Schools Donate Retired Bus to Parks and Recreation

Freddie McCracken, TCPS School Safety and Security Specialist and Preston Peper, Director of Talbot County Parks and Recreation.

A “retired” school bus has been repurposed to serve local children in a new way.  Talbot County Public Schools has donated a 15-year-old school bus to Talbot County Parks and Recreation.  TCPR will use the bus to transport summer campers to field trips and other off-site activities.

“While this bus has exceeded its usable life for the school system’s purposes,” said Freddie McCracken, TCPS School Safety and Security Specialist, “the motor and transmission are still in good working order. It should work for this type of use by Parks and Recreation for quite some time.”

The bus will soon have a new look and new color scheme so be on the look-out!

Education Foundation Supports Saint Michaels Destination Imagination Teams

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $1000 to support the five Destination Imagination Teams that advanced to the Global Finals Competition in Knoxville Tennessee.

Destination Imagination (DI) encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and service learning competitions.  Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process.  Global Finals is a celebration of this creativity as it brings together the best teams from all across the world to meet, compete and learn from each other.

Photo: Front Row L to R: DI Team Members Brynn Lizewski and Molly Genrich. Middle Row L to R: DI Team Members Ryley Beers, Will Asmussen, and Benny Rieck. Education Foundation Advisory Board Members Becky Firth, Laura Heikes, and Gwen Fike. Back Row L to R:DI Team Member Lydia Shreves, Foundation Advisory Board Members Jo Ann Murray, Ty Russ, Juanita Hopkins, Patrick Fitzgerald, and Graham Lee.

A group of students from the Saint Michaels DI teams recently paid a visit to an Education Foundation Advisory Board meeting to express their appreciation for the support and share reflections about the experience.  “This is what the Education Foundation is all about!” said Foundation Advisory Board Member Becky Firth.  “These students are amazing, and it was so exciting to hear about their projects and how they were challenged and inspired through this experience.”

Formed in the Fall of 2016, the mission of the Education Foundation is to engage and utilize community resources to provide TCPS students and teachers with otherwise unavailable enrichment opportunities that will enhance the TCPS educational experience and produce exceptional graduates.  To learn more about supporting Destination Imagination teams or other Education Foundation Grant Programs, visit our website at www.tcspedfoundation.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.

Schools Offer Summer Hours for Student Registration

All Talbot County Public Schools are open during the summer for walk-in registration. Hours vary by school, and TCPS is encouraging families to register as soon as possible.

Elementary Schools are open for registration as follows:

Easton Elementary: Mon. – Thur. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 410-822-0686/410-822-0550.
Chapel District Elementary: Mon. – Thur. 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. through 8/9 (7:00 a.m. – noon only on Monday 8/6). Mon. 8/13 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mon – Fri. 8/20 – 8/318:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 410-822-2391.
St. Michaels Elementary: Mon. 7/23, Tues. 7/24, Mon. 8/6, Tues. 8/7, Thur. 8/9, Mon. 8/20 – Thur. 8/23, Mon. 8/27 – Thur. 8/30. 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 410-745-2882.
Tilghman Elementary: Mon. – Thur. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (please call ahead as staff is limited) 410-886-2391.
White Marsh Elementary: Mon. – Thur. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.410-476-3144.

For registration at the middle and high school levels, please call the school for hours and availability.

Easton Middle School: 410-822-2910
Easton High School: 410-822-4180
Saint Michaels Middle High School: 410-745-2852

School offices will be closed on the morning of Wednesday 8/29 so that staff may attend the annual Opening Day Celebration.

Please bring registration forms, which may be found online at www.talbotschools.org or in any school building. Forms will also be available the day of registration. In addition, you must bring the following documents:

1. Up-to-date immunization record
2. Birth Certificate (proof of custody)
3. Social Security Card (if available)
4. Parent or Guardian with ID
5. Proof of Current Grade (if transferring from another school)
6. Income Verification (Pre-K only)
7. Proof of Residency (signed lease/deed or electric bill)

Families will also need two of the following: (name on the Supplemental ID must match the name of the Proof of Residence)
• Driver’s License
• W-2 Form
• Bank Statement
• Voter Registration Card
• Pay Stub
• Income Tax Return

For more information contact Talbot County Public Schools Student Services at (410)822-0330.

