Rotary Club of Carroll Creek’s 2013 Paul Harris Award for Community Service honorees are shown, left to right, with their nominators at the recent Rotary club of Carroll Creek’s annual Paul Harris Fellowship Dinner at the Holly Hills Country Club in Ijamsville: Fay Kaufman Sanders, Paul Harris Recognition Chair; Dick Foot, Rotarian nominator; Sandy Cox, Paul Harris honoree; Jim Merkel, Rotarian nominator; Cindy McGrew, Paul Harris honoree; Jim MacGillivray, Paul Harris honoree; Lisa Ausherman, Rotarian nominator; Jeff Grills, Paul Harris honoree; Tiffany Ahalt, Rotarian nominator; Mark Bowman, Paul Harris honoree; and Mary Nagle, Rotary Club of Carroll Creek president.
Photo Credit: Rachael Harms Photography
The Frederick County Public Schools’ Earth and Space Science Lab (ESSL) co-directors Mark Bowman and Jeffrey Grills were two among five winners of this year’s Rotary Club of Carroll Creek Paul Harris Awards for Community Service. This is the highest recognition the Rotary bestows on individuals who exemplify the Rotary slogan, Service above Self. In the May 10 ceremony at the Holly Hills Country Club in Ijamsville the Club also recognized Sandra Cox, Jim MacGillivray and Cindy McGrew for their service to the Frederick County community.
Bringing business and professional leaders together to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards and help build goodwill and peace in the world, the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek has donated $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation in honor of each of the five awardees, for a total of $5,000.
Mark Bowman and Jeff Grills, along with more than 40 teachers and countless FCPS staff members and community volunteers, were catalysts in developing the new Earth and Space Science Lab near Lincoln Elementary in downtown Frederick. The ESSL is a state-of-the-art facility that inspires today’s students and the entire Frederick community through its planetarium, geological and oceanography classrooms, the Natelli Observatory and an arboretum. The directors worked tirelessly, raising more than $700,000 through the Community Foundation of Frederick County to create the new Earth and Space Science Lab, adjacent to its original location in Lincoln Elementary School.
Mr. Bowman noted that the May 10 date the awards ceremony was held took place on a propitious day, as the Sun, Moon and Earth were aligned, with Australia experiencing a solar eclipse. He thanked everyone who helped make the new ESSL possible. Mr. Grills echoed this theme, thanking the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek for its deep and long-term support of Lincoln Elementary and the countless volunteers who gave their time, treasure and passion to bring the ESSL dream to life.
FCPS has posted more about the ESSL online, including ordering information for a recently released book about its 50-year history and the Space Race, at https://sites.fcps.org/essl.
According to the Rotary’s news release, the accomplishments of these exemplary citizens demonstrate the profound truth in the old adage, “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”
The Rotary Club of Carroll Creek’s signature projects include serving and educating the youth of Lincoln Elementary, honoring the Frederick City Police Officer of the Month and conducting the annual Oktoberfest fundraising event. For more information, visit www.carrollcreekrotary.org.
Frederick County public schools are transitioning from the Heartland School Solutions Cafe' Prepay to their MySchoolBucks program, one of the most widely used and secure online parent information and payment solutions available today. Visa and other trusted third parties have certified MySchoolBucks at the highest levels of Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard security.
A few of the MySchoolBucks benefits include access to 90 days of purchase history, automated low-balance emails, the opportunity to schedule payments allowing weekly, biweekly or monthly payments, if desired, an option to automatically add money when an account runs low, and an app for mobile devices such as smartphones.
Parent and district fees will not change. Parents who use Café Prepay now may use the same payment options with MySchoolBucks. Parents will need to set up new accounts and may do so now through the end of the school year at https://www.myschoolbucks.com. Answers to frequently asked questions and instructions are also online at http://educate.myschoolbucks.com. The student's name and ID are required.
FCPS MySchoolBucks accounts will go live Monday, June 3. Café Prepay balances will automatically transfer in to MySchoolBucks.
FCPS will also continue to accept cash and personal checks as payment for school meals.
