TCPS Appoints Natasha Panduwawala and Lydia Shreves as Student Representatives to Board of Ed

Natasha Panduwawala and Lydia Shreves

Two local high school students were chosen to represent their respective schools as members of the TCPS Board of Education for the 2018-2019 school year following an application and interview process. The students were officially sworn in during the September 19 Board Meeting.

Natasha Panduwawala attends Easton High School and has extensive leadership experience in her school community and beyond.  She has served as President of the Latin Club, Key Club, and National Latin Honor Society.  She served in Student Government as Treasurer for the class of 2019 during her sophomore and junior year and is a member of the National Honor Society, through which she volunteers as a Peer Tutor. This year she was elected President of the National Junior Classical League, an organization for middle and high school students in classical courses, and one of the largest academic youth organizations in the world.

Natasha has been active in Easton High’s Theatre and Choral programs and has played Warrior Lacrosse and Unified Bocce.  She also attended the 2018 Youth Leadership Conference on Asian and Pacific Islander Health at Stanford University.

In 2016, while traveling to Sri Lanka for a wedding, Natasha learned of a tremendous need in her family’s home country for orthopedic aids for the less fortunate.  Upon her return, she quickly acted and formed a non-profit to collect the needed supplies, and raised the funds to travel back to Sri Lanka to deliver them.  She also provided donated school supplies to a Sri Lanka orphanage.

Natasha has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Rotary Youth Leadership Award,Carson Scholar Award, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.   She was a United States Achievement Academy Honoree, and has twice received the EHS Women of Tomorrow Certificate of Recognition.“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be seated with the board members for this school year,” exclaimed Natasha.  “Ever since my freshman year at Easton High, I have been curious about our school system and how the decisions of the Board of Education positively affect thousands of students as years go by,” she adds. “I pursued being the Student Rep because I could have the chance to see those decisions in action and represent Easton High School simultaneously.”

Lydia Shreves is a senior at Saint Michaels Middle High, where she actively participates in school clubs and organizations.  She is President of Student Government and a Yearbook Editor and is the President of the National Honor Society.  She has served on the Prom Committee, the African-American Alliance, Students Helping Other People, the Gay-Straight Alliance and was a member of the Destination Imagination Team Aero “DI”namics that travelled to the Global Finals competition in Nashville, TN.

Lydia Shreves and Natasha Panduwawala attended their first meeting as student representatives to the Talbot County Board of Ed on September 19.

Lydia is very active in Saints Athletics, playing field hockey, basketball and tennis.  She has been team captain of the basketball team and was awarded Rookie of the Year, Offensive MVP and received the Saints Award.

Her community service activities include serving as a Character Counts Coach, and participating in Games on Wheels, the Six Pillars Century Bike Race, and Teen Court.  “I became interested in this position because I am interested in not only actively participating in the Board of Education but also learning more about how it functions,” Lydia said.  “I am looking forward to serving as St. Michaels’ student board representative as I hope to bring an authentic students’ perspective to the Board of Education this 2018-2019 school year!”

Natasha and Lydia will attend the monthly Board of Education meetings during which they will report to the Board on important happenings at their schools.

Kent School to Host Secondary School Fair

On Monday, October 1, Kent School will host a secondary school fair for students in Grades Seven and Eight and their parents or guardians. The event will be held in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium from 6:30 pm through 8:00 pm. The fair is free and open to the public. Several independent and area public schools, both day schools and boarding schools will participate. A partial list of participating schools includes The Gunston School, Mercersburg Academy, St. Andrew’s School, West Nottingham Academy, Madeira School, Westtown School, Woodberry Forest School, Kent County High School and Queen Anne’s County High School.

According to Tricia Cammerzell, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, “The purpose of the fair is to bring as many secondary schools together in one place at one time so students and parents can get an overview of the wonderful regional options for high school. This is an opportunity for families to speak with admission representatives and decide if they want to delve further into the admission process for a particular school.”

The secondary school process at Kent School is an intentional one that includes an academically rigorous program coupled with faculty support, small class discussions and student accountability. Nancy Mugele, Head of Kent School said, “At Kent School we are proud of the work we do for each student to prepare them for success in their chosen high school. We conduct mock interviews, create classroom situations similar to high school classes and write in-depth recommendations. As stated in our mission, we are invested in ‘helping each student reach their full potential for academic, athletic, artistic and moral excellence’. The secondary school fair is an important tool to help guide students and parents through the discovery, application and enrollment process.” Mugele continued, “I hope families from throughout the Kent County and Queen Anne’s County communities will join us to learn more about some of these exceptional schools.”

