CCPS students honored for gifted education achievements

CCPS students honored for gifted education achievements


Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education on Feb. 25 honored 34 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students for gifted education accomplishments.

Students are nominated for the recognition by the learning resource teacher at their schools. Criteria include academic performance at a high level, participation in a gifted education program, and being a current recipient of a local school system, state or national award.

The following students were honored for their accomplishments during a virtual ceremony hosted by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education.

  • Delaney Blake, fifth grade, J.C. Parks Elementary School.
  • Addison Brown, fourth grade, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School.
  • DaVe’in Britt, eighth grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School.
  • Andrew Cook, fifth grade, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School.
  • Quinn Decker, eighth grade, Stoddert.
  • Ilianna Dimitri, fifth grade, Mitchell.
  • Xavier Fortaleza, fifth grade, Parks.
  • Julissa Galdamez, eighth grade, Stoddert.
  • Carter Harrigan, fifth grade, Mary B. Neal Elementary School.
  • DeCarlos Hawkins, third grade, Higdon.
  • Eve Hoepfl, fifth grade, Mitchell.
  • Tyke Hunter, eighth grade, Stoddert.
  • Darrell Jackson, eighth grade, Stoddert.
  • Kaden Jackson, fourth grade, Mitchell.
  • Marshauna Jackson, fifth grade, Indian Head Elementary School.
  • Dakota Jones, fifth grade, Indian Head.
  • Madison Krupa, fifth grade, Mitchell.
  • Ashlyn Lagana, fifth grade, T.C. Martin Elementary School.
  • Carsyn Martin, eighth grade, Matthew Henson Middle School.
  • Aiden Mobley, fifth grade, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School.
  • Terra Newcamp, seventh grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School.
  • Grant Pettersen, fifth grade, Mitchell.
  • Rylie Rich, fifth grade, Mitchell.
  • Ryker Rummelhoff, fourth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School.
  • Casey Shamenek, eighth grade, General Smallwood Middle School.
  • Khamari Smith, fifth grade, Higdon.
  • Orianna Smith, fifth grade, Craik.
  • Cason Specht, fourth grade, Mitchell.
  • Samantha Stancliff, fourth grade, Mitchell.
  • Brooke Swann, fifth grade, Higdon.
  • Stephanie Tootle, eighth grade, Stoddert.
  • Rajan Venkatesh, eighth grade, Smallwood.
  • Alicia Warren, eighth grade, Smallwood.
  • Elysia Young, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School.

Blake has been enrolled in gifted education classes at Parks since second grade. She is known among her teachers as an insightful student who shares ideas among her peers in class. Blake is an honor-roll student and role model. She is a member of the school math team, Green team, Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) and Destination Imagination (DI). Blake is also a member of the school orchestra, chorus and Girl Scouts.

Britt is a straight A student and enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study at Stoddert. To qualify for the program, a student must complete three consecutive years of advanced classes in language arts, math, social studies and science. Britt is a quiet leader among his peers and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He has completed the highest level of math classes available at Stoddert. As a sixth grader, Britt scored the highest on county assessments among his peers and among the top five percent of Maryland students who scored a 5 on state math and reading assessments.

Brown excels in mathematics and reads above grade level. She is a leader among her peers and offers help to both her teachers and classmates. Brown is well known among her teachers as a role model and student who excels in all subject areas. She is well-liked by her peers and committed to achieving high levels of success in the classroom.

Cook is known among his peers as a positive role model and hardworking student. He is passionate about learning and is an honor-roll student. Cook inspires his peers to work hard and helps his classmates and teachers. He is also a part of the Mitchell DI team and excels both in the classroom and when participating in enrichment activities.

Decker is a straight A student and excels among his peers at Stoddert. He is enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study and is regularly honored with Student of the Quarter awards. Decker is a member of MESA, DI and the National Junior Honor Society. He is known among Stoddert teachers as a bright student with a strong aptitude for science. In seventh grade, Decker scored the highest among his countywide middle school peers on a science assessment. He has also earned high achievement levels on both math and reading assessments.

Dimitri is a high-level achiever and positive role model for her peers. She demonstrates advanced comprehension in both reading and math. Dimitri learns quickly and is always willing to help her peers. She is consistently named to the honor roll and is a member of the Mitchell DI team.