For additional information, please contact FCPS Food and Nutrition Services: firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-644-5061.
Frederick County Public Schools has launched an app for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to put school information at the public’s fingertips. The app is available free for Android and iOS devices.
“Consolidating various forms of media in one place, the FCPS app allows the Frederick County community to get the information they need and encourages everyone to participate in open dialogue with the school system. FCPS launched the app as part of the district’s effort to increase family and community involvement, following the National School Public Relations Association audit conducted earlier this school year,” says Michael Doerrer, FCPS Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing director. “One of the significant ways FCPS is working to fulfill the promise of public education is expanding opportunities to engage with all our stakeholders. This is just a beginning for the new app, and we welcome public feedback via email to email@example.com or by using the app’s 'Contact Us' feature."
The FCPS app offers easy access to the school system’s Facebook and Twitter pages, YouTube videos, FindOutFirst and Web site, news releases, events, directory listings, menus, job openings, and other helpful resources. To download the FCPS app to your mobile device, visit http://tinyurl.com/FCPS4iOS for iOS or http://tinyurl.com/FCPS4Android for Android.
FCPS has appointed individuals to fill two staff vacancies, effective July 1. Dr. Jeanine Molock will serve as director of Research, Development and Accountability, replacing Stephen Hess, who has retired. Mr. Andrew Raith will serve in a new position as supervisor of Student Information, resulting from Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban’s recent reorganization of the FCPS Central Office.
Dr. Molock earned her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and M.A. degree in measurement, statistics and evaluation from the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, where she entered the doctoral program to major in the same field and minor in educational policy. Her dissertation topic was Modeling Selection Bias in Multilevel Linear Models, leading to her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in 2001.
Employed at Hewlett Packard Company from 1987-1995, she advanced to development engineer, product marketing engineer and finally to instrument test coordinator. In 1996, she became a research assistant for the University of Delaware, where she conducted quantitative research and statistical analysis of public education data for the state. Dr. Molock remained at the University of Delaware in many capacities through 2005, most recently as adjunct professor for the School of Education, teaching the doctoral-level course, Principles of Educational Evaluation. During this time, she was also involved with the Forum for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering as a science project coordinator and math teacher. From 2001-2006, Dr. Molock was the Philadelphia Public Schools policy research analyst, and subsequently director of accountability at the Ohio State Department of Education in Columbus, Ohio. She has earned several awards and presented several times at American Educational Research Association conferences.
Mr. Raith earned his B.A. degree in chemistry from McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. He earned his M.S. degree in information technology and Database Systems Technology certification from the University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD.
Employed as a forensic chemist for the Baltimore County Police Department in Towson, Mr. Raith developed a database system to track workloads. In 2000, he began working with the Porter Lee Corporation, Schaumburg, IL, as support specialist/project manager. Since 2002, he has worked at Howard County Public Schools, most recently as coordinator of performance reporting. His responsibilities include providing information technology leadership for the school district’s technology and accountability departments, serving more than 50,000 students in more than 70 schools, overseeing and managing the support for all student data software systems and related database installations. His experience with student data used for state and federal reporting includes enrollment/attendance, student behavior, special service program participation, High School Assessments, Maryland School Assessments and more. Recently, Mr. Raith directed staff charged with performing a system review for the school system’s Enterprise Resource Planning system, from which outcomes were used to create a plan to improve processes, system configuration and training.
When the National Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) was recently held in Washington DC, the seven-member team from the Engineering CAD program at the Frederick County Public Schools' Career and Technology Center (CTC) won the prestigious Design Viability National Merit Award.
This year RWDC, the fastest growing nationwide STEM program, had teams from across the country developing business plans, mission plans, and full UAV/drone designs using professional aeronautical and engineering software to create a complete small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). The performance of the search and rescue drones, designed with a variety of power systems and camera/sensor payloads, were evaluated by aviation experts in the government and in commercial industry. The drone designed by the team from Maryland was deemed to be the most viable design solution presented.