Kent School is located at 6788 Wilkins Lane in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River.

Kent School Adds Fall Fest to Osprey Triathlon

Each year Kent School hosts the Osprey Triathlon, a race featuring a seven-mile bike ride, a two-mile kayak and a three-mile run. The 2018 race will be held on Saturday, September 29 on and around the Kent School campus. This year immediately following the race, Kent School will host a Family Fall Fest with games, live music, activities and food. The Fall Fest is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend whether or not they are competing in the triathlon. Admission is free and most activities cost just $1.00. Kent School is located at 6788 Wilkins Lane in Chestertown.

The Osprey Triathlon is in its sixth year and draws racers from throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Racers may compete as individuals or as two- or three-person relay teams. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of age groups. The course will cover mixed surfaces including pavement, gravel paths and some grassy areas. The race will start and finish on the Kent School campus. The Osprey Triathlon is open to racers aged 9 and over. Racers between the ages of 9 and 12 must be part of a relay team with at least one team member over 16 years of age. For those racers without a kayak, a limited number will be available for rent. Advance registration is required to reserve a kayak. Race registration may be found online by visiting www.kentschool.orgpage/giving/osprey-triathlon. The race begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. and will be held rain or shine

The Fall Fest is a new addition to the events of the day. Games and activities will include a petting zoo, a dunking booth, ladder golf, fish ping pong and much more. Musician, Terrick Denny will be performing live music. With food trucks and other refreshments on site, Kent School’s Fall Fest will have something for everyone. The Fall Fest will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and will be held rain or shine.

Jen Matthews ’01, Director of Development and Alumni Relations and coordinator for these events said, “The Osprey Triathlon has grown over the years with the number registrations closing in on our 200 racer capacity. This year, with the addition of the Fall Fest, we expect our campus to be brimming with people, energy and activity.”  Matthews continued, “A lot of volunteer work goes into planning and preparing for these events. I would like to thank members of our PTF (Parents, Teachers and Friends) for their support as well as our sponsors, especially our lead sponsors Baird Wealth Management, Gunther McClary Real Estate, RealTerm, David A. Bramble, Inc., FAM&M and Peoples Bank.

For more information on the Osprey Triathlon and Fall fest, contact Jen Matthews ’01 at or call 410-778-4100 Ext. 350. Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown serves boys and girls from Preschool through Grade 8. Visit for more information.

Kent School is located at 6788 Wilkins Lane in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River.

Kent School to Kick Off 50th Anniversary Year of Celebration

The 2018 – 2019 academic year marks the 50th Anniversary of Kent School and we are taking this opportunity to celebrate 50 years of excellence, reflect on the present, look ahead to the 
future, and honor the legacy of 
our School. In this joyous moment in our history, we salute former Heads, Trustees and faculty/staff members for their contributions to our School and for 
laying the foundation for our continued success. We are deeply grateful for our current Trustees and the entire Employee Group for their steadfast commitment to our School. Over the past five
 decades, we have educated a thousand outstanding alumni and students. We believe that our graduates and current students are the empathetic leaders that our world greatly needs.

All members of the Kent School community, including parents, alumni, parents of alumni and former employees as well as members of our greater Mid-Shore community are invited to attend Kent School’s Fiftieth Anniversary Convocation on Friday, September 28 at 2:30 p.m as Kent School officially launches a year of Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations.

The convocation will include remarks from Nancy Mugele, Head of School, Chris McClary ‘91, President of the Board of Trustees, Merritt Conner ‘19, Student Government President and visiting leaders. Students in a variety of grades will also participate. “I am honored and humbled to lead Kent School into its next 50 years,” said Nancy Mugele, Head of School. “I know that Joan Merriken, Founding Headmistress of Kent School would be so proud of the school she so loved and I look forward to celebrating our successes in the year to come.”

Kent School accepted its first students in 1968 with the first class graduating in 1969. The School received accreditation from the Maryland State Department of Education and was approved as a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. By the fall of 1969, an eighth grade class had been added and a fourth classroom addition to the main structure completed to accommodate an enrollment increase of forty-five students. Throughout the 1970’s Kent School’s enrollment continued to increase, new programs were added to the curriculum, and additional faculty employed. In 1974 the Board of Trustees approved the construction of a gymnasium/classroom building. In 1986 the Little School opened for three and four-year-olds. In 2011 a new Library was built and two additional classrooms were added to the Middle School. The School is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools. Kent School was named a Green School in 2017 by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.

Kent School’s mission is to guide its students in reaching their potential for academic, artistic, athletic and moral excellence. The School’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information about Kent School’s Fiftieth Anniversary Convocation visit or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.

