To the 112 new teachers who will start teaching at county schools on Aug. 29. On Thursday, the teachers came to the Iron Master’s Mansion in Perryville for a welcome party hosted by the Business and Education Partnership Advisory Council (BEPAC) and a chance to stock up on some free school supplies. Representatives of the Cecil County Classroom Teachers Association and other organizations were also on hand to greet the new teachers. The new teachers are a mixture of veteran educators and those teaching for the first time. Some are Cecil County natives, while others have come to the school system from across the country. Yasha Lezama-Hart, who will teach preschool at Thomson Estates Elementary School, previously worked in the New York City school system, where she was only given a $75 stipend meant to cover a full year of school supplies for her classroom. “When you begin the school year, it can get a little hectic,” she said. “This makes it feel like someone’s there to help you.” We agree and applaud BEPAC, CCCTA and CCPS for welcoming and supporting the new teachers and wish them luck with the upcoming school year.
To Operation Purple Camp, which brought together kids of military families for a week of fun activities at NorthBay Adventure Camp this week. The free camp, which is one of dozens held across the country every summer, is sponsored by the National Military Families Association and dubbed Operation Purple because the color is a mix of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine Corps red and Navy blue. NorthBay has been hosting the camp for the past six summers and is the only camp location in Maryland. Organizers of the camp said the program helps the military kids connect with one another and realize that they’re not the only ones with a parent in the military. Kudos to NorthBay, Aberdeen Proving Ground, the National Military Families Association and everyone else involved with this camp.
To the news that state and local organizations are coming together in hopes of preventing the University of Maryland Dental School clinic from closing, potentially leaving many low-income county residents without local dental care. The nine-year-old facility on Route 40 in Perryville is currently operated by the University of Maryland Dental School, with services provided by its students. But the new plan calls for Union Hospital to lease the building, with West Cecil Health Center operating the program. Dental students would continue to provide the services. While negotiations continue, Del. Kevin Hornberger (R-Cecil) and State Sen. Steve Hershey (R-Upper Shore) have coordinated with Gov. Larry Hogan’s office to keep the center funded until the new arrangement is finalized. We’re happy to see so many different groups working together to save the facility and we hope they’re successful in keeping open for years to come.