Team members included Troy Grove (CTC and Middletown High), Garrett Radtke (CTC and Middletown High), Jeet Kumar (CTC and Gov Thomas Johnson High), Blair Plombon (CTC and Gov Thomas Johnson High), Devin Shields (CTC and Gov Thomas Johnson High), Jordan Smith (CTC and Tuscarora High) and Tayler Evans (Middletown High).
Frederick County Public Schools invites parents and guardians with children entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten to attend a special session called Welcome to Early Childhood at FCPS. It will take place Tuesday, May 21 at the FCPS Staff Development Center, 7-8 p.m. This event does not take the place of individual school meetings but is designed to give parents information about the daily schedule, transportation, communication and more.
On Monday, June 10, FCPS invites grandparents to learn these same topics, also at the FCPS Staff Development Center, 7-8 p.m. This session is called Welcoming Grandparents to Early Childhood at FCPS. It is geared to assist grandparents in understanding the school system’s general early-childhood programs. The agenda will be similar to that above with an emphasis on what has changed in recent years.
Finally, the second annual Foster Care Conference will take place Thursday, May 23 from 6:30-8 p.m., also at the FCPS Staff Development Center. All foster parents, regardless of the age of their foster children, are invited to attend. Anyone interested should RSVP to Shelly Tribett at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 301-696-6864 or through the Foster Care office at the Department of Social Services.
The FCPS Staff Development Center is at 44 W. Frederick Street, Walkersville.
Tuesday, May 7, is National Teacher Day in Teacher Appreciation Week, which begins today. Teachers in Frederick County and in communities across the nation will be in the spotlight as students, parents, school administrators and the general public are encouraged to consider teachers’ roles in making great public schools for every student.
“Our teachers work incredibly hard to foster the success and accomplishment of their students. More than that, they care deeply about their students and families. FCPS works to recognize its outstanding teachers regularly throughout the year – they give us so much to be proud of! But it’s especially gratifying,” says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, “to pause on one very special day to simply say thank you to the teachers who do so much for our young people and our community.”
FCPS invites the public to take time to recognize the differences teachers have made in their lives and to share appreciation with at least one teacher. The school system’s Facebook page will have a special section tomorrow for teacher appreciations.
Readers may visit www.nea.org to learn more about the issues educators are facing as they do their work and meet the requirements of many laws and regulations. Parents wishing to pledge their support for our nation’s teachers may sign a pledge at http://www.nea.org/grants/55369.htm.
The National Education Association (NEA) invites the public to change your Facebook status to thank a teacher who made a difference in your life. The NEA Web site has images from which to choose.
All nine eligible public high schools in Frederick County rank among America’s Best High Schools for another year, according to Newsweek’s just released 2013 list. Oakdale is not yet eligible as it was too newly opened to have a class graduating in 2012.
According to Newsweek, the 2013 ranking highlights the best 2,000 public high schools in the nation—those that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads. The list is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent), and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).
“This year,” Newsweek reporter Lauren Streib stated, “we offered one update to our methodology. Instead of considering the number of courses offered, which is limited even for the most ambitious high school curricula, we weighed the percentage of students enrolled in an AP, IB or Advance International Certificate of Education (AICE) course.
“All the data we analyzed was…for the 2011-2012 school year. We invited more than 5,000 high schools to participate in the survey this year, and nearly 2,500 responded. All public high schools in the U.S. are eligible.”
In Frederick County, Urbana ranked highest at 666th nationwide, followed by Middletown (1,118), Linganore (1,301), Walkersville (1,630), Gov. Thomas Johnson (1,781), Brunswick (1,795), Tuscarora (1,800), Frederick (1,907) and Catoctin (1,991).
A leader. A collaborator. Generous of her time. Dedicated. Selfless. Enthusiastic. These were the words used to describe Jana Sheffer in the nomination packet received by the Maryland State Department of Education for the Parent Involvement Matters Award. Those words and so much more have earned her the 2013 Maryland State Department of Education Parent Involvement Matters Award (PIMA) for Frederick County. The PIMA recognizes parents and legal guardians for their exceptional support of public education.
