County wel­comes fu­ture teach­ers from Bowie State

Record Observer - - NEWS - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

STEVENSVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools wel­comed Bowie State Univer­sity stu­dents to Stevensville Mid­dle School in early April. Prospec­tive new teach­ers were in­vited for the sec­ond year to learn about teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Queen Anne’s County.

“This is a great time to be work­ing for the Queen Anne’s County school sys­tem,” said Brad En­gel,. “There are many pos­i­tive thing hap­pen­ing and we want the Bowie State stu­dents to see that we have a place for them in our school sys­tem ... we just needed to bring them here and the school sys­tem will sell it­self.”

QACPS’ part­ner­ship with Bowie State Univer­sity be­gan three years ago when En­gel, also co-chair of the Multi-Cul­tural Pro­fi­ciency Com­mit­tee, forged a part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity. En­gel was in­vited to speak to stu­dents at Bowie State in 2015 in an ef­fort to share about the great op­por­tu­ni­ties in Queen Anne’s County. With Dr. Lynne Long, depart­ment chair of Ed­u­ca­tion at Bowie State Univer­sity, En­gel worked to­gether to plan a day where stu­dents from BSU would come to spend the day in Queen Anne’s get­ting to know the schools, the staff and stu­dents.

The first part­ner­ship day was held last year around the same time. Ac­cord­ing to En­gel the event was a great suc­cess and the 40 stu­dents who came from BSU had the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­view with school ad­min­is­tra­tors and su­per­vi­sors and take a tour of a few of the ele­men­tary, mid­dle and high Schools.

As a re­sult, Dan­nan Jones, grad­u­ate at BSU, was hired at Bay­Side Ele­men­tary School. “Danaan shared with me that he was so im­pressed with the staff and the warm wel­come he was given that he re­ally felt like his was a place where he would like to start his ca­reer.” said En­gel.

As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of In­struc­tion for QACPS Janet Pauls co-chairs the Ed­u­ca­tion That is Multi-Cul­tural Com­mit­tee with En­gel. “Ms. Pauls has been very in­stru­men­tal in the devel­op­ment of this work,” said En­gel. The com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing goals and an ac­tion plan for the school sys­tem has al­lowed us to move for­ward in our ef­forts, he added.

We have four goals: to re­duce the drop-out rate of African Amer­i­can stu­dents, to re­duce the num­ber of dis­pro­por­tion­ate sus­pen­sions of African Amer­i­can stu­dents, to in­crease the num­bers of African Amer­i­can stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in hon­ors classes and to in­crease the di­ver­sity of the teach­ing, coun­sel­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff in Queen Anne’s County ... This, said En­gel, is where the Bowie Part­ner­ship Day con­nects to the work of the Ed­u­ca­tion that is Mul­ti­cul­tural Com­mit­tee.

“The cur­rent di­ver­sity of the teach­ing staff does not re­flect the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion and the com­mu­nity,”said En­gel.

Ac­cord­ing to En­gel, the ar­rival of Greg Pilewski, In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools, to the Queen Anne’s County School sys­tem has been in­stru­men­tal in meet­ing these goals. “When Mr. Pilewski started here al­most two years ago ... on the first day he was on the job he shared with me is com­mit­ment to bring­ing eq­uity and di­ver­sity to Queen Anne’s County, and he has kept his word,” said En­gel. “Many of these pos­i­tive new changes are oc­cur­ring un­der his lead­er­ship and we are fol­low­ing his di­rec­tion ... I feel very for­tu­nate to be work­ing so closely on this is­sue with both Mr. Pilewski and Ms. Pauls,” En­gel added.

En­gel be­lieves, the Bowie Part­ner­ship Day is re­flec­tive of the cul­ture changes within the school sys­tem. Staff at all schools have been re­ceiv­ing cul­tural di­ver­sity train­ing put in place ac­cord­ing to a plan de­vel­oped by Pilewski and Pauls to in­crease the pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment of all staff and pro­vide eq­uity to all stu­dents, said En­gel.

Stu­dents from Bowie State Univer­sity break out into group ses­sions with ad­min­is­tra­tors and fac­ulty from Queen Anne’s Pub­lic Schools.

Stevensville Mid­dle School Su­per­vi­sor of Sci­ence, Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion, Michael Page en­thu­si­as­ti­cally presents his love of ed­u­ca­tion to prospec­tive new teach­ers.

As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of In­struc­tion for Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools, Janet Pauls, wel­comes stu­dents from Bowie State Univer­sity to Stevensville Mid­dle School and QACPS. Pauls also cochairs the Ed­u­ca­tion That is Multi-Cul­tural Com­mit­tee.

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