Board of Education Reviews Update on Middle School Reform

May 28, 2008
The Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 27, and among other items, discussed an update on middle school reform. In addition, the Board appointed four administrators, recognized winners of scholarships from the Asian American Education Association and the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, and acknowledged winners of the Margaret Cutler Interages Award and Champions for Children awards.

Update on Middle School Reform

Middle school students and staff demonstrated the kinds of learning experiences provided under the Middle School Reform Initiative. The initiative was designed to engage students and provide instruction that encourages students to develop skills needed in the 21st century. These skills include the ability to work in teams, solve complex problems, interpret information, communicate effectively, connect learning across disciplines, think strategically, and apply knowledge to real-life situations. 
The reform initiative was originally scheduled as a three-year implementation model. Due to budgetary constraints, the phase-in schedule will be extended beyond the original time frame. Phase II of the program in 2008-2009 is expected to extend the number of schools with full implementation from five to 11. Additional schools would receive some of the important components of the initiative.


The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

Richard C. Johnstone, currently senior benefits manager, Sodexo, as director, Benefits Strategy and Vendor Relations, Department of Financial Services, Office of the Chief Operating Officer

Robert Sinclair, Jr., currently assistant principal, Redland Middle School, as principal, Redland Middle School

Adrienne L. Morrow, currently assistant principal, Rolling Terrace Elementary School, as principal, East Silver Spring Elementary School

Richard M. Jolles, currently acting coordinator, Student eLearning Program, Division of Career and Technology Education, as coordinator, Student eLearning Program, Division of Career and Technology Education

Recognition of Asian American Education Association Scholarship Recipients

The Board recognized six winners of $1,000 scholarships from the Asian American Education Association. The winners, students committed to becoming a teacher in an elementary or secondary school, are:

Brian Ting-Wei Chang—Montgomery Blair High School
Tiffany Ann Eng—Springbrook High School
Ariel La—Montgomery Blair High School
Jeong Hwa Lee—Thomas Wootton High School
Hyo Jin Lim—Sherwood High School
Becky Thorner—Thomas Wootton High School

The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. High Achievement Scholarship Recipients

The Board recognized 13 winners of $1,000 scholarships from the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. The awards, sponsored by Verizon Maryland, reward students who evidence high academic achievement and who have provided consistent, quality service to the Learning Academy.

The scholarship recipients are: Daniel Ahn, John F. Kennedy High School; Jonathan Chan, Sherwood High School; Tania Chatterjee, Col. Zadok Magruder High School; Zachery Graves, Paint Branch High School; Vincent Ho, Sherwood High School; Brittany Hodges, Albert Einstein High School; Rais Khan, Kennedy High School; Tim Peng, Montgomery Blair High School; Kenneth Perez, Watkins Mill High School; Dakari Quimby, Sherwood High School; Hannah Schroeder, Sherwood High School; Cynthia Serpas, Magruder High School; and Karidad Yitbarek, Kennedy High School.

Margaret Cutler Interages Award

The Board recognized Larry Hartnett, a volunteer with Interages since 1990 and winner of the Margaret Cutler Interages Award for 2007. The Cutler Award honors an individual who has contributed to Interages' mission to build bridges across generations and cultures.

Champions for Children Awards

The Board recognized the winners of the 2007 Champions for Children awards. They are:

Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision—Dr. Debra K. Mugge, principal of Argyle Middle School
Montgomery County Teacher of the Year—Christopher Orlando, advanced placement calculus teacher, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award—Suzanne A. Maxey, principal of Seneca Valley High School
Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award—Gwen D. McWhorter, math resource teacher, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
2008 Rookie Teacher of the Year—Sean P. Kelly, special education teacher, Clarksburg High School
SEIU Local 500 Supporting Services Employee of the Year—Christopher J. Lazor, building service worker, Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary School
Volunteer Champion for Children—Montgomery Blair High School PTSA
Business Champion for Children—MCT Federal Credit Union

Board of Education: Mrs. Nancy Navarro, president. Ms. Shirley Brandman, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Sharon Cox, Dr. Judy Docca, Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, and Mr. Ben Moskowitz, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected county-wide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.

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