Known as a mastermind of communication and consensus-building, Jana Sheffer has been PTA President for multiple years at three schools. Ms. Sheffer not only championed the two-year $91.9 million Frederick High School Renovation/Modernization Project, she also helped manage and market the Frederick High Care for Kids Campaign. The campaign was launched in 2010 by a small group of parents who recognized the economic disparity of the student population and provided gift cards, toiletries and donations to underprivileged students. Ms. Sheffer spearheaded spreading the word through the community to help the kids in need. She is ever present in communicating the need, volunteering and collaborating with the community to provide student resources that benefit Frederick High and the county at large.
Neighbor Amy Keating nominated Ms. Sheffer for this award. “Jana has volunteered on behalf of Frederick County Public Schools for 12 years. She has worked on projects ranging from school-based to community-wide. Most nights you can see her through her home office window working away at the computer. I know it’s all volunteer related. The work that Jana has done has set the bar for all others.”
Frederick High School Principal Kathy Campagnoli whole-heartedly supported Ms. Sheffer’s nomination. “Her enthusiasm, innovativeness and dedication to serving the needs of our diverse school population make her an exemplary role model for our community,” said Ms. Campagnoli.
In a letter supporting Ms. Sheffer’s nomination, Board of Education member Kathryn Groth wrote, “Jana exhibits character, grace and patience that have made her a good consensus builder. She understands the importance of give and take in reaching decisions, and she strives to understand the needs of all members of the community. She is an inspiring example of how parent involvement matters and makes a difference in Frederick County.”
MSDE will recognize Ms. Sheffer and 23 other semifinalists at a special celebration on Friday, May 17. The statewide winner will be announced during the awards ceremony.
Marlon Moran, a social studies teacher at Urbana High and Frederick County Virtual schools, has been selected to receive the 2013 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award. Sponsored by Hood College, this award is presented each May to a Frederick County Public Schools’ (FCPS) teacher who has had a significant impact on young people.
Mr. Moran recently learned he was this year’s honoree when the FCPS “Prize Patrol,” led by Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban, visited him at Urbana High. Central office and school administration, staff and students – including the Urbana’s Mighty Hawks Marching Band – along with Mr. Moran’s wife and sons were present to congratulate him.
Urbana High assistant principal Christine Stone and a committee of staff members nominated Mr. Moran for this award. They cited his high standards, humor, enthusiasm, leadership, professionalism and genuine concern for his students as the reason they selected him. In addition to teaching social studies, he tutors his students in music and Spanish and is involved with the award-winning Mighty Hawks Marching Band, the Professor Urbana Contest, the school’s Interact Club and talent show.
Urbana High social studies department chair and 2012-2013 FCPS Teacher of the Year Norman Crosby agreed that his colleague is very deserving of this award. “To say that Mr. Moran is an exceptional teacher is an understatement. This only captures part of what makes him indispensable to his students and colleagues. Mr. Moran is a role model; a role model of dignity, professionalism, integrity and hard work. He is in every way what a professional educator should aspire to be. It is an honor to teach with him.”
Urbana High principal Jay Berno added, “The culture of learning that Mr. Moran has established in his classroom encourages students to be curious and think critically. His content knowledge, enthusiasm, teaching style and love of learning is truly remarkable.”
Initially hired by FCPS as a substitute teacher in 2001, Mr. Moran accepted a full-time foreign language teaching position at Brunswick High in 2002. He joined the staff of Urbana High in 2005 as a social studies teacher.
Mr. Moran earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Hood College and master’s degree Curriculum and Adult Education from the University of Phoenix. He has completed additional coursework which included studies in East Asian Education, including Japan and China.
The late Samuel Eig of Gaithersburg, MD, established the Tressler Award to recognize Dr. Tressler, a Giles professor emeritus of early childhood education who taught at the college from 1964 to 1990. Dr. Tressler chaired Hood’s Education Department for 18 years and served on the school’s graduate school council for 12 years. Hood College will formally present Mr. Moran with his award during its graduate school commencement on May 18.