The Board of Education at its Dec. 14 meeting honored four Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. School principals annually select one student and staff member for Board recognition. Students are honored for accomplishments in the areas of academic achievement, career readiness and personal responsibility.
Honored at the meeting were Lewis Benton of Mary B. Neal Elementary School; Jace Williams of Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School; Demetri Hicks of Mattawoman Middle School; and Martin Spinner of North Point High School.
Benton is a fifth-grade student at Neal who was recognized in the area of career readiness. He has been a student at Neal since second grade and looking back through his report card comments his teachers often said the same positive things about him. He is thoughtful and kind, he works hard and perseveres. Benton loves to be challenged, he thinks outside of the box and is a critical thinker who always strives for excellence. “These traits will help Lewis be successful in middle and high school, and in college. They are certainly characteristics that employers look for when hiring a new employee,” Neal Principal Deborah Brown said. Benton wants to be an engineer or a scientist. He thinks that one of the things that may have influenced him was that his great-grandfather was a scientist. “He wants to be the kind of engineer or scientist that helps out with things. He doesn’t want to build things like nuclear bombs that might hurt people. Lewis wants to find ways to solve problems by using what we have, and he believes that it is important to take care of little things right away because little things can become big things,” Brown said. In his spare time, Benton plays soccer and basketball, he enjoys playing video games and is a member of the school band. “Don’t look too much to the past or to the future.” Benton said to Brown. “Just stay in the moment. Time flies.”
Williams is a fifth-grade student at Mitchell who was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. He is in his sixth year at Mitchell, having started as a kindergartener. Each year, Williams has been a top performing student. Last year Williams finished fourth grade with all As and top scores for all performance indicators on his report card. Williams is already thinking about his future. He hopes to meld his hobbies with a career. “I am into gaming, so I want to be a software engineer,” Williams said. It is a perfect line of work for someone with his work ethic and attitude, Principal Nicholas Adam said. Outside of school, Williams enjoys playing sports, including his favorite — soccer. He likes going out to eat with his family, and names is favorite restaurant as Sakura. He also enjoys playing games with his dad and brother. Williams knows it’s important to be a person others can count on. “I know that doing the right thing is important,” he said. “Jace is an awesome kid. I and his teachers at Mitchell agree that he is deserving to be recognized for demonstrating personal responsibility each and every day,” Adam said.
Hicks is an eighth-grade student at Mattawoman who was recognized in the area of academic achievement. He has attended Mattawoman since sixth grade and has earned honor roll status each year. Hicks said he loves school. His teachers said he is an “absolute joy” to have him as a student. Virtual instruction proved to be a challenge for Hicks, he said. He missed the interaction and direct instruction of his classroom teachers. While he persevered during virtual learning, he returned to school focused and dedicated. This is evidenced by a stellar first quarter report card. He is a member of the Student Government Association and Robotics Club. He counts science as his favorite subject and hopes to become an automotive engineer.
Spinner is a senior at North Point who was recognized in the area of academic achievement. In the classroom, Spinner meets and surpasses every challenge set before him and is well-respected by his peers. He excels in the construction design management program and after high school, he plans to attend college to pursue architectural engineering. Teachers describe Spinner as positive and inspiring. Simply put, Principal Daniel Kaple said, Spinner is a hard-working, all-around good student. Spinner motivates his classmates to keep reaching high even when they are discouraged. Spinner is active in North Point’s athletic program and has shined as a member of both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams since he was a freshman. “Martin is a dedicated athlete who trains hard to meet his season goals,” Coach Debra Hall said. Spinner was a member of the 4x200m relay in the 2021 outdoor season who helped North Point win the Charles County and 3A Regional Championship titles. Spinner also finished second in the 3A State Meet. His upcoming senior seasons in indoor and outdoor track promise to be even more exciting as he finishes his athletic career. “Martin is the complete package and has a bright future ahead of him,” North Point Principal Daniel Kaple said.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 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 M. 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.
CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).