December 2013: Vol. 5, No. 5

Please Save the Date
Stand up for Students

Frederick County is as strong as the citizens we prepare and empower to excel. The promise of public education is to ensure every student a safe, intellectually challenging school environment and to prepare each as a lifelong learner to succeed in pursuing goals including further study and the workplace. 

FCPS encourages all employees to protect the promise of public education. Please mark your calendar, encourage others to attend and bring a friend to Oakdale High, Thursday, January 9*, 7 PM

In addition to enjoying lively student performances and seeing informative videos, participants will hear Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban's budget proposal for resources to ensure that FCPS can continue to deliver what students need in the coming school year.
Find out more: 
Watch the videos:  Protect the Promise of Public Education     
Poverty in Frederick County     
Keeping up the Pace with Maintenance of Effort?                   
*Snow date:  Thursday, January 16

Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

Dionna Polite teaches 4th grade at Whittier ES. See photo.

"Even though she is in her first year of teaching, Dionna fulfills the promise of public education with her commitment to students and families," says Principal Amy Schwiegerath. "She arrives early and stays late to ensure that she is ready for students each day. She considers students' interests and needs when planning lessons. 

"Dionna also created a classroom newspaper to provide an enrichment activity for students. In addition, she teaches an afterschool Extended Learning Opportunities group with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders working to plan Whittier's spring carnival," Ms. Schwiegerath says. "Dionna is a great addition to our teaching staff and FCPS!"

Kudos to staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter: Virginia “Ginni” DuMars, Doug Hering, Kerina Ivey, Melinda Machande, Debbie Michael and Donald Myers.

Now you can nominate an employee who does excellent work!

Seeking Nominations for Two Prestigious AwardsThe Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award ($3,000) and Distinguished Educational Leadership Award recognize teachers and principals who go beyond day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. Nomination packets are due to Communication Services by 3 PM, Friday, January 10, with no exceptions.  Eligibility and nomination criteria:


BEST PRACTICES The American School Board Journal recently surveyed school district leaders about best practices for school security. FCPS made the short list with our initiative to have principals and central office staff FEMA certified in incident command. Chief operating officer Ann Bonitatibus is quoted in the Journal. Kudos to supervisor of Security and Emergency Management Cliff Cornwell and all staff who completed the training. Click here and see page 7 for details

RECYCLING Of all our schools, Heather Ridge had November's highest per capita recycling rate. From August through November, our schools have placed 374,910 pounds of materials into blue recycling bins, diverting valuable resources from being landfilled and saving FCPS money on disposal costs.  Get tips for school recycling: 

PROFESSIONAL Purchasing Department administrative secretary Hope Miller joins an elite group around the country in achieving distinction as a Certified Purchasing Card Professional.

HEISMAN Walkersville HS is proud that student Megan Mounts is a state finalist for the Wendy’s Heisman Award, the only winner in Frederick County. Megan's parents, FCPS employees Dave and Stacey Adamiak, are proud, too!

FlagPATRIOTIC Cluster Maintenance Program Manager Curtis Orndorff earned the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve’s Patriotic Employer Award for his support of employees in America’s Navy Reserve.

CARING Brunswick ES collected and donated 3,686 lbs of nonperishable food to the Brunswick Food Pantry and raised $1,495 for the Food Bank in Western Maryland.

STATE CHAMPS Congratulations to the Middletown HS football team and Coach Kevin Lynott, Gov. TJ HS boys cross country team and Coach Rob Wilhelm and Catoctin HS boys cross country team and Coach Terri Gibbons, in addition to the Urbana HS boys soccer team and Coach Scott Schartner, commended last month.

News to Use

OFFICERS The Board of Education has elected new officers to serve one-year terms, beginning December 18: Joy Schaefer is president, and Kathryn B. Groth is vice president.

CALENDAR  The first day of the 2014-15 school year is Monday, August 25.  The BOE is still determining the remainder of the calendar. To find out more and provide your feedback:

Wellness AppleBENEFIT UDPATE  Working in synergy with the Frederick County Government to save costs, FCPS is changing our Employee Assistance Program from Deer Oaks back to Business Health Services (BHS), effective January 1. BHS provides covered employees and household members with free, confidential assistance to help with personal or professional problems, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, toll-free: 1-800-327-2251. BHS can also help employees find childcare and eldercare services, and provides legal and financial services by phone. Watch for details coming soon from Human Resources.

WEB CONTENT COORDINATOR  Following Webmaster Charles Helfenstein's resignation, FCPS seeks a Web Content Coordinator. If you or somone you know is interested, please apply or share the job description.

KING AWARDS FCPS students will celebrate the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a presentation, open free to employees and the public, called From Vision to Action. This is the 24th year that FCPS has held this event. Throughout the ceremony, which takes place Thursday, January 16, 7 p.m., at TJHS, one student from each school will receive the school’s King Award. The snow date is Thursday, January 23.

SMOB  Nominations are due Friday, January 10 for high school sophomores and juniors who wish to serve as the 2014-15 Student Member of the Board of Education.  The term begins in July 2014. 

BRAIN TEASER  Challenge your brain on a Friday night, but don't call out the answers as you watch matches of the 33rd annual FCPS Academic Tournament.  Here's the schedule.
Recent FCPS TV videos not listed elsewhere in this issue:

Academic Business Connection*

*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.

FCPS Fast Fact

Q:  How much did FCPS employees contribute to this year's Combined Charities Campaign?

A:  $67,559, which was $13,268 short of our goal.  Late donations can still be received.  Please contact