December 2016: Vol. 8, No. 5

Centerville Named Blue Ribbon School
1 of Only 6 in Maryland, 11th for FCPS

CES Blue RibbonCenterville ES is one of only six 2016-2017 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools! Principal Tracy Hilliard (shown in the photo holding the school's award) was in Baltimore December 5 with (left to right in the photo) her school's math specialist Laura Keilholtz, 3rd grade teacher Kelli Smith, special education teacher Karima Sharper, literacy specialist Sara Peacher, 5th grade teacher MaryRose Fegley and Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban to hear the great news. See the photo!

The Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

“The entire FCPS community takes pride in this recognition of Centerville Elementary. The school combines outstanding academic results with caring, committed administrators and teachers, and a strong and engaged community,” says Superintendent Alban.

Ten other Frederick County public schools have received national Blue Ribbon School awards: Kemptown ES—2015, New Market ES—2010, Windsor Knolls MS—2002, Middletown MS—1998, Yellow Springs ES—1994, Frederick HS and Linganore HS—1993, Gov. Thomas Johnson HS—1991, Middletown ES—1990 and Middletown HS—1987.

Centerville ES is in the running for national Blue Ribbon School recognition.  About ­­­1,000 students attend the school, which has about 100 staff members. See the full news release.

FCPS All-Stars
Achieving the Promise of Public Education

Kate FlynnThe Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) selected West Frederick MS Library Media Specialist Kathryn "Kate" Flynn the winner of the group's inaugural Michele Forney Conference Scholarship.

Kate impressed those on the review committee with the many ways she makes sure that Spanish-speaking students feel welcome in the Media Center. Reviewers loved that she added dual-language signage, ensures that the public library's bookmobile visits the school, and uses digital resources to connect with students.

Kate received a complimentary registration to the annual MASL conference, held this year in Hagerstown, with recognition for her contributions to the profession and for her superior service to students. The scholarship is in memory of past MASL president and Prince George's County Public Schools Library Media Specialist Michele Forney, who had a particular passion for working with students with special needs.

StarsCongratulations to staff earning FCPS All-Star Awards since our November newsletter: Douglas Abrecht, Cheryl Bales, Randy Connatser, David Goto, Tara Ketteringham, Nicholas Pingatore, Alexander Reifer and James Rippeon.

Know someone who deserves FCPS All-Star recognition?
See All-Star nomination criteria and forms.


WES CarolersHOLIDAY CHEER Walkersville ES staff traveled by school bus on a recent afternoon to five local neighborhoods to sing carols to their students. Their out-of-the-box approach to show students they care brought WHAG to town to cover the story: See it here.

MILESTONES Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban and BOE President Brad Young congratulated employees who have achieved educational milestones or industry credentials. See their names and photo!

INNOVATIVE The December 8 EdSurge News features an article from FCPS Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation Department Executive Director Dr. Kevin Cuppett. Titled, Frederick County's Call to Administrators: Focus on the 'Innovator' and 'Early Adopter' Teachers, First, the article highlights our Vanguard Teachers program and describes blended learning--an approach that leverages technology to deliver online content to students, blending technology with other methods of instruction.

STATE CHAMPIONS The Walkersville HS Lions captured their first state title since 1987, winning the football 2A championship! Coach Joe Polce was also named the Baltimore Ravens' High School Football Coach of the Year and is a Don Shula National Coach of the Year nominee, headed to Orlando for recognition at the NFL Pro Bowl.

Jeff Colsh coached the Middletown HS team to a win in the boys soccer 2A championship, a second consecutive year.

Scott Schartner coached the Urbana HS team to a win in the boys soccer 3A championship and the MPSSAA Steve Malone Sportsmanship Award the same night that Chuck Nichols coached the Urbana HS team to a win in the girls soccer 3A championship.

Will Scheetz coached Walkersville HS student-athletes to wins in Unified Tennis B and C state championships.

News to Use

NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES  As FCPS bids farewell to Chief Operating Officer Ray Barnes, we prepare to welcome new COO Paul Lebo in January. Also in January, Director of Technology Infrastructure Edward Gardner comes on board, and for the reminder of this school year Carol Breeze will serve in a new role as Acting Director of Special Education for Compliance and Student Support. See the full news release for their bios and more. FCPS also bid a reluctant farewell to Charlie Bowers this month and welcomes Vickie Brashears as the new building manager at Central Office.

CalendarCALENDAR APPROVED The BOE has finalized the 2017-2018 school year calendar. Teachers will report Monday, August 28, 2017, with students starting after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 5. See the full calendar.

ACADEMIC TOURNAMENT For great Friday night entertainment, check out the free 36th Academic Tournament matches starting at 5:45 PM, January 6 and running weekly at 6 PM until the champtionship on February 24. Teams from all 10 of our high schools will put their knowledge and recall to the test. See the topics and more in the full news release.

SMOB Know a civic-minded high school sophomore or junior? Nominations are open for the 2017-2018 Student Member of the Board of Education until Friday, January 6. See the full news release.

KNOW THE FACTS FCPS has launched an online resource with answers to FAQs and more regarding the recently concluded investigation into a breach of student data that occurred before 2010 and affected about 1,000 students who attended FCPS between 2005 and 2006. Watch the Important FCPS Message about Student Data, with announcements from Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban and Board President Brad Young. FCPS posted the message on our website, our TV station, Facebook, Twitter and FindOutFirst. Please address any questions to and refer anyone with questions to FCPS information security at or 301-644-5332.

Come to the Superintendent's Budget Forum when Dr. Terry Alban unveils her recommended budget for FY2018 Thursday, January 5, 7-8 PM, in the Central Office Board Room, 191 S. East Street, Frederick. The snow date is Monday, January 9. Your questions and feedback are welcome and encouraged. Participate in person or via Comcast cable channel 18 (view on TV or online), submit questions to or Twitter at #FCPSPromise and Facebook.

COURIER During the holiday break from Tuesday, December 27-Friday, December 30, the FCPS Warehouse will provide courier service to the FCPS Central Office, the Hayward Complex and Frederick County Government offices only. Service to schools and normal business operations will resume Tuesday, January 3. For more information: or 301-644-5393.

PROGRESS See how FCPS measures progress in the 2016 annual update to Maryland's Reform Plan: Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools, Progress Report #28, Volume I online.

RESPECT Just after we published the November issue, our BOE issued this important Message to the FCPS Community.

FCPS In a Minute: December 2     December 9     December 16    Full Playlist
Tweet of the Week: Middletown MS Math Specialist Derek Beet

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Watch FCPS TV Live

FCPS Fast Fact

BOE LogoQ:  Can you name the BOE President and Vice President for 2017?

A:  At its December 14 annual meeting with new members Michael Bunitsky and Dr. Kenneth Kerr, newly re-elected member Joy Schaefer, and formerly elected members Liz Barrett, Colleen Cusimano, Dr. April Miller, Brad Young and student member Carter Gipson present, both 2016 officers were re-elected. Brad Young remains President, and Liz Barrett Vice President of the Board of Education of Frederick County. See BOE photos and bios. The Board's executive assistant is Debbie Wachter-Harne.