The Board of Education honored four exemplary Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at its monthly meeting on Nov. 18. Honored were Barbara Campbell, Paige Baker, Michelle Welch and Kathleen Davis.
Campbell is an instructional specialist at Malcolm Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition by school administration and the third-grade team for exhibiting a "can do" attitude, modeling lessons for intervention groups and for volunteering spare time to help with extracurricular activities. Campbell has worked for CCPS for more than 30 years and has served as an instructional assistant, classroom teacher, gifted education specialist and testing coordinator. She organized the Malcolm extended-day "Magic" program, developed the "take home bag" for nightly reading time, initiated naming April as "Math Month" to promote mathematics, helps facilitate Malcolm's school improvement plan and hosted a recent parent workshop to address mathematics at home. Campbell teaches part time at the College of Southern Maryland, has served as a member of the task development force team for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and as a summer academy coordinator. She has also served as a Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) and Destination Imagination competition judge.
Baker is a special education teacher at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition for her dedication to teaching and for support of staff. Higdon Principal Peggy Mertes said Baker is a lifelong learner who is well deserving of recognition. "She makes numerous phone calls to parents, spends hours working with teachers and is always willing to help the administration. She is tireless and a major piece to the success of our school," Mertes said in a nomination letter. Baker has served as the special education department chair for 12 years, supports after school programs, and leads the school's social committee. She also attends continuing education classes, workshops and conferences to learn more about being an inclusion teacher in an inclusion classroom. "As a teacher who has long deserved this recognition, I am very proud to present her for her dedication to teaching," Mertes said.
Welch is a fifth-grade teacher at Dr. James Craik Elementary School. She was recommended for recognition by the Craik staff for being a dedicated, creative, caring and innovative educator. Craik Principal Penny Nye said Welch does whatever is necessary to prepare her students to find success. "She challenges her students and sets high but reasonable expectations for all of them. With her constant display of enthusiasm and passion for teaching and learning, Shelly's students are eager to participate and succeed," Nye said in a nomination letter. Welch uses creative teaching strategies to reach all of her students and takes time to get to know each of them. She is highly regarded by parents and staff members. She is also well versed in cooperative language, technology, enhanced lesson design, and behavior and classroom management. "Whether it is at a parent conference or while teaching in the classroom, Welch continually advocates for the needs of all the students she works with," Nye said.
Davis is a reading resource teacher at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. She was nominated by Stoddert Principal Sue DelaCruz and school staff for being an "inspiration" and for being instrumental in standardizing vocabulary instruction and engaging language arts lessons. DelaCruz said Davis is helping transition Stoddert into an exemplary school. "Under her guidance, our reading scores have shown steady and consistent gains. The circulation of materials in the media center has doubled and our newest teachers have found a mentor they feel comfortable confiding in," DelaCruz said in a nomination letter. Davis spearheaded an accelerated reading program and multiple book clubs for students. She has provided countywide in-service sessions in both reading and writing, and helps provide support for new teachers and extended-day programs. "Davis exemplifies that one person can change the world. I credit her with spreading the passion for reading in our school and for bringing the accelerated reading program to our students. She is truly outstanding in every way," DelaCruz said.
The Board recognizes several exemplary employees each month.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.