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.”

School System Recognizes Community Partners

Talbot County Public Schools hosted its third annual Community Partner Recognition Breakfast on May 24 at the Easton Volunteer Fire House. More that 850 businesses, organizations and individuals were invited to the event.  Attendees were treated to a delicious breakfast prepared by the Easton High Culinary Arts students, along with musical entertainment by members of Easton High’s award winning “Warrior Chorale.”

“This is a community that values education,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith in her opening remarks.  “The time, resources and expertise that our community partners provide to our schools truly make a difference for our students and staff.  This includes adopting classrooms, providing internships, donating supplies, funding enrichment opportunities, coordinating after school programs, and so much more.  We are so very grateful for this generous support and cannot thank you enough.”

The program included recognition of a Partner of the Year for each of the nine schools in the district, as well as a District Partner of the Year as follows:

 District Partner of the Year – American Legion Blake-Blackston Post #77

Chapel District Elementary – Andersen Wealth Management
Easton Elementary – Dobson – Family Affair Farm
Easton Elementary – Moton – AQUA Pools & Spas
Saint Michaels Elementary – Christ Church – St. Michaels, MD
Tilghman Elementary -The Candleberry Shoppe
White Marsh Elementary – Higginbottom Orthodontics
Easton Middle School – First Baptist Church of Easton, MD
Easton High School – Dock Street Foundation
Saint Michaels Middle High School – Royal Oak Community United Methodist Church

Saint Michaels High School Students are Inducted Music Honor Society

A ceremony was held at Saint Michaels Middle High School last month to induct new members into the school’s chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.  Tri-M, formerly known as Modern Music Masters, is a high school and middle school music honor society and is a program of the National Association for Music Education

To be considered for induction students must meet criterion in the following areas: Music Participation, Academic Achievement, Leadership, Service, and Character. The Tri M Advisement team is Amy Effler, Chorus Director and Chris Flaherty, Band Director.

New members were recently inducted in the SMMHS Chapter of the Tri M Music Honor Society. L-R: Jack Gill,Jayde Gilliece. Katelynn Cherry, Rebecca Bibeau, Makayla Vasquez.

The SMMHS chapter will raise funds to support local, national and international music programs through bake sales at concerts, local bake sales, and other school fundraisers. SMHS Junior Gretchen Kinnamon is in the process of designing an original logo for them promote the society.

TheSpring 2018 inductees are as follows:

Mackenzie Campbell- President
India Tran- Vice President
Kyla Stinchcomb- Treasurer
Cora Fluharty- Historian
Hannah Bagley- Secretary
Rebecca Bibeau
Katelynn Cherry
Jack Gill
Jayde Gilliece
Makayla Vasquez

Easton High School Students are Inducted into National Honor Society

A ceremony was held at Easton High School last month to induct 8 juniors and 39 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.

Qualifying students are given the opportunity to submit an application and recommendations, which are reviewed by Easton High School faculty. English Teacher Lenore Burkhardt serves as Easton High School’s National Honor Society Faculty Advisor.

The ceremony included the lighting of the Knowledge Candle and the presentation of the Four Qualities of the National Officer by chapter officers Colin Elliott, President; Riley Scott, Vice President; Abigail Wittman, Treasurer; and Elizabeth Hostetter, Secretary.

The Spring 2018 inductees are as follows:

Juniors

Joshua Atwood
Kendall Bishop
Jaden Cassell
Sabrina Davis
Nyaja Jackson
Stephen Kerchner
Ian Mann
Tabius Wilson

Sophomores

Azqa Asad
Tristan Atwell
Madeline Book
Owen Callahan
Evelyn Campbell
William Cook
William Denny
Abigale Detrich
Anna Ewing
Didier Exantus
Noah Greene
Emily Griffith
Henry Hills
Taylor Jackson
Myia Jeter
Christopher Kaminskas
Maryam Khalid
Katherine Kilbourn
Isabella Kuchnio
Danielle Mills
Andrea Morgan
Taylor Nail
Joshua Newmier
Sara Park
James Parkinson
Akshay Patel
Zachary Paugh
Lilly Roser
Danielle Schuman
Maya Skirka
Courtney Stevens
John Stinson
Abigail Szymanski
Eleanor Walter
Julie Warner
Corey Wazniak
Craig Weedon
Anna Wheatley
Keana Williams

EMS 8th Graders Perform with Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update

Members of the Easton Middle School band had the rare honor of performing with professional Jazz Saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk and his band, the Jazz Update, live on stage at the Avalon.  The Talbot County and Maryland Arts Councils, the Avalon Foundation and the Dock Street Foundation joined together to generously provide artist-in-residence workshops with Antoniuk and his band for the Easton Middle 8th grade band students.

Antoniuk is internationally respected as a jazz composer and musician. Now living in Annapolis, Maryland, the Canadian born artist appears on numerous recordings and has been consistently well received by critics.  He worked with students at the school in several sessions during band class.  At the end of the final week of the program, the 8th grade musicians performed for their classmates in the morning, then performed a free public concert the same evening. Antoniuk and his band also performed several selections independently, and the concert included a brief history of the origin and development of jazz in the U.S.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for our students,” said Donna Ewing, Easton Middle School Band Director.  “To perform in this wonderful theatre with professional musicians of this caliber is truly an inspiration. We are so grateful to the Avalon Foundation, Dock Street Foundation and the Arts Councils for making this possible.”

Whiting-Turner Sponsors EES Team for “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”

Photo: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company contributed $1000 to sponsor a team at the TCPS Education Foundation’s “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” fundraiser. Pictured L-R: Scott Saxman, Vice President, Whiting-Turner; Kelly Murdoch, Assistant Principal, Easton Elementary-Moton; Juanita Hopkins and Richard Marks, Education Foundation Advisory Board; Kathy Kohn, Assistant Principal, Easton Elementary-Moton. 

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company supported the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation’s first fundraising event “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” as a Team Sponsor for Easton Elementary School.

The fundraiser was held on May 3 in the Talbot County Auditorium at Easton High School. Six teams of 5th graders from TCPS Elementary Schools tested their knowledge and skills, answering questions from a broad range of categories. Each team also included a celebrity guest from the sponsoring organization or school community. All proceeds benefited the Education Foundation’s 2020 Fund Grants Program.

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.