May 2013: Vol. 4, No. 10

FCPS at Your Fingertips
School System Launches Mobile App



FCPS has launched an app for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to put school information at your fingertips and encourage community stakeholders to more fully engage in public education.

Consolidating various forms of media in one place, the new app offers easy access to FCPS:

*Calendar Handbook
*Facebook and Twitter feeds
*YouTube videos
*Grades online
*FindOutFirst and
*Schools directory
*Job openings and other helpful resources.

To download the free FCPS app to your mobile device, visit: for iOS
or for Android.

This is just a beginning for the new app. The Communication Services Office welcomes your feedback via email to or by using the app’s 'Contact Us' feature.

Kudos to FCPS video production specialist Paul Puglisi for taking the lead on this project!



Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

JillWiltonBrunswick High instructional assistant Jill Wilton recently earned a First-Class Employee Award for the enthusiastic way she helps others and her keen attention to detail.

"Jill is positive, reliable and works well with students," says Principal Nancy Doll. "If a problem arises, she doesn’t get stressed; she handles it. Juggling a lot of responsibility with skill and grace, Jill is truly amazing!"

In addition to organizing testing, Jill makes a major contribution in the school's counseling office and helps prepare students for their lives after high school.

FirstClassRibbonCongratulations to Jill and other staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter:  David Adamiak, John Bergeron, Jaime Bowers, Jennifer Boyle, Suzanne Buxbaum, Leslie Byrd, Ellen Georgi, Michael Harrison, Mardy Holt, Kathleen Horner, Matt Isleib, Emma Kaveney, Karen King, Mary Lennon, Monika McCormick, Cathy Menzel, Marsha Meredith, Dr. Elizabeth Ann Monn, Mary Ellen Newcomb, Jenna Novotni, Sue Palmer, Allison Partner, Jacqueline Pickett, Kathi Sadtler, Sharon Smith, Tammie Smith, Ann Ventre, Robert Viti, Stephen Ward and Stephanie Weigelt.


AMERICA'S BEST HIGH SCHOOLS ALL* FCPS high schools made the 2013 America’s Best High Schools list. According to Newsweek, the 2013 ranking highlights the best 2,000 public high schools in the nation—those proven the most effective in turning out college-ready grads. More about America's Best High Schools
*Oakdale was too newly opened to have a Class of 2012

TEACHER OF THE YEAR Meet the 2013 FCPS Teacher of the Year, Karl Kidd
Karl Kidd from Urbana ES!  Read Mr. Kidd's bio in the full news release. 
Watch as Mr. Kidd gets his award! 
See the slide show of all FCPS Teacher of the Year semifinalists and finalists!

DISTINGUISHED Urbana HS social studies teacher Marlon Moran, who also works with the FCPS Virtual School programs, is the 2013 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award winner. Hood College presents this award each May to an FCPS teacher who has made a significant impact on young people. See Mr. Moran's photo and bio in the full news release. Watch as the FCPS Prize Patrol surprises Mr. Moran with the award!

BEST IN STATE The Maryland School Counselor Association recently named Whittier ES counselor Jill Goodman the statewide 2013 School Counselor of the Year.

MORE BEST IN STATE The Maryland Association of Pupil Personnel named Brenda Harne-Herbert 2013 Pupil Personnel Worker of the Year.  See the photo of BOE President Jean Smith and Brenda the day she received BOE recognition! More

OUTSTANDING SUPPORT The Frederick County Association of Education Office Professionals named Debbie B. Smith Office Professional of the Year. Debbie is the Central Office secretary for Career and Technology Education.

DOCTOR, DOCTOR  Congratulations to Ann Bonitatibus and Steve Lockard on completing their doctorate degrees!

NATION'S TOP 10  FCPS is the only Maryland district to make the Top 10 U.S. School Districts list for technology strides every year since 2009. In their ninth annual Digital School Districts Survey, the Center for Digital Education and National School Boards Association ranked FCPS ninth among districts with 12,000 students or more.

2ND NATIONWIDE The Frederick ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) team placed 2nd nationwide in the seventh annual Construction Industry Round Table-ACE Design Competition. The team presented its winning project, Universal Design Home Retro-Fit, at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. April 30, arriving by limousine from the FCPS Career & Technology Center. The CTC students’ Architectural Computer-Aided Design instructor is Phil Arnold. See photo and more.

NATIONAL MERIT In the Real World Design Challenge, this year's Design Viability National Merit Award went to the 7-member team of FCPS students. Kudos to the team and to our CTC's Engineering CAD teacher Phil Arnold.

MARYLAND GOLD In statewide SkillsUSA competition, 13 CTC students earned first-place gold medals, 14 earned second-place silver medals, and 6 earned bronze. Special commendations to CTC teachers of students earning gold:  Phil Arnold, Melvin Baker, Frank Damazo, Adam Frank, Doug Hering, Bridgette Hopkins, Robb Jones, Jeff Keilholtz, Jenny Maher and Frank Taylor.