Schools Will Offer Free Summer Meals

Many children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year may not have access to nutritious meals during the summer when schools are closed. To help address this need in our community, Talbot County Public Schools is participating in the 2018 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The program is made possible with support from the Partnership To End Childhood Hunger in Maryland, the Maryland State Department of Education, and No Kid Hungry.

The SFSP provides healthy meals and plays a vital role in reducing childhood hunger when schools are not in session. The program reimburses organizations for meals and snacks served to children in areas where at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. Meals will be available to children and teens age 18 and under free of charge at the following sites and times:

Easton Middle School
201 Peachblossom Rd.
Easton, MD 21601
June 18 – August 30, 2018
Monday – Thursday
Breakfast – 8:10 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.
Lunch – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

St. Michaels Elementary School
100 Seymour Ave.
St. Michaels, MD 21663
June 18 – August 30, 2018
Monday – Thursday
Breakfast – 8:10 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.
Lunch – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

St. Michaels Farmers Market
204 S. Talbot St.
St. Michaels, MD 21601
June 9 – September 1, 2018
Saturdays Only
Breakfast – 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Easton High Students Present Science Symposium

Students in the Project Lead The Way(PLTW) Biological Innovations, Advanced Placement Biology and Advanced Placement Environmental Science courses at Easton High School recently presented their research projects at the annual Science Symposium held in the school media center.  After conducting research in a scientific area of interest, students invited their mentors, parents and guardians, school administrators and the general public to an evening event that included a poster session and formal electronic presentations.

Research topics ranged from the medical field to the environment, including titles such as “The Effects of Supplemental Oxygen on Athletes After Exertion”; “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome”; “The Opioid Epidemic”; “The Health Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on the Human Body”; “The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Organisms”; “The Power of a Mindset: How the Way We Think Affects Our Health”; and “Run-off and Algae Blooms in the Chesapeake Bay”.

Photo: Easton High School Seniors Arlette Felix-Martinez and Tiffany Zheng present their research project on “The Possible Effects of E-Cigarettes” at the Annual Science Symposium.

Teachers Cheryl Overington, Julie Harp and Lauren Rose matched their students with mentors from the community who advised and supported the students throughout their studies. “I find it very rewarding to see our students working at such a rigorous level; our seniors are choosing majors in colleges which parallel the exact area of scientific study that they researched this year in high school,” said LeeAnn Hutchison, Interim Science Supervisor, “and they are serious about pursuing careers that are aligned with those studies.”

Mentors included experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Center at Easton, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Lab, ShoreRivers, the Talbot County Health Department, and various psychological and medical organizations.  Some students also connected to mentors online rather than in person.  These partnerships helped provide students with a balanced, unbiased approach to scientific research, the investigatory approach to learning, and a strong understanding of the strategies and skills needed for appropriate and meaningful action.

“I was impressed with how professional the students were and how they really knew their subject matter.  Their ability to articulate their research findings was amazing.  I am also impressed with all of the mentors from our community who supported our students,” said Pam Clay, Career and Technology Supervisor.

The Science Symposium is held annually to celebrate the accomplishments of high school students in the area of scientific research, to recognize the importance of scientists and health care experts as mentors, and to include the public in the educational process.

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 the Chesapeake Treatment Center, LLC.  The care packages will be given to people seeking treatment for drug, heroin, and opioid abuse.  The 8th graders donated over 85 care packages, posters with encouraging sayings, and inspirational art work.  With every care package, the students wrote notes of encouragement.  The students were very happy about being able to help those in need.

