The Board of Education of Charles County at its Nov. 9 meeting honored four Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members for their commitment to the school system and student success. Each month, the Board honors staff members chosen by their school principals for recognition who demonstrate their dedication to teaching and learning.
Honored by the Board at its November meeting were Lea Flynn of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School; Andrew Shanbarger of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School; Alisha Sweatt of William B. Wade Elementary School; and Todd Wogamon of the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center.
Flynn has dedicated nearly two decades to CCPS, all of which she has spent at Dr. Mudd. As a prekindergarten instructional assistant, Flynn is an instrumental part of the school family, Principal Orlena Whatley said. “Ms. Flynn believes in planting seeds and watching them grow in the community she calls home in her effort to serve our school community and the students we serve,” Whatley said. Flynn is a member of the Sunshine Committee and organizes daycare and van rider pick up at Dr. Mudd. She is a caring staff member who can be counted on to remember a birthday, plan a celebration or comfort a grieving staff member. She jumps into create bulletin boards and prepares materials for students who were absent. Flynn participates in faculty meetings where she shares best practices and tips. “She believes that you are never too old to learn something new,” Whatley said. Whatley describes Flynn as a team player who supports students, parents, teachers and fellow instructional assistants, and who shows up at every school function and activities. “She encourages others to volunteer, participate in functions and helps create a classroom environment that is student-centered because she believes in making a positive impact on everything she does,” Whatley said. “She lives in the community and believes in taking care of our school family.”
Shanbarger is a problem solver who has taught at Jenifer for more than a decade. He joined Jenifer as a classroom teacher before transitioning to become the school’s science teacher. Shanbarger helps the school run smoothly by coordinating with administration to design the master schedule. He troubleshoots staff concerns and shares technology and teaching tips with his coworkers. He serves as Jenifer’s representative to the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and has been a part of the negotiating committee. Jenifer has nominated Shanbarger for SMECO’s program to that recognizes teachers for outstanding achievements in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He runs an afterschool program focused on robotics. “He supports teaching and learning in whatever capacity he can,” Jenifer Principal Kevin Jackson said. “Andy is always suggesting ways to solve problems at Jenifer.”
As a front office secretary at Wade, Sweatt often interacts with parents, students and visitors. As she is currently taking classes to get her degree in counseling, Sweatt is comfortable talking to people and helping resolve issues and conflicts. “She acts with compassion toward students, staff and families that come to the office with requests,” William Miller, Wade’s principal, said. “When talking with students, she considers each student’s viewpoint.” At the end of the school day, Sweatt oversees the dismissal process and manages each student’s transportation plan regarding how they will get home. She volunteers to pitch in during school activities. Sweatt takes part in many events that bridge the school and community including a spaghetti dinner hosted for community members who were furloughed, the school’s annual holiday bazaar, STEM Night and the trunk or treat.
A former athletic trainer, Wogamon was uniquely qualified to help bring the physical rehabilitation program to CCPS. He teaches the courses at Stethem which uses project and problem-based learning, clinical experiences, as well as classroom and lab instruction to introduce students about the field of health care. During hybrid learning, Wogamon was one of the CCPS staff members piloting new technology in the classroom to teach in-person students and those who engaged in class virtually. Wogamon is pursuing his master’s degree and attends trainings and professional development opportunities, to benefit students. “Mr. Wogamon is always striving to build quality, engaging lessons,” Stethem Principal Curry Werkheiser.
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).