May 2018: Vol. 9, No. 10

Meet Teacher of the Year Tim Snyder
Find out What Drives His Instruction

Teacher of the Year Tim Snyder gets to drive a sparkling new Audi free on a six-month lease, thanks to FCPS support from Ourisman Audi of Frederick!

Mr. Snyder teaches art at Urbana MS, where he says, "Mindset is a powerful topic that has driven my instruction. Achievement is not only the result of classroom instruction, but also one's belief about his or her ability....We need to encourage effort and explain to students that mistakes are part of the process. Students who accept constructive criticism and failure as a phase of growth are more likely to succeed in the long run."

For more about promoting a growth mindset, Mr. Snyder recommends Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

See our news release with a photo of Mr. Snyder with his family and more: Tim Snyder Is Named FCPS Teacher of the Year.

See names and photos of each school's Teacher of the Year.

See inside the classrooms of each countywide finalist:
Melissa Hargreaves     Julie Ivins     Margie Liddick     Tim Snyder
And see the FCPS Prize Patrol surprising Mr. Snyder!

FCPS All-Stars
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

Amy Brooks
"Unfailingly dedicated" are words that describe Amy Brooks as FCPS Interpreting Services coordinator. In serving members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, Amy projects a warm, cheerful attitude and goes out of her way to help employees and the audiences for whom she interprets.

Amy ensures that best practices and highest standards are met in contracting Sign Language Interpreting services. She hires highly qualified interpreters to ensure that all of the people we serve receive excellent service and equal access.

A colleague praises Amy's skill, having seen her "resolve conflicts and handle difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact....She is efficient, works hard and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her. I believe these characteristics represent all that is good in our school system and support all FCPS systemic and aspirational goals."

StarsCongratulations to Amy Brooks and to staff earning FCPS All-Star Awards since our April issue: Timothy Longenecker.

Know someone who deserves recognition?  Check out All-Star nomination criteria and access the form here.


SUPERLATIVE SUPPORT Kudos to staff earning 2018 Support Employee of the Year Awards: Roy Baker, school-based custodian; Robin Hemp, school-based administrative secretary; Colby McCauley, Central Office HVAC/R technician; Rachel Misner, instructional assistant; Michael Moss, Client Services technician; Cheryl Peters, Central Office administrative secretary; Liz Zeigler, Food Service site assistant; and Donna Zoberbier, bus driver. Two will be named the overall school-based and Central Office Support Employees of the Year at the June 13 BOE meeting.

Best High Schools logoAMERICA'S BEST U.S. News and World Report ranked Urbana HS in Maryland's top 10 and in the nation's top 500, with a 2018 gold medal distinction. Middletown HS, Oakdale HS and Walkersville HS achieved silver medal rankings. See FCPS High Schools on America's Best List.

MORE AMERICA'S BEST Catoctin HS is named a 2018 National School of Character, after earning the state-level recognition the past 5 years. Catoctin is the only Maryland high school earning the national recognition from

OUTSTANDING The following staff earned 2018 Special Education Awards:  Outstanding Special Educators Michelle Hill (high schools), Jane Hatcher (middle) and Erin Chaney (elementary); Outstanding Special Education Instructional Assistants: Stella Norgbe (high schools), Michelle Biehl (middle) and Felicia Line (elementary); Outstanding Speech-Language Pathologist Joe Schlag; Outstanding Special Education Administrator Shirley Olsen; Outstanding School Psychologist Geri Pryor. Outstanding Related Service Provider Jamie Fox. See the news release and photo.

1ST STATEWIDE Advised by Jennifer Bean and Kim Schmidt, Brunswick MS students achieved 1st place statewide among 91 middle schools in the yearlong Stock Market Game. See the news release.

2ND STATEWIDE Coached by David Adamiak, Urbana MS students placed 2nd in the Maryland Science Olympiad finals.

1ST COUNTYWIDE Advised by April Wells, Catoctin HS students won this year's countywide Envirothon.Rhonda Lambert

GOLDEN  Congratulations to Valley ES, celebrating 50 years!

DISTINGUISHED  Monocacy MS science teacher Rhonda Lambert (see photo) is the 2018 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher. See the news release.

HALL OF FAME Centerville ES Principal Tracy Hilliard was inducted into the Indian River High School Hall of Fame.

