Five exemplary Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees were honored by the Board of Education on April 10. Honored were Jennifer Davis, Connie Bannister, Sheryl Morrison, Christine Turner and Frances Austin.
Davis is a third-grade teacher at Indian Head Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition for leading Indian Head's Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) team, infusing technology in her lesson plans and for furthering her education. Davis leads the PBIS team in developing its portion of the school improvement plan and presents Indian Head's School-Wide Information Systems (SWIS) data at staff meetings. She embraces instructional technology in her classroom on a daily basis, including data driven and formative assessments in lessons. Davis is pursuing National Board Certification and her master's degree in Math Instructional Leadership. She also completed Algebraic Reasoning and Research Design and Math Investigations trainings. Indian Head Principal Toni Melton-Trainor said Davis is organized, articulate and willing to go the extra mile for students. "Our success in the area of schoolwide PBIS is attributed to Jennifer Davis's dedication. She is an exemplar role model for her peers," Melton-Trainor wrote in a nomination letter.
Bannister is a secretary at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition for starting a food pantry and food drives at the school, for serving as a resource for staff and parents, and for attending trainings to further her professional growth. Bannister has been employed by Charles County Public Schools for 25 years. She coordinates food donations and is a liaison for the weekend backpack program which is a partnership with an organization that fills backpacks with food for students in need. Bannister also organizes Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy's community Christmas program that provides gifts and dinners for families in need. She keeps the office running smoothly and supports all school programs. Bannister is a natural leader, and staff and community members are always willing to assist her with projects. She attends numerous workshops and trainings to refine and develop her skills including registration training, student data system and Edline Web portal training. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Principal Kristin Shields said Bannister takes great pride in her work and goes above and beyond the call of duty. "She has touched the lives of students, parents and staff through her roles as a parent liaison and secretary. She is extremely dedicated to helping others," Shields wrote in a nomination letter.
Morrison is a pupil personnel worker at J.C. Parks Elementary School. She was nominated for recognition for supporting the Reading Racers program, coordinating Parks Christmas celebration project, and for doing what is needed to support Parks children, families and staff. Morrison has worked at Parks for the past 22 years. She coordinates fundraisers to help buy books for the Reading Racers program, a reading partner/buddy program. The program has assisted students in increasing their scores in the area of reading performance. Morrison also organized Parks' first Christmas celebration which hosted 22 homeless families and provided them with a holiday meal, gifts, clothing and additional food items. Principal Thadine Wright said Morrison's dedication and compassion is evident in all that she does. "Her daily interactions with students in the classroom and with the community as a pupil personnel worker show her commitment to student success. She has deeply impacted and influenced the staff at J.C. Parks," Wright wrote in a nomination letter.
Turner is a language arts teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. She was nominated for recognition for displaying leadership, for implementing gifted education practices, and for helping coordinate school programs. Turner has been teaching in Charles County Public Schools for the past 13 years and transferred to Davis when the school opened. Turner implements practices of the gifted curriculum into her grade-level classes and celebrates the successes of her students. She has been commended for her ability to effectively work with students across a wide spectrum of learning capabilities. Davis Principal Wendell Martin said Turner is the epitome of an outstanding teacher. "Her love for teaching and the ease in which she excels at it are just two of the many reasons that I selected her to represent Davis Middle School this year," Martin wrote in a nomination letter.
Austin is a special education teacher at Westlake High School. She was nominated for recognition for continually supporting special education students and programs, serving as the special education department chair, and for demonstrating professional growth. Austin ensures that all of Westlake's special education students receive appropriate accommodations and the Individualized Education Plans (IEP) are written and implemented correctly. She supports staff by mentoring special education teachers and helps to streamline special education procedures. Austin's students often receive outstanding results on quarterly assessments. She serves as the special education department chair, special education transition leader and works with teachers to ensure special education testing is accurately completed. Austin has completed the Aspiring Leaders program and administration certification, and is now working on her doctorate degree. Westlake Principal Chrystal Benson said Austin is an exemplary leader and helps administration when needed. "Her commitment to working with students that have special needs is evident in all that she does. Austin is an outstanding employee and serves as a role model for her peers," Benson wrote in a nomination letter.
The Board honors several exemplary employees each month.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
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 Keith Hettel, 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.