School board honors em­ploy­ees for com­mit­ment to stu­dent suc­cess

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The Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion hon­ored six Charles County Pub­lic Schools em­ploy­ees at its meet­ing on Tues­day, Jan. 10, dur­ing a recog­ni­tion cer­e­mony, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease. The em­ploy­ees were hon­ored for ex­em­plary ac­com­plish­ments, com­mit­ment to stu­dent suc­cess and achieve­ment, and con­tri­bu­tions to their schools and school com­mu­ni­ties. Hon­ored were Toni Adams, Diane Fisher, Pamela Gill, Jonathan Lis­ton, Melody Philpotts and Donna Rhoades.

Adams is a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Gale-Bai­ley El­e­men­tary School, where she has worked for the past five years, the re­lease states. Adams demon­strates a “can-do” spirit and at­ti­tude and is ea­ger to vol­un­teer and as­sist wher­ever she is needed. Her car­ing na­ture is ev­i­dent in her in­ter­ac­tions with both stu­dents and staff.

Gale-Bai­ley Prin­ci­pal Verniece Rorie said Adams’ com­mit­ment to the Gale-Bai­ley com­mu­nity also is ev­i­dent in her work ethic.

“She is a staff mem­ber that has an ea­ger spirit who is al­ways ready to go the ex­tra mile for staff and stu­dents,” Rorie wrote in a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion.

In ad­di­tion to her role in the class­room, Adams serves as a mem­ber of the so­cial com­mit­tee, Positive, Be­hav­ioral, In­ter ven­tions and Sup­port (PBIS) and Re­lay for Life teams, and helps to co­or­di­nate Christ­mas in Mar­bury events for the com­mu­nity.

Fisher, a long­time sci­ence teacher with CCPS, cur­rently works with sev­enth graders at John Han­son Mid­dle School, the re­lease states. Fisher has been teach­ing at Han­son for the past 29 years and first worked as a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher be­fore ex­plor­ing her pas­sion for sci­ence. She is cer­ti­fied in deaf ed­u­ca­tion, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and sci­ence, and strives to work with stu­dents of all learn­ing abil­i­ties.

Han­son Prin­ci­pal Su­san McCormick said Fisher is an en­er­getic teacher who is al­ways will­ing to try new things and do what it takes to help chil­dren suc­ceed. Fisher en­joys shar­ing her love of sci­ence with stu­dents and helps them to learn about the en­vi­ron­ment. She also co­or­di­nates the Stu­dent Ser­vice Learn­ing (SSL) pro­gram and of­ten stays af­ter school to help stu­dents com­plete their projects. Fisher men­tors new teach­ers, helps with PBIS pro­grams, serves as the school Math­e­mat­ics, En­gi­neer­ing and Sci­ence Achieve­ment (MESA) spon­sor and is work­ing to­ward Han­son’s Green School cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Gill teaches third grade at C. Paul Barn­hart El­e­men­tary School and works hard to meet the needs of stu­dents, the re­lease states. Her class­room is invit­ing, well or­ga­nized and dec­o­rated with charts that out­line rou­tines, ex­pec­ta­tions and ideas for stu­dents who fin­ish class as­sign­ments early. Gill is cer­ti­fied in English as a Sec­ond Lan­guage (ESOL), which helps her sup­port the large pop­u­la­tion of bilin­gual stu­dents at Barn­hart. Dur­ing her 15 years at Barn­hart, Gill has taught first, sec­ond and third graders and as­sisted sev­eral stu­dents in over­com­ing chal­leng­ing be­hav­iors and aca­demic chal­lenges. She has served as team leader, men­tors new teach­ers and is the year­book spon­sor. Gill also helps to plan spe­cial events for the school com­mu­nity such as the char­ac­ter break­fast and hol­i­day fes­ti­val.

Barn­hart Prin­ci­pal Ben­jamin Kohlhorst cred­its Gill with sev­eral school suc­cesses.

“Gill spends count­less hours above and be­yond the school day in or­der to de­liver high qual­ity lessons. She takes great pride in her work, with stu­dents and the school com­mu­nity,” Kohlhorst wrote in a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion.

