Board honors exemplary staff for commitment to children

Board honors exemplary staff for commitment to children

The Board of Education at its Dec. 10 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members for their commitment to student success and support of the school system. Honored by the Board were Cynthia Asimenios, Linda Breitinger, Charles Ford, Catherine Graff and Scott Shuttleworth.

Asimenios is a special education instructional assistant at Indian Head Elementary School. She has worked at Indian Head for the past 13 years and is well known among her colleagues as a valuable team member. She goes above and beyond to support both students and staff. This year, Asimenios is overseeing the sensory room and works with students that have specific needs. She coordinates the classroom schedule and checks-in with multiple students throughout the day. Her commitment to building relationships is evident in her interactions with students. Asimenios collaborates daily with the special education team, leads lunch duty, is co-chair of the social committee and sensory room lead teacher. She has also been nominated by a parent for an award through the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) recognition program. Indian Head Principal Shane Blandford said Asimenios’ contributions to the school community are endless. “She takes the weight of what a lot of the students go through at home with her,” Blandford wrote in a nomination letter.

Breitinger is a math resource teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. She started her career with CCPS as a teacher at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School. In 2008, she transitioned to the middle school level and taught math at Piccowaxen Middle School for five years. In 2013, she accepted the position of instructional resource teacher at Davis. During her time with CCPS, Breitinger has sponsored Math Counts, taught courses through the CCPS Summer Academy and served as a team leader. Breitinger is known among her colleagues as a teacher who makes herself available to anyone in need. Her commitment to student success is evident in her interactions with students, staff and parents. Breitinger was selected for recognition by Davis Principal Kim McClarin. In a nomination letter, McClarin said Breitinger is a valuable member of the Davis instructional team. “She contributes to the overall success of Davis Middle School. She continues to lead our math department to the highest levels of achievement,” McClarin wrote.

Ford is the building service manager at Billingsley Elementary School. Billingsley opened in September and Ford has worked hard to put together a strong team to oversee building service operations. He was hired in January to assist Billingsley staff in preparing for the school to open. Ford quickly adapted to his new role and leads by example. He sets high expectations for the assistant manager and five building service workers. Ford provides his full attention to any staff concern and beams with pride when he speaks about his job. Students and staff rely on Ford and his team to provide a safe and warm school environment. He greets students with fist bumps daily and talks with them about reflecting on their behavior. Often times Ford can be found in the school gym, playing basketball with students. Billingsley Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said Ford is an exemplary role model for students. “He has become the finest example of a mentor a young male student could ask for,” Robinson-Taylor wrote in a nomination letter.

Graff is a prekindergarten teacher at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. She has taught at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy for the past 22 years and demonstrates excellence in early childhood education. Throughout her career, Graff has remained in an early childhood education classroom. She has taught students in prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. She is the early childhood team leader at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy and is humble and kind. She always has a smile on her face and maintains a calm and quiet demeanor. Students gravitate toward her because she shows kindness in all that she does. Graff volunteers for after school and community events and is an active member of the Marbury Church of God. She teaches Sunday School and sings in the church choir. She also participates with the Fire House Auxiliary. Graff goes out of her way to make students feel cared for and successful. Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Principal Nancy Seifert said Graff is an exemplary teacher. “She is an excellent teacher and is very humble. She demonstrates excellence in early childhood at each level,” Seifert wrote in a nomination letter.

Shuttleworth is a band and orchestra teacher at Westlake High School. He has taught at Westlake for the past five years and is a lead teacher for middle and high school bands. In this role, Shuttleworth organizes activities for instrumental students as well as professional development for teachers. He holds all students to high performance standards and encourages them to do their best. He provides students with challenging music that keeps them engaged and eager to perform. Shuttleworth is the organizer of “Jazz at the Lake,” an evening of music performed by Charles County middle and high school students. His instrumental ensembles receive superior ratings at both district assessments, as well as at competitions outside of Charles County. In recent years, Shuttleworth has helped to write Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory course content, as well as curriculum for high school band and orchestra programs. Westlake Principal Diane Roberts said Shuttleworth is an asset to the school community. “He has added more performance opportunities for students, thus adding more activities for the students to choose from,” Roberts wrote in a nomination letter.

The Board each month honors CCPS students and staff members selected by their principal for recognition. 

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 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, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. 

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