The Charles County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) recognized more than 100 Charles County Public Schools staff members at its sixth annual Teacher and Staff Appreciation Awards ceremony held Wednesday, April 25, at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center.
Staff members are nominated for recognition by students and parents in the community. Recognized were teachers, instructional assistants, school bus drivers and attendants, school counselors, psychologists, administrators, occupational, physical and speech therapists, and other staff members who make a difference in the lives of special needs children.
Award winners are nominated and selected in six categories: individual elementary; individual secondary; elementary group; secondary group; individual related services and group related services.
In the individual elementary school category, Amanda Mastran, a special education teacher at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, was named the overall winner. Steve Willett, a special education teacher at Milton M. Somers Middle School, received the overall award in the individual secondary category.
The elementary winners in the group nomination category are Jenna Monroe, special education teacher, William B. Wade Elementary School; Karen Gross, instructional assistant, Wade; Bonnie Thomas Stern, instructional assistant; and Melissa Elliott, instructional assistant.
The middle school winners nominated for the secondary group award are from the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center. They are: Todd Wonderling, coordinator of special programs; Scott Paterson, school psychologist; Charlotte Dougherty, instructional assistant; Jeff Mathews, special education teacher; Jason Kiessling, special education teacher; Matthew Werner, special education teacher; Kelley Clancy, instructional assistant; and Linda Westervelt, instructional assistant.
In the individual related services category, Tamara Crozier, school nurse at Gwynn, was selected as the winner. In the group related services category, Joanne Brown, an occupational therapist, and Nathan Lebedeker, a physical therapist, were named the overall winners.
The SECAC is organized to provide a forum for issues pertaining to children with special education needs. Members advocate for recommendations and advise the school system about the education budget, inclusion assessments, support services and other issues concerning children and special education, and related services.
Additionally, staff members who were recognized for nominations include:
- Steven Baldo, special education teacher, Wade;
- Sunshine Barton, kindergarten teacher, J. C. Parks Elementary School;
- Karin Beausoleil, physical education teacher, Gwynn Educational Center;
- Brenda Bivins, pre-school assistant, Wade;
- Scott Brain, school psychologist, Gwynn;
- Christine Busey, special education instructional assistant, Life Skills program, Gale-Bailey Elementary School;
- Angelene Carson, special education teacher, Wade;
- Robyn Cataldo, special education teacher, Berry Elementary School;
- Elizabeth Chotkowski, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Lynne Cuppett, kindergarten instructional assistant, Wade;
- Heather Davis, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Rachel Demichele, instructional assistant, Gale-Bailey;
- Sarah Desrosiers, special education teacher, Theodore G. Davis Middle School;
- Kathleen Duke, pre-kindergarten teacher, Wade;
- Alayna Effinger, special education teacher, J.P Ryon Elementary School;
- Cynthia Fitzsimmons, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Robin Figurelle, special education teacher, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
- Lola Ganley, speech therapist, Gwynn;
- Anita Grimes, special education pre-school instructional assistant, Berry;
- Ginger Hedegore, school counselor, General Smallwood Middle School;
- Ann Herbert, pre-kindergarten teacher, Gale-Bailey;
- Michael Hoffman, fifth-grade teacher, William A. Diggs Elementary School;
- Cherelle Holland, long-term substitute teacher, Davis;
- Amanda Hughes, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Erica Hughes, fourth-grade teacher, Matula;
- Teresa James, school psychologist, Arthur Middleton Elementary School;
- Joann Jenkins, special education instructional assistant/Life Skills program, Ryon;
- Mary Jenkins, instructional assistant, Ryon;
- Betty Jennings, pre-school assistant, Berry;
- Susan Jennings, instructional assistant, Gwynn;
- Krysta Jones, kindergarten teacher, T.C. Martin Elementary School;
- Marvin Jones, principal, Berry;
- Lynn Kennedy, substitute teacher;
- Jason Kiessling, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Celeste Law, special education teacher, John Hanson Middle School;
- Terry Leighton, speech therapist, Gwynn;
- Emily Locke, speech language pathologist, Smallwood;
- Jason Mackey, special education teacher, Smallwood;
- Donna Maki, speech therapist, Berry;
- Kelly Marshall, school psychologist, Matula;
- Jacklyn Mitchell, school counselor, Matula;
- Kayleigh Monroe, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Theresa Mularski, mathematics teacher, Hanson;
- Nancy Murphy, pre-kindergarten teacher, Berry;
- Wendy Pancheri, multiple intensities teaching (MIT) program instructional assistant, Gwynn;
- Patricia Powell, teacher, Malcolm Elementary School;
- Wanda Proctor, school counselor, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School;
- Teresa Robinson, coordinator of autism services, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building;
- Melissa Ryan, special education teacher, Gwynn;
- Sandy Shliep, MIT program instructional assistant, Gwynn;
- E. Diane Simmons, elementary teacher, Matula;
- Nicole Spalding, special education teacher, Matula;
- Barbara Staebler, school psychologist, Matula;
- Patricia Stokes, special education teacher, Diggs;
- Dana Sturdivant, mathematics teacher, Stoddert;
- Cynthia Viering, pre-school instructional assistant, Gale-Bailey;
- Marjorie Watson, special education instructional assistant/Emotionally Adjusted program, Davis;
- Coty Werkau, language arts teacher, Stoddert;
- Sue Wheeler, special education teacher, Gale-Bailey;
- Billie Williams, instructional assistant, Ryon; and
- Joyce Yates, MIT program instructional assistant, Gwynn.
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.