Amber Rippeon and Matt James from Chesapeake Treatment Services, LLC paid a visit to 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.   “The students amazed me with their generosity, enthusiasm and creativity,” said Mrs. Bell.  “We had our highest participation ever in this project!”

Saint Michaels Students Present Inventive Projects at 3rd Annual Stem Showcase

The Science and Career and Technology Education Departments at Saint Michaels Middle High School (SMMHS) recently hosted their 3rd annual STEM Showcase. Students in grades 6-12 who are enrolled in Science, Math and Career and Technology Education (CTE) Courses used their knowledge and creativity to invent a product or process that would meet a need or solve a problem. The range of topics included environmental, engineering, medical and technological issues. Students conducted an inquiry based project, were able to choose their project design, and were encouraged to choose a project that they found interesting and engaging. Communication and research skills were greatly enhanced throughout the invention procedure.

“This event is highly anticipated by our students,” said Robin Powell-Werner, SMMHS Science and CTE teacher. “It challenges students to be innovative and to apply valuable design processes to their projects. It also allows our staff to collaborate with students and encourages teachers to develop lessons that align with the competition.”

Several projects were recognized for their outstanding effort and achievement.

High School Winners:

Research and Experimental Design: McKenna Browning, Christina Smithpeter and Caroline Lenkiewicz

Structural Design: Ashlynn Stevens, Ashley Henckel and Andre Setter

Digital Design: Gretchen Kinnamon

Overall High School Winner: Ashlynn Stevens, Ashley Henckel and Andre Setter

Middle School:

Research and Experimental Design: Jordan Regan and Campbell Gowe

Structural Design: (Tie) Katie Roe and Sophia Fernwalt and Makenna Culver, Riley Papineau, Jess Watts and Alyssa Wojcik

Digital Design: Ava Reaid

Overall Winner: Brianna Crow, Kalei Knox and Myla Ramey

Character Counted: Jack Gill, Talbot County Public Schools, and the U.S. Naval Academy

Test scores and other metrics can and should be used to evaluate the success of a public education, but what those measurements will never be able to statistically record is the development of personal character with its graduates.

Hard to quantify, and fostered from many sources like families and mentors, one’s character, much more than testing above state averages in math or science, is the one essential quality that will make the difference in having a successful life. Unfortunately, there is no standard test to measure such a thing.

All one can go by is anecdotal evidence that a young person has not only developed a sense of self that can project confidence but the mindset to persevere when things go wrong.

That is why the Spy was so interested in hearing about St. Michaels High School’s Jack Gill and his lifelong dream of attending the United States Naval Academy. While Jack’s story eventually turns out well, he was tested in a way where only a strong character can remain resilient.

Valedictorian, class president, athlete, countless with hours of volunteer work, and the blessings of Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and the 1st District’s Andy Harris, Jack had been on a two-year campaign to win an appointment to Annapolis. While he applied to a few safety schools, things were looking exceptionally positive as he waited out the arrival of news from the Naval Academy.

And, at last, he did get that notice, but it wasn’t the news he sought. The words “waitlisted” flew off the official correspondence which Jack immediately knew meant that he had about a one percent change of ever securing an appointment to the academy.

In the face of such a severe blow, when it would be more typical to retreat into depression or readjust personal goals, Jack continued to keep the fight going.

The Spy would submit that Jack’s story, as told in our interview with him at Bullitt House, is part of that anecdotal evidence that Talbot County Public Schools is producing some remarkable results.

TCPS Announces Administrative Appointments

Mrs. Alison Strickland

The Talbot County Board of Education approved several administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year at a special meeting held on June 12. Mrs. Alison Strickland has been appointed as Assistant Principal at White Marsh Elementary School; Mrs. Carolanne Burkhardt will become Assistant Principal at Easton Middle School; Mr. Corey Devaric will become Assistant Principal at Chapel District Elementary School; and Mrs. LuAnn McKelvey will become Assistant Principal at St. Michaels Elementary School.