John Seidel to Speak on Sustainable Bay Future on Oct. 3

John Seidel, Director of Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES), will discuss how Eastern Shore residents can play a pivotal role in preserving the Chesapeake Bay watershed at a presentation Oct. 3 at the Talbot Country Club in Easton.

Seidel will present “Living Landscapes: Linking Land, Water, and People for a Sustainable Future” at the event, which is open to the public for a fee of $15 and includes a reception that begins at 5:30 p.m.

As director of the CES, Seidel is at the forefront of the College’s efforts to bring the human and societal elements together within the environmental equation. Balancing natural systems and human communities so that each can thrive is an overarching goal to achieving a healthy Chesapeake Bay and Bay watershed. From restoring habitat that brought back the region’s quail, to operating the only bird-banding station on the upper Eastern Shore that provides critical long-term data on bird migration, to providing students myriad opportunities to study the complex ecology and culture of the Bay, CES is helping to solve sustainability challenges by integrating environmental issues and social values.

Seidel is also an associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies and conducts the College’s summer program in archaeology.

Washington College and Talbot Country Club are co-sponsoring the presentation at 6142 Country Club Drive, Easton, Maryland. The $15 fee pays for the reception and admittance, and is payable by credit card or check to Talbot Country Club at the event. Washington College is not accepting payments. Please RSVP by Sept. 28 to Victoria Corcoran at 410-778-7805 or

Quakers Welcome Young Families to Open House Sept. 21

Have you ever wondered if there’s a place for Quakerism in your family?

Wonder no more. The children’s education program of Third Haven Friends Meeting invites the community to an Open House to learn more about what Quakerism has to offer young families. The Open House is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Third Haven’s campus at 405 South Washington Street downtown. Third Haven is about a block and a half south of Shore Regional Medical Center (formerly Memorial Hospital at Easton).

The Open House will feature a presentation by Melinda Wenner Bradley, a Quaker youth engagement expert with extensive experience in children’s spiritual development; and Kimani Keaton, a children and families program facilitator. Activities will include an easy supper, games for the whole family, a tour of Third Haven, and ample opportunity to ask questions and share experiences about raising peaceful kids in a busy, hectic world.

Learn about Faith and Play, beautiful stories about Quakerism and Quaker values, told by teachers trained in a storytelling-inspired manner. Meet Cherie Baron and Kristen Hanlon, who led this year’s summer camps at Third Haven and who will teach Quakers in Nature, which helps kids build their toolbox of mindfulness techniques by immersing them in nature.

Childcare and abundant playtime for children will be available during the Open House.

Look for other Third Haven children’s events online at, including regular programs focused on mindfulness in nature, storytelling about Quakerism and social action.  RSVP or send questions to Amy Owsley, Religious Education Clerk, at

A Memorable Commute to Gunston

Group shot of all new students

Early each September, the Corsica River comes alive with a flotilla of boats carrying new students to the Gunston School for its annual Embarkation Ceremony. In this moving and symbolic ceremony, 66 new students arrived to the 35-acre waterfront campus by boat. Each new student was met at the dock by the Headmaster, John Lewis, signed the school’s honor document, Responsibilities of the Community, and shook the hands of the faculty, administration, as well as each individual Gunston student.

“We’re a community that values both scholarship and character,” said Gunston’s Assistant Headmaster Christie Grabis, “and the Embarkation ceremony seeks to honor these values.” For the 108th time, Gunston—a co-educational college preparatory high school—opened its doors to welcome 204 students from 5 Maryland counties, Middletown, Delaware, as well as a handful of international students who have decided to pursue their education in the United States.

The Gunston School Launches Innovative New Program, the Chesapeake Watershed Semester

On a perfect summer evening in August, the launch of the Chesapeake Watershed Semester was celebrated with a gathering of students, families, partners, and supporters.  With a warm welcome by Gunston’s Board Chair, Jim Wright, and inspiring words by Headmaster John Lewis, Gunston formally launched the first cohort of the program with full enrollment of 13 students.

Director, Emily Beck, says “We’ve designed and built an educational program that is immersive, rigorous, and place-based.  The watershed’s 64,000 square miles forms our classroom with students completing five weeks in the field during the semester. Over the course of the fifteen-week semester, students will weave together science and public policy, time in the lab and in the field, and direct action with reflection. The semester concludes with students presenting their independent research and action projects at a regional symposium. We fully believe that today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and that it is critical to engage them in an educational experience that is equal to the challenges of their time.”