EXCELLENT The FCPS Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences Program earned the Maryland State Department of Education's 2013 Career and Technology Education (CTE) Outstanding Secondary Program of Excellence Award. Kudos to CTC Principal Greg Solberg, program instructor Kathy Koops, FCPS CTE supervisor Kristine Pearl and CTE coordinator Eric Haines.  See photo and more.

YEAR’S BEST  The Thurmont Lions Club named Catoctin HS’s Kati Heefner 2013 Teacher of the Year.  The Club also named as school-level Teachers of the Year: Christopher Barnhart, Thurmont PS; Berna LaForce, Thurmont MS; Marnie Mortenson, Sabillasville ES; Nancy Progar, Emmitsburg ES; Julie Skowronski, Lewistown ES and Christy Williams, Thurmont ES.

WellnessAppleLogoKEEPING COSTS DOWN  Human Resources benefits specialist and wellness coordinator Tiana Haile organized a successful Health & Wellness Expo for employees, with grant funding from United Healthcare and support from numerous local businesses and organizations, FCPS Food and Nutrition Services staff and our Career & Technology Center Academy of Health Professions students. This type of event helps FCPS keep insurance costs down as it underscores the school system's commitment to employee wellness. Kudos to the 150+ employees who attended and to all who worked to make the expo a success. P.S. You are welcome join Team FCPS in the American Diabetes Association's October 13 Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes...Register now!

HIGHEST HONORS Earth and Space Science Lab co-directors Mark Bowman and Jeffrey Grills were two among five winners of this year’s Rotary Club of Carroll Creek Paul Harris Awards for Community Service. This is the highest recognition the Rotary bestows on individuals who exemplify the Rotary slogan, Service above Self. See photo and more.

TEACHER AWARD The Maryland Association of Teacher Educators presented a 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award to Oakdale ES teacher Chelsea Nutter.

News to Use

MYSCHOOLBUCKS FCPS is transitioning from the Heartland School Solutions Cafe' Prepay to their MySchoolBucks program, with new accounts going live Monday, June 3. Find out why we are changing to MySchoolBucks.

NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES FCPS has appointed individuals to fill two staff vacancies, effective July 1. Dr. Jeanine Molock will serve as director of Research, Development and Accountability, replacing Steve Hess, who has retired. Andrew Raith will serve in a new position as supervisor of Student Information. Find out more about our newcomers in the full news release.

NEW PARTNERS Thanks to a partnership with Sandy Spring Bank, FCPS students will use the EverFi Financial Literacy™ program at Frederick HS, Gov. Thomas Johnson HS, Linganore HS, Tuscarora HS and Urbana HS. The program aligns with the Maryland State Department of Education's financial literacy requirements and teaches students about interest rates, taxes, credit scores and more.

iTourFREDERICK HISTORY  There's a new resource at hand for teaching Frederick history at our middle and high schools, thanks to DVD donations that social studies curriculum specialist Michael Bunitsky received from iTour. The DVDs provide an overview of the city's history from its frontier beginnings in the early 1700s to the present day. iTour produced the DVD in collaboration with the Historical Society and Tourism Council of Frederick County. See photo and more.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR $  Learn to keep more of what you earn through the online Financial Fitness Challenge.

OPEN ENROLLMENT REMINDER May is Open Enrollment Month when employees can change benefit selections and renew Flexible Spending Accounts. Find out more.

CageBustingLeadershipCAGE-BUSTING LEADERSHIP Kudos to Chief Operating Officer Ann Bonitatibus, who is featured in this compelling and recently released book about leadership in education.  

BREAKING GROUND FCPS broke ground for the new North Frederick ES this month!  See the photos.

EAG State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery joined Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, Necktie Club students and Eliminating Achievement Gaps members at a student forum this month at Frederick HS.  See the photo.

INTERESTED?  There are vacancies on the BOE’s Family Life Advisory Committee for 2 FCPS educators, 2 Frederick County citizens and 1 parent each from the Middletown, Urbana & Walkersville feeder areas. Apply by Friday, May 31:

FCPS TV  Check out the newest programs, not listed elsewhere in this issue, available on demand.*

The Promise of Public Education: Great Teachers
The Promise of Public Education:  Safe Schools
The Promise of Public Education: A High Quality Staff
The Promise of School Bus Safety
The 27th Annual Frederick County Elementary Honors Chorus

*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.

FCPS Factoid

June14Q:  When is the last school day?

A:  The Maryland State Department of Education granted FCPS a 1-day waiver of the 180-day school year requirement due to Hurricane Sandy, permitting us to end the student year on a Friday.

The last day for students is Friday, June 14, which is also Flag Day! On that day, FCPS will dismiss students 2 hours early for a teacher work session.

The last day for teachers is Monday, June 17. Tuesday, June 18, is the scheduled furlough day.

The first student day of the 2013-14 school year is Monday, August 19, with most teachers reporting to work Tuesday, August 13.