May 2014: Vol. 5, No. 10

FCPS Students Lead the Nation
#1 in National Design Competition

ExteriorFCPS ACE Frederick (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) students placed first nationwide in recent Construction Industry Round Table-ACE Design Competition.  The team won with its Aging in Place project, entered in the Universal-Design Home Retro-Fit category.

FirstFloor“In our society, most of us want to age in place, but our homes are not designed or built to accommodate that,” explains Career and Technology Center Architecture and Engineering Computer-Aided Design teacher Phil Arnold.

“Our students took a universal-design approach to creating individual solutions for aging residents who may not be familiar with the construction, design process or technology that would help them age in place," he said.

After the competition, the AARP has inquired about featuring FCPS award-winning student work! 

See names of students on the team, photo and more in the full news release

In addition, Mr. Arnold's CAD Engineering students won this year's Maryland Real World Design Governors Cup!

Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

ErinDoolittleHillcrest ES pre-kindergarten teacher Erin Doolittle is the FCPS 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year! The school system’s most prestigious award recognizes her as an outstanding representative of the teaching profession.
Hired to teach 1st grade at FCPS in 2003, Erin later taught kindergarten and pre-kindergarten at Hillcrest.  Back when she entered college, Erin knew she wanted to pursue education, but she was not certain what she wanted to teach.

“I quickly realized that I wanted to be an early-childhood educator because they have the unique role of introducing both parents and children to school. Early-childhood educators are the ‘welcome wagon’ as families enter the world of education. This responsibility is huge and everlasting; these early years are foundational.”
For students to succeed, Erin believes teachers need to be champions for every child and family. “Being champions requires that all educators understand the importance of relationships with our students, their families, our colleagues, community leaders, and business partners. When these groups work well together, the outcome is students who are ready to tackle challenges and succeed in college and careers—some in fields that don’t even exist yet.”
See Ms. Doolittle win 2014-2015 Teacher of the YearSee videos of the four finalists:
Erin Doolittle  Scott Strait  Tricia Smucker  Robert Jones  Read more about Erin Doolittle.

See photos of ALL FCPS Teacher of the Year nominees.

Congratulations to Lisa Loughry for earning a First-Class Employee award since our last newsletterIt's your last chance this school year to nominate an outstanding co-worker for a First-Class Employee Award. Watch for more names in our August issue.


AWARD-WINNING PUBLIC SERVICE The Maryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration named FCPS Security and Emergency Management Supervisor Cliff Cornwell the 2014 Local Public Service Hoffman Award winner.

FCPS Wellness Logo TO YOUR HEALTH Human Resources senior benefits manager Colette Baker and benefits/wellness coordinator Tiana Haile accepted the Healthy Workplace Certification Gold Award (see the photo) for the outstanding FCPS wellness program they brought employees and their families this year. The Chamber of Commerce, Health Department and Frederick Memorial Hospital sponsored the award, presented at the Ceresville Mansion.

IT'S ACADEMIC Catoctin HS Academic Team advisor John Koepke was awarded the 2014 Giant Food-Sophie Altman “Coach of the Year” trophy.  Each year, 81 of the best scholastic teams in the Baltimore area compete on IT’S ACADEMIC. For 33 years, Mr. Koepke has worked with his students, inspiring them to compete on the highest level. IT’S ACADEMIC recognizes John's dedication, enthusiasm and contribution to education.

SCHOLASTIC Brunswick MS reading teacher Kimberly Rogowsky is one of four teachers nationwide receiving a 2014 Outstanding Educator Award from Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.

TRESSLER  Many teachers earned awards for outstanding work this spring in addition to the Teacher of the Year nominees named above who received certificates of recognition at a BOE meeting earlier this month.  Among them: New Market ES fourth grade advanced-academics teacher Mary Tielking (shown in photo) received Hood College's 2014 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award. Watch the video: 2014 Charles E. Tressler Award Winner: Mary Tielking

INSPIRING The Rochester Institute of Technology presented Tuscarora HS English teacher Jonathan Araujo a Certificate of Recognition for inspiring an FCPS alum and outstanding undergraduate scholar. Also inspiring: Student artwork from Tracey Ellis-Guss and Georgia Geisser's classes was selected for a juried exhibit called Imagine All the People, on display at the BWI/Thurgood Marshall Airport's Youth Art Gallery through November.

GIFTS AT WORK The Maryland Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education presented awards to New Market ES Principal Cindy Alvarado—Outstanding School Administrator—and teacher specialists Candace Desonier and Lawrence Paul—Teachers As Leaders—from Thurmont MS and Parkway ES.

CATOCTIN TALENT The Thurmont Lions Club named Thurmont ES teacher Laura Estep 2014 Teacher of the Year. The Club named the following teacher finalists from other schools in the Catoctin feeder area: Mike Franklin and Doug Williams from Catoctin HS, Mary Lee Quealy from Thurmont MS, Rachel Hamscher from Thurmont PS, Susan Valenti from Emmitsburg ES, Susan Guissinger from Lewistown ES and Barbara Doney from Sabillasville ES.

ENVIROTHON Science teachers Suzie Folk and Beth McCook advised the Urbana HS winning team—the Watershed Watchdogs—in this year's countywide Envirothon. Sixteen teams representing nine high schools competed. The Watchdogs will represent Frederick County at the Maryland State Envirothon next month.

KeithHarrisLEADERSHIP Dr. Keith Harris was the commencement speaker at Hood College's 2014 graduate school ceremony.  In addition to the Doctor of Education degree he had already earned, Hood College celebrated his outstanding leadership and community service with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.  Dr. Harris is director of FCPS Charter Schools, Community Learning Centers and Title I and is an adjunct professor of education at Hood.  See him in the photo, flanked by Hood College President Dr. Ronald Volpe and Graduate School Dean Dr. Maria Green-Cowles.

