Board Honors Dr. Weast, Others for Public Service

November 3, 2003
The Montgomery County Board of Education will honor nine individuals and organizations in its seventh annual awards program for distinguished service to public education in Montgomery County on Thursday, November 6. The Board also will make a special presentation honoring Superintendent Jerry D. Weast for being named Maryland Superintendent of the Year for 2003.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 6, at 6:00 p.m. in the Carver Educational Services Center auditorium, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

The Distinguished Service Awards were established by the Board of Education to recognize and show appreciation for exemplary contributions to public education and to the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The categories of the awards and the individuals and groups who will receive them are:

Business Individual/Organization

AmeriDream, Inc., for its partnership with Rosemont Elementary School that pairs company employees with Rosemont students to provide academic support and friendship. The corporation also provides financial assistance to Rosemont programs.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, for its partnership with Maryvale Elementary School that provides mentoring for students. The corporation also has provided funding for several aesthetic improvements to the school and for transportation to give children access to summer school.

Individual Pioneer

Margit Meissner, for the significant impact she has had on the development of special education in Montgomery County over the past 25 years. Her advocacy was largely responsible for the establishment of the MCCPTA Special Needs Committee, the creation of the GT/LD program for gifted students with learning disabilities, and the creation of TransCen, a nonprofit organization that develops employment opportunities for young people with disabilities.

Community Individual

Dr. Yvette Butler, for developing and funding the start-up of Gapbuster, an after-school program for Grades 1 through 12 to provide meaningful activities and tutoring sessions for students needing extra assistance.

Theodore W. Urban, for exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism by serving on the Montgomery County Public Schools Employees’ Retirement and Pension System Board of Investment Trustees since 1996.

Community Group/Organization

Linkages to Learning, a collaboration among the county Department of Health and Human Services, nonprofit provider agencies, and the school system, for its successful efforts since 1993 in providing integrated school-based health, mental health, and social services to at-risk children and families.

MCPS Staff

Susan Barrett, for her excellence as a teacher, her work in developing the International Baccalaureate Program at Richard Montgomery High School, and her guidance of the school’s Writing Center for students.

Dedra H. Greene, for her outstanding service for 20 years as a counselor and resource counselor at Julius West Middle School. Among her contributions is the Brotherhood of Superstars (BOSS), providing motivational speakers and experiences to African American male students.

James J. Laws, for his contributions and leadership in the Thomas Edison High School of Technology Biotechnology Program, particularly in the challenging opportunities provided to students with disabilities.

“Pioneer Award” winners are individuals who, although they may not be active currently, have made extraordinary contributions in the past that have had a profound effect on the school system over the years. Winners in other categories are individuals, groups, or organizations that have, within the past three years, provided service, support, and commitment to public education as demonstrated by:

§ An outstanding contribution of time and expertise to school system programs
§ Development and/or implementation of an exemplary program or project
§ A contribution that results in systemwide benefit.

Nominations for the awards were sought from the general community as well as community organizations, businesses, the superintendent of schools, and members of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

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