February 2018: Vol. 9, No. 7

Character Education That Shows
Staff, Students, Families and Community: FCPS Cares

NMES Shaving DayFCPS adopted Character Counts! as our character-education program in 1996, and the program is still going strong in 2018. At all grade levels, schools support the six "pillars" of good character: caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness.

At school and systemwide events, such as the recent 28th annual FCPS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, FCPS presents awards to students who demonstrate these attributes.

Learning the value of good character begins in elementary school. A recent event at New Market ES is just one example of the ways staff and students care for others in each of our schools.

In its 10th annual Pennies for Patients drive, New Market ES collected more than $6,000 to benefit cancer research through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Over 10 years, the school's donations have added up to more than $37,000.

To show support for people who lose their hair during cancer treatments and teach students to see beyond appearances, New Market ES concluded its Pennies for Patients drive with Shaving Day! In the photo, PE teacher Sarah Reynolds (left) shaves school counselor Chris Tressler, parents and hair stylists Lauren Nicholson and Rebecca Davis shave user support specialist Brian Hitchcock and instructional assistant Jessica Baugher, and assistant principal Molly Reter shaves Principal Jason Bowser.

From collections of pennies to collections of food, clothing, disaster-relief supplies and more, staff, student, family and community generosity abounds.

Twice each year, the FCPS Office of Counseling and Student Support publishes the FCPS Character Counts! Newsletter, detailing character-education activities in each of our schools. See the newest edition.

FCPS All-Stars
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

MarshaMeredithAdministrative Secretary Marsha Meredith is the friendly face of Myersville ES.

A shining example of how to encourage and sustain collaborations with families and the entire community to support student achievement, she makes it a priority to learn students' and parents' names. They appreciate her welcoming smile, says Principal Kathy Swire.

Mrs. Meredith handles concerns with professionalism and grace. Staff commends her daily efficiency, from managing late passes and parent phone calls for dismissal changes, to ordering and maintaining supplies and inventory. She also organizes the school's wellness activities, keeping the staff relaxed and informed with HR2U messages and wellness opportunity updates.

"Rarely does anything fluster her," says Principal Swire; "she is easy-going but also organized and on top of deadlines. We love her!"

starsCongratulations to Marsha Meredith and to staff earning FCPS All-Star Awards since our January issue:
Dan Beck and Laura Rudy.

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


EXCELLENCE See our 2018 Teacher of the Year nominees from each school!

ChinaHongKongMapFULBRIGHT Oakdale HS social studies teacher Kate Ehrlich secured a US Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Group Projects grant to travel throughout China and Hong Kong.

WELLNESS FCPS earned an Adventist HealthCare LifeWork Strategies 2017 Flu Fighter Award for efforts in preventing influenza. Kudos to HR Employee Benefits Senior Manager Penny Opalka and Benefits and Wellness Coordinator Phoebe Barreto. Prevent the flu!

1ST PLACE Our Career & Technology Center teachers are doing something right. The following teach students who placed 1st in regional (Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties) SkillsUSA--in Advertising Design, Susan Yager; in Automotive Service Technology, Tracey Hicks and Gary Wilfong; in Commercial Baking, Margie Liddick and Charlie Zachmann; in Cosmetology/Esthetics/Hair/Nail Care/Skin Care, Omega Phillips and Janet Reeder; in Nursing Assisting, Karin Kidd, Jenny Maher and Debbie Yoho; and in Plumbing, Charles Crum.

FUTURE CITY Oakdale MS students whom our Advanced Academics Specialist Karen Shomaker coached won trophies for Best Physical Model and Safest and Most Sustainable Highway System, ranking 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic Region's Future City competition.

BEST IN SHOW Oakdale HS Graphic Arts and Digital Photography teacher Patricia Stockman earned Best in Show at the Cumberland Valley Photographers Exhibition on display at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

MATHLETES Kudos to MATHCOUNTS coaches whose teams qualified for state-level competion: David Erb and Sarah Frank from Urbana MS (1st place), Joe Daly and Ashley Lancaster from Gov TJ MS (2nd place), and Amy Heaton from Windsor Knolls MS (3rd place). A Monocacy MS student ranked 1st in individual competition. See the news release. Joe Daly coordinated this year's events.

ACCOMPLISHED Bringing the number of FCPS educators who have achieved the very rigorous and highly prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification to 58, the following completed this achievement in 2018 and received recognition at the February 14 BOE meeting: Jessica Bowers, Erin Doolittle, Mary Rose Fegley, Ellen Georgi, Diane Herndon, Darlene Kerr, Katherine Miller, Kimberly Parry, Caris Richmond, Scott Rippeon, Sarah Severance, Elisabeth Smith and Jennifer True. See the names of all 58!

News to Use

OUTSTANDING Know a teacher, substitute or support employee who does amazing work? Nominations are open for the 2018 Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award (due Friday, March 23), the FCPS Substitute Employee of the Year Award (due Thursday, March 29) and the Outstanding FCPS Support Employee Awards (due Thursday, March 29).

SCHOOL SAFETY Following the school shooting in Parkland, FL, FCPS shared two systemwide communications: February 15, 2018 and February 22, 2018. Watch for more information about FCPS-hosted meetings in the coming weeks.

RECYCLING The Frederick County Department of Solid Waste Management "Recycle Right" contest offers students a chance to learn and win prizes. Grade-level groups for judging are K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Entries are due Friday, April 6. Find out more.

IEP VideoIEP VIDEO Please widely share our new video with everyone interested in the Special Education Individualized Education Program process:

In a Minute: February 2   February 9   February 16   February 23

Tweet of the Week Episodes:
Aqua Fest with Peter Daddone
Student Achievement Supervisor Jennifer Bingman
Facilities Planning Supervisor Beth Pasierb

FCPS Fast Fact

Q: What's the FCPS procedure for providing student meals when there's no money in a student's account?

A:  FCPS will always feed every student regardless of whether there is money in a student's account.

Elementary and middle school students are served from the school's regular menu.

High school students receive a Wowbutter*-and-jelly sandwich, cheese stick, fruit and/or vegetable and/or milk.

Details about how schools manage meal charges and assist with Free and Reduced-Price Meals applications are online here.

*nut-free peanut butter substitute