OUTSTANDING  Kudos to 2014 award winners: Outstanding Special Educators Pamela Adams-Campbell, Brandy Noel and Christina Konstantas from Catoctin HS, Walkersville MS and Carroll Manor ES, respectively; Outstanding Special Education Instructional Assistants Melinda Atkinson, Kimberly Flabbi, Jennifer Russo and Carmen Wilhelm from SUCCESS, Catoctin HS, Spring Ridge ES and Windsor Knolls MS, respectively; Outstanding Special Education Administrator New Market MS Principal Jennifer Bingman; Friend of Special Education Marisa Bruce from Parkway ES, Outstanding Achievement winner Ralene Damanti; Outstanding Speech-Language Pathologist Meghan Sinisgalli from Carroll Manor ES; Outstanding School Psychologist Shirley Sublett; and Outstanding Related Service Provider Cristine Zocchi from New Market MS. See the photo

ACCOUNTABLE For meeting the highest standards of school financial reporting, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) has awarded FCPS the Certificate of Excellence for the 6th consecutive year. This year's recognition is for excellence in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2013. The award confirms Fiscal Services' commitment to financial accountability and transparency. Executive director Leslie Pellegrino expressed her appreciation to the Budget and Finance Department staff for their outstanding work in preparing the report. 

SHARED EXPERTISE Buyer specialist Bill Meekins was selected to speak at the annual National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals conference. He presented What OFAC Is and How It Could Affect Your Program. Bill was also asked to participate as a member of the Government/K-12 Advisory Board Public Sector Panel Discussion on Surcharging, Supplier Outreach, How to talk to Suppliers, Supplier RFPs, Declining Balance Cards and ePayables Best Practices—and to moderate a roundtable discussion for Training and Communication in the Public Sector.

News to Use

OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS SOON Benefited employees have until the end of May to change insurance coverage and enroll or re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account program. It's a good time for anyone with a recent family-status change to update life insurance beneficiaries. The Benefits Office has transitioned from paper enrollment forms to online Employee Self Service for enrolling/changing the following benefits:

Flexible Spending Account requires re-enrollment every year.  New this year: FSA carryover allows up to $500 of unused funds deposited in an FSA from July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015 to be “carried over” to the new plan year beginning July 1, 2015.

Health/Dental Coverage New this year: Dental Plan Optional Buy Up Coverage permits enrollment for a $2,000 maximum benefit per covered person by paying an additional premium from your paycheck.  Enrollment in the new plan is through Employee Self Service.

Life Insurance Beneficiary Changes New this year: Change beneficiaries through Employee Self Service. Please confirm that your information is up to date.

To keep costs down, FCPS has emailed all employees the Benefits Open Enrollment Packet 2014-2015 and posted it online at See Benefits Self Service Instructions. Go directly to Employee Self Service.

WE HAVE A WINNER  The BOE has named the new Urbana-area elementary school Sugarloaf ES.  The school is projected to open, funds permitting, in August 2016. More info

PLEASE RECYCLE   As classrooms and locker clean-out begins, please put out ample containers for collecting recyclables even if just labeling cardboard boxes "RECYCLE HERE." Also consider using "donation" bins to collect writing utensils, notebooks and other items for reuse or special recycling programs such as these:

Binders: International upcycling company TerraCycle has partnered with Staples to offer in-store binder recycling. For every used binder you bring in, receive a $2 credit toward the purchase of a new binder. Old binders are then upcycled or recycled for use in various new products.

Markers: Everyone's favorite art supply becomes liquid fuel for cars via Crayola's ColorCycle program, available to schools. The company provides prepaid shipping labels for sending used markers to a conversion facility.

Glue: Classrooms participating in Elmer's Glue Crew collect empty glue sticks and bottles big and small throughout the year, saving enough to fill up a box, then send the empties to a recycling center using free downloadable shipping labels. Old glue holders are transformed into new products like plastic bins.

Empty ink cartridges and small electronics: Schools can sign up for free recycling with Office Depot at Teachers and students send in the ink and toner empties (free shipping), and the supply company rewards them with a gift card for the value.

BlueRecyclingBinHere's what DOES GO in a regular, blue school recycling bin: spiral notebooks, textbooks, file folders, colored paper (from worksheets, banners and projects), poster board, cardboard, note cards, magazines, memos, aluminum cans and the usual assortment of plastic and glass bottles and jars.

These items are NOT recyclable in a blue bin: 3-ring binders, vinyl folders, laboratory glass, mirrors, ceramics, pens or pencils, CDs/DVDs, overhead transparencies, paper towels, disposable cups (paper or plastic) or anything made of "styrofoam."

Download and print materials to remind staff and students what's recyclable: 
Pictorial recycling guide/poster     Trash bin label     Recycling bin label - version 1     Recycling bin label - version 2     Recycling/Terracycle label  

Want to know more?  Frederick County's Recycling Outreach Program Coordinator Annmarie Creamer, 301-600-7405  Ask how you can form a Green Team over the summer to launch a program in your school this fall.


Let's Build Frederick's Future
A Message from Dr. Terry Alban: Teacher Talks, Video 2
Dr. Terry Alban's Public Comment at BOCC Public Hearing

FCPS Fast Fact

Q:  Can you name the next Student Member of the BOE?

A:  Urbana HS student Emmanuel Apea will take Frederick HS senior Lillian Wherry's place when her term ends this summer.  We'll post Emmanuel's photo and biography when he comes on board: