared to other high schools in the state.

Easton High School earned 62% of the possible points, received 4 out of 5 stars and was in the 52nd percentile compared to other high schools in the state.

We encourage parents and other members of the community to explore the new Maryland Report Card website at MdReportCard.org, where the individual School Report Cards can be found, as well as additional resources which explain how the results were calculated. The Maryland School Report Card represents an exciting opportunity to empower and inform schools, parents, and community members so that every school and every student in the state can succeed. It not only gives us data about our schools, it also brings together that data in a usable way to help us ask questions, find answers, make decisions and take action.

EMS Students Support People in Recovery through Service Learning Project

The students in Mrs. Lauri Bell’s health classes recently created care packages for the Chesapeake Treatment Center LLC. as part of a service learning project. The care packages were given to people in treatment for drug addiction and drug abuse, and provided basic necessities such as soap, shampoo, tooth brushes and toothpaste. The students also included individual messages of encouragement for the clients of the center.   This quarter, the students contributed 66 care packages to the center.  Amber Rippeon and Matt James of the Chesapeake Treatment Center visited the school to pick up the care packages.  “This is always an exciting day when we pass along the care packages,” said Lauri Bell.  “The students get to see their hard work being appreciated and it’s a great way to help people.”

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