Mrs. Strickland is a graduate of Easton High School. She attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She taught kindergarten at White Marsh Elementary School for four years before moving to Easton Middle School as a sixth grade language arts teacher. During her time at Easton Middle School, she obtained her school administration certification from Towson University. In 2016, she was appointed to the administrative intern position at Easton Elementary School-Moton. In 2017, Strickland was named assistant principal at Easton Middle School.

Mrs. Carolanne Burkhardt

Mrs. Strickland is honored to have the opportunity to once again serve the White Marsh community as Assistant Principal, and she looks forward to creating new relationships with the students, staff, and families, as well as reuniting with those who previously worked with at WMES.  She and her husband John Strickland are proud mentors through Talbot Mentors. They reside in Easton with their daughter, Bradley.

Mrs. Burkhardt currently teaches second grade at St. Michaels Elementary School.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Reading from East Stroudsburg University and a Masters in Educational Administration from University of Massachusetts Lowell.  She began her career at Talbot County Public Schools in 2004 at Easton Elementary School – Moton where she taught second and fifth grade. She was appointed as Administrative Intern at Saint Michaels Middle High School in 2010.

Mr. Corey Devaric

Mrs. Burkhardt is a Nationally Certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer, a New Teacher Olweus Trainer, and a New Teacher Mentor. She serves as a Cooperating Teacher for Salisbury University Student Teachers as well as Student Interns from the Teacher Academy at Saint Michaels Middle High, and she is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Coach.  She is a Worship Leader and Nursery Coordinator at Royal Oak Community United Methodist Church, and resides in Easton with her husband JR Burkhardt and two children Adam and Sadie.

Mr. Corey Devaric has been in education for 20 years. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from York College and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Wilmington University. Since coming to Talbot County in 1998, Mr. Devaric has taught multiple grades at Chapel District Elementary School , Easton Elementary School and White Marsh Elementary School. He has administrative experience at Preston Elementary School and Easton Middle School.

Mrs. LuAnn McKelvey

Mr. Devaric is certified as an Equity Practitioner and  has been the Equity Leader at White Marsh Elementary School for the past three years. Devaric is looking forward to returning to Chapel District Elementary, where he began his teaching career. He resides in Easton with his wife Lisa and four children Olivia, Winfield, Georgia and Logan. When Mr. Devaric is not at school, he enjoys running and biking.

Mrs. McKelvey earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a M.Ed.in Early Childhood Education and Administration Certification from Salisbury University. She began her career at TCPS in 1990 at Tilghman Elementary where she has served in numerous capacities, from teaching pre-kindergarten to fifth grades, as well as physical education.  She was appointed as an Administrative Intern in 2016.

Mrs. McKelvey is certified as an Equity Practitioner and is a member of the Equity Team.  She is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Coordinator; School Improvement Team Member, and serves on the Tilghman Elementary School PTO.  She also teaches Sunday School at Royal Oak United Methodist Church, and is a Volunteer Basketball Coach for St. Michaels Community Center.  She and her husband Scott reside in St. Michaels and have two sons, Jacob and Kyle and a granddaughter, Riley.

“These new leaders will have a tremendous impact on the learning environment, overall school culture and community,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools.  “Their enthusiasm, experience, and commitment to our mission will be an asset in these essential leadership positions.”

Talbot High Schools Students Pursue College Credit in Computer Science

Talbot County public high school students have the opportunity to earn College Credits and Industry Standard Certifications through TCPS Career and Technology Education Pathways. Students who are successful in AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A can obtain early college credit through the Advanced Placement College Board Credit by Exam program. Qualifying scores are determined by each institution of higher learning and vary among colleges and universities.

The following students may be eligible for college credit depending upon their scores on the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams: Easton High School – Zachary Danels, Joseph Odenwald, William Turri. Saint Michaels Middle High School – Ben Rieck.

“The Computer Science Completer is a new addition to our CTE opportunities,” said Mrs. Pamela Clay, Curriculum Supervisor for Career and Technology Education.  “We expect enrollment in this program to increase dramatically over the next several years.”