Board of Education to Recognize 17 Individuals, Organizations for Distinguished Service

May 3, 2023

The Montgomery County Board of Education has announced its recipients for the 26th Annual Awards for Distinguished Service to Public Education. The awards were established by the Board of Education to recognize and show appreciation for exemplary contributions to public education and to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Nominations were received from the general community, as well as community organizations, businesses, Board members and MCPS staff.

This year’s Distinguished Service Award winners are:

Individual Pioneer

  • John J. McCarthy, Esq., State’s Attorney for Montgomery County

Community Individuals

  • Jewru Bandeh, director, Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center
  • Ricardo Loaiza, executive director, After School Dance Fund, Inc., Silver Spring

Community Groups

  • Black Ministers Conference of Montgomery County Maryland
  • CTE Healthcare Professions PAC and Sarah Walker, president
  • Jewish Community Relations Council, North Bethesda
  • Luis Cardona, administrator, Positive Youth Development, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and Street Outreach Network (SONS)
  • Huayuan Chinese Academy, Germantown


  • CAVA, Ted Xenohristos  

MCPS Staff

  • Aranda Brown, ESOL teacher, Gaithersburg High School
  • Marianne Hamerski, administrative services manager, Office of the Deputy Superintendent
  • Steven Lightman, physical education teacher, Bayard Rustin Elementary School
  • Sara Lucas-Dreiss, teacher, Longview School
  • Farzaneh Nabavian, parent community coordinator
  • Cheryl Sellitti, teacher, Cold Spring Elementary School
  • Sofia Vega-Ormeno, assistant principal, Col. Zadok Magruder High School

School Service Volunteer

  • Hannah Lucas-Dreiss, 12th grade student, Poolesville High School

The Board will recognize the honorees during a ceremony at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.







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