Pictured L-R: Caroline Taylor, Caroline Roser, Katie Schiwy, Nick Kellogg, Yanni Harris, Camy Kelly, Zachary Goss, Phil Ashley, Brooks Armstrong, Keller Evans, Mason Rudolfs, Menel Harris, not pictured – Cole Evans

“The Chesapeake Watershed Semester is a powerful opportunity to expand our educational paradigm and offer students a 21st Century learning experience that empowers them with real-world knowledge, critical thinking capacities, and leadership skills” she adds. “The restoration and sustainable management of the Chesapeake Bay is a litmus test for humanity’s capacity to maintain ecological harmony, and The Chesapeake Watershed Semester seeks to provide students with the intellectual, social, and leadership tools to successfully respond to these challenges. It is a unique opportunity for highly motivated high school juniors or seniors to join a talented community of learners who will immerse themselves in the study and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay for one semester. Through dynamic and diverse field-study Expeditions, students travel the region meeting with stakeholders and conducting research. While in residence on our waterfront campus, students take honors and AP level classes while maintaining an intense, hands-on engagement with the natural environment.”

Such a rich and robust program would not be possible with the support and inspiration of our program partners! Our partners in designing and launching the program include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Sultana Education Foundation, Washington College, and the Harry Hughes Center for Agroecology.

Semester schools are inspired by the collegiate “semester abroad” program; designed and adapted for high school students. Though not widely known, semester schools have been around for several decades. Semester schools offer a full semester of academic credit as well as a wealth of knowledge and new experiences for students who return to their four-year institutions upon completing the semester. Each program offers a unique curriculum and learning environment.

Beyond the academics, semester schools offer motivated students powerfully transformative experience. Students who attend semester schools develop poise, grit, and a firm sense of self; all hallmarks of 21st Century education. Indeed, colleges view a student’s decision to attend a semester school highly and reflective of the students maturity and college readiness.

The Gunston School has established itself as a regional and national leader for environmental teaching and learning with its annual Chesapeake Bay Studies week of field courses, successive Green School certifications, its unparalleled 35-acre waterfront campus on the shores of the Corsica River in Centreville, MD, and finally with the launch of the Watershed Semester.

To learn more about the Chesapeake Watershed Semester visit or call 410.758.0620

TCPS Class of 2018 Includes Two National AP Scholars

Both Easton High and Saint Michaels Middle High schools have reported outstanding results for the class of 2018. Of the combined total of 323 students receiving diplomas, 82% plan to enter a two- or four-year college or technical school, 13% will enter directly into the workforce and 5% will serve our country in the military.

The Saint Michaels Middle High School Class of 2018 included 66 graduates receiving diplomas.

Of the 323 TCPS Class of 2018 graduates:

• 177 (55%)completed at least one Advanced Placement Course before graduating.
• 83 (27%) earned credit for at least one dual enrollment course at the community college level.
• 194 (59%) seniors fulfilled requirements for at least one Career and Technology Education program (this is more than double the state average!
• The composite SAT score was 1095 for math and critical reading (an increase of 15 points from 2017), while the ACT composite average increased to 23.6.
• TCPS graduates were awarded a record high total of $16,752,086 in scholarships.

The class of 2018 also included two National AP Scholars, Alyssa Lucero and Matthew Langfitt, both graduates of Easton High School. To achieve National AP Scholar status, students must earn a score of 4 or higher on all Advanced Placement Exams taken and have completed at least 8 exams. Alyssa Lucero graduated 6th in her class with a 4.03 GPA, and she completed 10 AP classes while attending EHS. Alyssa will be attending University of Maryland College Park (UMD). Matthew Langfitt graduated with scores of 4 or 5 in a total of 9 Advanced Placement Classes.He will attend University of Maryland Baltimore Campus, entering as a second semester sophomore with 40 credits.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the class of 2018, and I am confident that they will do great things during the next chapter of their life,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, TCPS Superintendent. “Our team of educators is committed to ensuring that our students develop the global competencies they will need for active, responsible citizenship in an increasingly interconnected world, and this is reflected in our graduates’ achievements.”

The Easton High School Class of 2018 included 257 diploma recipients.

