The Board of Education honored six Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees with Outstanding Personnel Awards on June 9. Honored were
- Nghia Dang, computer analyst, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building;
- Madonna Gaume, technology facilitator, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School;
- Eric McElhenny, electronic technician, CCPS Radio Station Road Annex;
- BiJon Trice, secretary to the principal, John Hanson Middle School;
- Gloria Renee Ward, head of accounts payable, Starkey Building; and
- Victor Woodland, building service manager, Theodore G. Davis Middle School.
Dang has worked for the school system since 2009 and supports the technology needs of staff at both the Starkey Building and the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center. His strong technical knowledge of networking skills, computer hardware and software allows him to efficiently and quickly solve issues. He is well known among his coworkers as dependable and willing to assist anyone in need of technical assistance. Dang is professional and approachable and often sought out to mentor computer interns and computer analysts in schools and at other CCPS work locations. He assists with technology inventories, and the maintenance of technology and is knowledgeable with Smart boards, laptops, desktop computers and server hardware. Lora Bennett is the information technology manager for CCPS and wrote a letter in support of Dang’s award nomination. In her letter, she describes Dang as an important contributor to the morale of his team. “He works hard to keep the technology in all the buildings he supports functioning to enable the staff to create learning opportunities and support the mission of our school system. He is always willing to assist and prides himself on doing his work effectively and to the highest level of performance,” Bennett wrote.
Gaume has worked for CCPS since 1997 and began working at Barnhart as the school’s technology facilitator in 2004. She works hard to develop exciting and engaging lessons for students, and ensures her lessons match the skills of all learners. She plans lessons with grade-level teachers but also seeks out additional curriculum to support student learning in the computer lab. Gaume aims to provide fun learning opportunities for her students and is resourceful in completing all tasks. This school year she completed training to learn more about the school system’s partnership with Code.org so she can teach Barnhart students about computer coding. Gaume also volunteers to serve as the sponsor of the Computer Bowl team in which she helps students prepare for an annual current events quiz-style competition hosted on the Internet. Additionally, she helps coordinate several school-related events such as Breakfast with Santa, the Harvest Festival and Relay for Life efforts. Barnhart Principal Troy Barnes said Gaume is a valuable asset to the school. “She is resourceful, understands all aspects of her job, utilizes technology daily, fosters cooperative relationships within the entire school community, and demonstrates outstanding leadership,” Barnes wrote in an award nomination letter.
McElhenny has worked for the school system for more than 20 years as an electronics technician. In his role, he supports and maintains bell schedules at schools and fire alarm, clock, security and audio systems for CCPS. He is adamant in learning new technologies to support his duties and is diligent in maintaining, upgrading and replacing system components, as needed. He also supports antennae and cable systems at all schools and buildings, and oversees the public address systems, also known as the PA audio system, used in schools. McElhenny is well known among his peers for his professional attitude and strong work ethic. He strives to assist with any task he is given and is committed to excellence in his position. Mary B. Neal Elementary School Principal Carol Leveillee wrote a letter on behalf of McElhenny’s nomination and said his commitment to his profession is evident in all he does. “Eric is always dedicated to getting the job done. He is dependable and knowledgeable. He always has a solution to any issues. Whether it’s security, sound systems, speakers, intercoms, or whatever, Eric is on the job,” Leveillee wrote.
Trice has worked in the office at John Hanson since 2012 and handles several tasks for the school, including the school budget, payroll organization and financial reports. He also serves as the point of contact for technical and software support and helps to evaluate administrative operations. He manages the use of facilities calendar for Hanson and maintains all records related to the school’s accountability plan. Trice is well known among Hanson staff for his kind demeanor and professionalism. His dedication to detail and quality is evident in all jobs he manages. Trice offers his assistance when needed and strives to develop and maintain a positive rapport with students, staff and parents. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Trice serves as a mentor for students and helps coach basketball. Hanson special education teacher Megan English said Trice is an excellent role model for students. “He establishes positive relationships with students within the school through coaching, participation in PBIS activities, and just by being a respectable presence throughout the building. Many of my students with special needs look forward to chatting with him on a regular basis. He is an excellent role model for our students to look up to and happily takes on that responsibility,” English wrote in a nomination letter.
Ward’s career with CCPS spans more than 34 years and includes positions such as word processor operator, certification clerk, computer operator, accounting assistant and head of accounts payable. Ward was named the head of accounts payable in 2013 and develops queries to maintain payment records, reconciles vendor statements and obtains reimbursements from vendors. She also helped implement an electronic funds transfer payment system for accounts payable and assisted in developing a comprehensive binder of accounts payable procedures. She created helpful hints for secretaries to use when receiving invoices in the computer system and trains employees in retrieving documents from Laser Vault, a document management system used by CCPS. She is professional and demonstrates a strong work ethic, attention to detail and volunteers to take on difficult tasks when needed. In an award nomination letter, accounts payable staff member Ann Peddicord said that Ward goes above and beyond. “There is no job that she will not tackle with every ounce of energy she has to give and have it completed on time and as near to perfect that is possible. She is one of the most organized people that I have met, and one of the hardest working people that I know,” Peddicord wrote.
Woodland began his career with CCPS in 2002 and worked at General Smallwood Middle School and Henry E. Lackey High School as a building service worker. He was promoted to the building service manager at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center in 2004 and took over the manager position in building services at Davis when the school opened in 2007. He works with contractors and coordinates the use of facilities for the school, county and community events. He assists with bi-annual bus evacuations, prepares the building for all events and helps to maintain areas outside of the school. He works with school administrators to ensure the school is safe and orderly, performs daily facility checks and maintains building inspection records. As building service manager, Woodland also prepares daily assignments for his staff and is well known for his attention to detail and strong work ethic. Davis Principal Stephanie Wesolowski said Woodland has been an integral part of the instructional program at Davis since the school opened. “Maintaining a large facility is no easy task, but you wouldn’t know it from observing the leadership qualities of Mr. Woodland. He is always available no matter how large or small the request and he is extremely dependable. He is truly an exemplary employee,” Wesolowski wrote in a nomination letter.
The Board each year honors exemplary staff members who provide creative and quality services that support the effective and efficient operations of the school system.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 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 Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, 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.