Fourth Annual Board of Education Awards for Distinguished Service to Public Education to be Presented at November 14th Ceremony

November 13, 2000
The Montgomery County Board of Education will honor 12 individuals and organizations in its fourth annual awards program for distinguished service to public education in Montgomery County. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Carver Educational Services Center auditorium, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

The 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:

Community Group/Organization

The Benjamin Banneker Honors Math and Science Society (BBHMSS) is a non-profit organization that has focused on academic achievement for minority students in mathematics and science since 1989. Through programs including SAT prep courses, an Economic Development and Enrichment Program, and a tutorial program with the United States Naval Academy, BBHMSS has provided many effective ways to help children thrive and succeed.

The Hispanic Parents Committee at Albert Einstein High School, under the leadership of Hector Lazo, has worked to improve the academics of students and create strong partnerships with the community. A Saturday Academy at the school, staffed by parent volunteers and teachers, has honed the academic skills of more than 150 students and encouraged them to apply to college. The Committee has established a telephone tree to encourage community participation in school activities and provided empowerment seminars to encourage students to improve their performance.

Business Individual/Organization

Wanda Brown, coordinator of Educational Services for PEPCO, is the immediate past president of the Montgomery Education Connection, an organization that fosters partnerships between business and education. She has guided numerous programs that connect students with the culture of the workplace and that help teachers understand their role in developing a skilled workforce.

Elida Vargas-Carrasco used the experiences of her son, who started as a low-performing student in the Dominican Republic and went on to win a Rhodes Scholarship, to found Education 2000. The program empowers Latino parents and students to improve student academic achievement through individualized plans of action for each student and parent. More than 300 students have successfully participated in the program.

Pioneer Individual

Mary Ann Bowen has served in numerous leadership capacities at every level of the PTA school, cluster, county and state. She has worked tirelessly as a unifying force and problem solver and has contributed her expertise and experience to countless committees, workgroups and task forces. Her guidance and counsel have been sought not only by PTA parents, but also by many school system administrators.

Lawrence A. Shulman's leadership has led to the founding of four non-profit foundations that have linked businesses to school system needs and provided great benefit to students. These include the Montgomery County Students Construction Trades Foundation, Automotive Trades Foundation and Retail Trades Foundation, and the Montgomery Education Connection.

Dr. Richard Wilson, MCPS social studies coordinator for 26 years, strengthened the academic rigor of social studies, targeted instruction to the developmental characteristics of students and provided a model for the meaningful integration of technology into instruction. He developed a highly successful Advanced Placement program in social studies and has nurtured the professional development of many teachers.

Community Individual

Lois Stoner has been the primary liaison between the Board of Education and the Montgomery County delegation in the Maryland General Assembly for the last 20 years. Her knowledge of the legislative process and the public schools was invaluable to all parties and resulted in good communication, understanding, and legislation that benefited the county and its students.

Michelle Turner is entering her third year as the Albert Einstein Cluster coordinator. She previously has served effectively and knowledgeably in a variety of capacities with school PTA groups and particularly has been a vigorous advocate on behalf of Glen Haven Elementary School. She also finds time to be the mother of six children, five of whom attend Einstein Cluster schools and one who has just graduated.

James and Linda Cafritz have contributed to the school system in many ways. Mr. Cafritz has served on the MCPS Education Foundation and has been particularly active on the General and Technology Grants and Scholarship Information committees. Behind the scenes, the couple has helped disadvantaged students with financial and emotional support. Their recruiting of people and ideas and genuine caring for those in need of assistance are among the qualities that have earned them this award.

Montgomery County Public Schools Staff

Betty Collins, principal of Galway Elementary School for the past five years, has been an educator in Montgomery County for more than 25 years. Her deep belief in her students and their abilities has been called one of her greatest assets. She has made important contributions to many education committees, including planning groups within the Northeast Consortium.

Sandy Shmookler has been an untiring advocate for MCPS, creating internships and classes for students, developing training opportunities for teachers, and generating financial contributions to the MCPS Educational Foundation. Among her projects is a partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute during the past decade that has significantly enriched science education opportunities for students and teachers.

"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:

- 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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