The list of colleges and universities to which TCPS students were accepted is equally impressive, and includes three acceptances to Ivy League Schools. The complete list is as follows:

Albright College
Advanced Technology Institute
American University
Anne Arundel Community College
Arcadia University
Arizona State University
Art Institute of Chicago
Atlanta Technical College
Auburn University
Automotive Training Center
Bates College
Berry College
Bloomsburg University
Bowie State University
Bridgewater College
Brooklyn College
Campbell University
Cape Fear Community College
Carpentry Trade School
Catholic University
Cedarville Automotive
Chesapeake College
Chico State University
Christopher Newport University
City College of New York
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
College of Charleston
College of William & Mary
Covenant College
Culinary Institute of America
Davis & Elkins
Delaware Technical Community College
Delaware College of Art & Design
Drexel University
East Carolina University
Elizabethtown College
Elon University
Embry Riddle University
Emory & Henry College
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Flagler College
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Tech
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Frostburg University
Furman University
George Mason University
Gettysburg College
Golf Academy of America
Grand Valley State University
Hampton University
High Point University
Howard University
Hunter College
Indiana State University
Indiana University
Ithaca College
Jacksonville University
James Madison University
Liberty University
Longwood University
Loyola University
Lynchburg College
Marquette University
Marshall University
Mary Baldwin University
Maryland Institute College of Art
McDaniel College
MD School of Fire Technology
Merchant Marine Academy
Mercyhurst North East
Methodist University
Michigan State University
Michigan Tech
Mississippi State
Monmouth University
Morgan State University
Mount St. Mary’s University
Muhlenberg College
Niagara University
North Carolina State University
Northern Illinois University
Norwich University
Notre Dame of MD University
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio University
Old Dominion University
Oral Roberts University
Otterbein University
Pace University
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Palm Beach University
Parsons The New School
Paul Mitchell School
Penn State
Pratt MWF
Randolph-Macon College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roanoke College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rutgers University
Salisbury University
Savannah College of Art and Design
Shaw University
Shenandoah University
Shepherd University
Southern Illinois University
St. Francis University
St. Joseph’s University
St. Lawrence College
St. Leo University
St. Mary’s College
St. Peter’s University
Stevenson University
SUNY Albany
Susquehanna University
Syracuse University
Temple University
The University of the South
Towson University
UNC Asheville
UNC Charlotte
UNC Wilmington
United States Naval Academy
University of Missouri Columbia
University of Alabama
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Colorado – Boulder
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Georgia
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland Baltimore Co.
University of Maryland College Park
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Mississippi
University of New Hampshire
University of North Florida
University of Notre Dame
University of San Francisco
University of Scranton
University of South Carolina
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee
University of Vermont
Valencia College
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Tech
Virginia Wesleyan University
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Lee University
Washington College
Wells College
Wesley College
West Virginia University
West Virginia Wesleyan University
Western Governors University
Western Kentucky University
Western Michigan University
Widener University
Wofford College
Xavier University
York College

Gunston Launches Partnership with Mind-Brain Education Institute

Seeking to fully align the school’s teaching and learning environment with best practices in neuro-education, Gunston has partnered with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) for a series of professional development workshops.

“One of the most exciting developments in the field of education has been the broad acknowledgement that every student brings a high degree of individual neurodiversity into the classroom,” noted Gunston’s Head of School, John Lewis. “This understanding, coupled with the ever-improving research and understanding regarding how brain-friendly teaching can enhance every student’s learning experience, continues to be a central priority for Gunston as a school.”

Gunston teachers participate in Mind-Brain activities.

“As a school, we’ve always honored each child’s unique intellectual strengths, but our formal neurodiversity training began more than a decade ago with a series of All Kinds of Minds workshops,” continued Lewis. “However, CTTL’s unique expertise in how to translate Mind-Brain Education research into a rigorous, college-preparatory academic environment is the reason we’ve decided to partner with them.” The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, founded at St. Andrew’s School in Potomac, Maryland, is an international leader in the field of Mind, Brain and Education Science research to allow teachers to maximize their effectiveness and students to achieve their highest potential.

This past summer, a four-member delegation of Gunston’s faculty attended CTTL’s “Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy”, and as a follow-up on August 30th, Glenn Whitman, CTTL’s Director and author of the bestselling book NeuroTeach, spent a full day leading a hands-on workshop with Gunston’s full faculty. Whitman will return for a series of follow-up workshops over a two year period.

“Our entire faculty has embraced this process,” shared Mrs. Christie Grabis, Gunston’s Assistant Head and academic program coordinator, “and all of our students will benefit from some of CTTL’s key areas of focus like academic mindset training, multi-modal instruction, the effective use of formative and summative assessments, the impact of the socio-emotional experience on learning, and the explicit teaching of metacognitive skills.”

“My work with CTTL has inspired my work as as teacher-researcher,” shared Dr. Mariah Goodall, a science and math teacher at Gunston, “and the integration of this research has transformed my daily classroom practices. Every day I come to school, I remind myself that teachers are brain changers!”