MUSIC TO OUR EARS Directed by these teachers, student ensembles earned state-level superior ratings: Matt Fowle, Brunswick HS orchestra; John Karos, Tuscarora HS band; Terence Moore, Tuscarora HS chorus; Jonathan Kurtz, Gov. TJ HS orchestra; Tom Mitchell, Urbana MS orchestra; Petr Skopek, Windsor Knolls MS orchestra; and Marc Musser, Walkersville MS band and orchestra. The following teachers' ensembles earned state-level excellent ratings: Chris Player, Brunswick MS orchestra; Tom Mitchell, Urbana MS chorus; and Petr Skopek, Windor Knolls MS band.

WORLDWIDE The Urbana HS senior who won our countywide Science and Engineering Fair went on to place 3rd worldwide in the International Science and Engineering Fair biochemistry category. Students from 80+ countries competed.

CARING School therapists Dante Brown, Stephanie Hagan and Kaitlin Kennedy went above and beyond their job requirements to complete two weekends of training without compensation, learning how to help children experiencing PTSD, anxiety and depression.

HISTORY West Frederick MS teacher Heather Kehr is the Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year for FCPS.

HIGH PRAISE Juana Anderson is our 2018 Substitute Teacher of the Year. She'll receive honors at the June 13 BOE meeting, after which we will announce her achievement with a news release and photo.

SKILLS In statewide SkillsUSA competition Career and Technology Center students earned gold medals in 11 competitions. See the news release.

EXCELLENCE Our Fiscal Services Division earned both Association of Schools Business Officials International (ASBO) and Government Finance Officers Association awards for financial accountability and transparency, reflected in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Chief Financial Officer Leslie Pellegrino commends Financial Reporting Manager Melissa Rollison and the team for preparing the award-winning report. See FCPS Earns Awards for Financial Reporting.

News to Use

INSURANCE Employee benefits significantly extend the value of compensation beyond take-home pay at FCPS. Every few years, our Insurance Council reviews plans and ensures that staff continues to receive the best value. Although we're using a new provider starting July 1, transitioning from UnitedHealthcare to CareFirst, FCPS has held employees' premiums steady for the same excellent coverage--and even expanded coverage for items such as hearing aids and dental benefits. Watch your mail for new insurance cards by July 1. For more information:

USING ROOMS OR FIELDS All employees scheduling rooms or fields to use during the regular school day or after hours/weekends must enter a Use of Facility Request form into School Dude FS Direct. This includes use of facilities at your own school/office or another FCPS location. See details.

PERSONNEL CHANGES See principal and assistant principal appointments for the 2018-2019 school year.

IN TRANSITION? When leaving a job or work location or starting a new position, please follow procedures for tracking FCPS property such as ID badges, keys, parking passes, phones, computers and more. See details.

SUMMER HOURS Once again, FCPS will observe 4-day workweeks during the summer, starting Monday, June 18. Five-day weeks will resume Monday, August 20. Find out more.

UNTIL AUGUST This was our last edition of FCPS Insider until the August issue with all the new faces in key places and news to prepare you for a successful school year. Monday, June 18 is the last workday for teachers and other 10-month staff, whom we wish a safe and renewing summer! Stay connected via FindOutFirst,, FCPSMaryland on Facebook and Twitter accounts and FCPS TV to learn the Superintendent's Summer Book Club choice and more.


In a Minute:  May 4     May 11     May 18     More

FCPS Proud:  April    May

Tweet of the Week:
Emmitsburg ES Principal Mary Ann Wiles Race for Technology
English Learner Teacher Specialist Kaitlin Moore A Professional Development Lesson
Frederick HS Principal Kathy Campagnoli Senior Wall Tradition
Frederick HS LYNX Business Partners
Urbana HS Principal Dave Kehne Science and Engineering Fair
Career and Technology Education Teacher Specialist Kati Heefner Awards for Students and Teachers

FCPS Fast Fact

2018 Healthiest Maryland Business LogoQ: How many years has FCPS earned the Wellness at Work Gold Award?

A: Four: 2018, 2017, 2015 and 2014.

"I am very proud of the work our staff does to help make wellness habits an attainable way of life for employees," says Human Resources Executive Director Paula Lawton. "I commend our Employee Benefits Senior Manager Penny Opalka and our Benefits and Wellness Coordinator Phoebe Barreto for their tireless dedication to fostering a culture of wellness for staff, and all staff who participate."

Many employees take advantage of the award-winning multitude of outstanding wellness opportunities FCPS offers.

See FCPS Earns 2018 Wellness at Work Gold Award.