Lis­ton is a long­time en­gi­neer­ing teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School and over­sees the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) pro­gram at the school, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. He started his ca­reer as a math­e­mat- ics teacher and re­ceived cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in In­tro­duc­tion to En­gi­neer­ing De­sign, Dig­i­tal Elec­tron­ics and Com­puter In­te­grated Man­u­fac­tur­ing. Lis­ton was in­te­gral in the launch of the PLTW pro­gram at Lackey and teaches a full sched­ule of seven classes in or­der to pro­vide stu­dents with an ad­di­tional ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion credit. His stu­dents ad­mire his pas­sion for teach­ing and his com­mit­ment to help­ing them achieve aca­demic and per­sonal suc­cess. Lis­ton is the spon­sor of the MESA pro­gram at Lackey and has helped his stu­dents achieve sev­eral county and state cham­pi­onship wins. He also helped a Lackey MESA team earn a third place na­tional award in 2014.

Lackey Prin­ci­pal Kathy Per­riello said Lis­ton is an ex­am­ple of a model teacher.

“Mr. Lis­ton serves as a men­tor to other ex­pe­ri­enced and novice teach­ers. More im­por­tantly, when there is a stu­dent need, one can rely on Mr. Lis­ton. He can al­ways be counted on to as­sist when­ever and wher­ever needed,” Per­riello wrote in a recog­ni­tion nom­i­na­tion let­ter.

Philpotts is the me­dia spe­cial­ist at T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School and spon­sors the Ki­wa­nis K-Kids Club, the re­lease states. As spon­sor of the K-Kids Club, Philpotts guides com­mu­nity ser­vice ac­tiv­i­ties for stu­dents and helps to pro­vide ideas on how the club can sup­port the com­mu­nity. She also uses books in cre­ative ways to help stu­dents learn positive be­hav­ior and per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity. Martin spon­sors a Read on the Road pro­gram in which stu­dents are pro­vided with in­cen­tives to read while rid­ing the school bus. Philpotts helps to track pro­gram data and works with stu­dents to choose books. She is child cen­tered and demon­strates a kind and car­ing ap­proach in all that she does, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Philpotts also ded­i­cates time to man­age the school’s re­cy­cling pro­gram and spon­sors the stu­dent coun­cil.

Martin Prin­ci­pal Robert Opiekun cred­its Philpotts’ work ethic for help­ing to make the school a bet­ter learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

“She ac­com­plishes all that she does with an amaz­ing at­ti­tude to­ward her pro­fes­sion and the chil­dren she serves. She speaks pos­i­tively about all chil­dren all the time and works well with every­one. She is a clear as­set to T.C. Martin,” Opiekun wrote in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter.

Rhoades, a kinder­garten in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Dr. Gus­tavus Brown El­e­men­tary School has served the school com­mu­nity for more than 15 years in her po­si­tion and is known for her con­tri­bu­tions to the suc­cess of stu­dents, the re­lease states. She comes to school early daily to pre­pare for the ar­rival of stu­dents and goes out of her way to help her col­leagues pre­pare for the school day. Rhoades demon­strates a positive at­ti­tude and is highly re­garded by her col­leagues as a team player who puts her best ef­fort in ev­ery­thing she does.

Brown Prin­ci­pal Christi­enne War­ren has over­seen the school for the past three years and said when she met Rhoades, she knew she was an as­set to the school.

“As soon as I met her I knew that she was a huge as­set to the Dr. Brown school com­mu­nity. She comes to school ev­ery day, with­out fail. She is a very im­por­tant in­flu­ence in the lives of so many chil­dren and has made a positive im­pres­sion on so many Dr. Brown fam­i­lies,” War­ren wrote in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter.

The board honors sev­eral ex­em­plary school sys­tem em­ploy­ees monthly. Prin­ci­pals and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff rec­om­mend one staff mem­ber for recog­ni­tion be­fore the board an­nu­ally.

Submitted photo

The Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion at its Jan. 10 meet­ing hon­ored six Charles County Pub­lic Schools em­ploy­ees for their com­mit­ment to help­ing chil­dren achieve per­sonal and aca­demic suc­cess. Hon­ored from left were Jonathan Lis­ton, en­gi­neer­ing teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School; Diane Fisher, sci­ence teacher at John Han­son Mid­dle School; Melody Philpotts, me­dia spe­cial­ist at T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School; Toni Adams, a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Gale-Bai­ley El­e­men­tary School; Donna Rhoades, a kinder­garten in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Dr. Gus­tavus Brown El­e­men­tary School; and Pamela Gill, a third-grade teacher at C. Paul Barn­hart El­e­men­tary School.

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