Fortaleza was identified to receive gifted services in second grade. He strives for high achievement and is known among his teachers as a driven student. Fortaleza earns high scores on county assessments, excels in the classroom and is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll each quarter. In prior school years, he has placed in the county science fair in the Physics category and recognized at the state level for his participation in Math League events. Fortaleza is a member of DI, MESA, the Robotics Club, band and All-County Chorus.

Galdamez is an honor-roll student at Stoddert. She is enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study and takes advanced classes in all subjects. Galdamez performs at a higher level of achievement than her peers on assessments. She strives to excel in the classroom and extracurricular activities. Galdamez has taken the highest-level math classes available at Stoddert. She is enrolled in the National Junior Honor Society and participated in robotics last school year. Galdamez volunteers at her church as a teacher assistant and works with youth ages 7-9.

Harrigan was identified for gifted services in second grade. He excels in all that he does, is a role model and leader among his peers. Harrigan is known among his teachers as a well-rounded student who is enthusiastic about learning. He is a member of the fifth-grade math team, MESA and DI. Harrigan was honored by the Board of Education earlier this school year as the exemplary student of the year from Neal.

Hawkins excels in all that he does and loves to read. He is an excellent writer and outperforms his peers. He reads well above grade level and is a leader in the virtual classroom. Hawkins is known among his teachers as a role model. He can comprehend complex subjects easily and demonstrates a positive attitude in the classroom.

Hoepfl consistently demonstrates academic success in all subject areas. She is an honor-roll student and hard worker. Hoepfl models a positive attitude toward learning and is a leader among her peers. She participates in several enrichment opportunities during the school day. Hoepfl is a member of DI and helped her team earn competition awards.

Hunter is an honor-roll student at Stoddert. He is enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study and takes advanced classes. Hunter is a member of the Stoddert baseball team and National Junior Honor Society. He has completed the highest level of math offered at Stoddert and takes advanced science and social studies classes. Hunter also earns high levels of achievement on county and state assessments.

Darrell Jackson is a straight A student at Stoddert. He has been named to the Principal’s Honor Roll throughout his middle school career. Jackson has received several Student of the Quarter awards and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He is known among his teachers as a respectful and kind student. Jackson shares his ideas in class, helps his peers and demonstrates a positive attitude toward learning. He is enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study and takes advanced classes.

Kaden Jackson is an honor-roll student at Mitchell. He demonstrates passion toward learning and a love for math. Jackson participates in enrichment activities at school and is a member of the Mitchell DI team. He is well known among his teachers as a caring and hardworking student.

Marshauna Jackson is well known among her teachers as a hardworking student. She has been a part of the gifted education program at Indian Head since third grade. Jackson is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll. She was recognized by the Board of Education earlier this school year as the exemplary student of the year from Indian Head. Jackson is a role model for her peers and loves to help others. She is a member of MESA, and the school Kindness and Chess clubs.

Jones is an honor-roll student and leader among her peers at Indian Head. She was nominated this year for the Carson Scholars award and is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll. She is kind and compassionate to her friends and is always eager to help her classmates. Jones has been enrolled in the gifted program since third grade. She is a member of Just Say No, the school math team and Kindness Club.

Krupa excels in the virtual classroom and demonstrates advanced achievement in all subject areas. She is known among her teachers as a student who works hard and models a positive attitude. Krupa loves to support her community and is Mitchell’s nominee this year for the Carson Scholars program. She is a member of the K-Kids community service club and DI.

Lagana is known among her teachers as a model citizen for her T.C. Martin peers. She is always willing to learn new things and grow as a student. Lagana is a natural leader in the classroom; she enjoys helping others during group work. She loves to write and is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll each quarter. Lagana earns high achievements in all subject areas.

Martin has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout middle school. She is a member of the Henson honors chorus, MESA, Vex Robotics, Lego Robotics, DI, band, chorus, Math Counts, Student Government Association (SGA) and the National Junior Honor Society. Martin was also recognized this school year by the Board of Education as the exemplary student of the year from Henson. She is enrolled in gifted courses and volunteers at a local soup kitchen. Martin also plays soccer and is part of a local swim team.

Mobley was identified to receive gifted services in third grade in reading and math. He is an honor-roll student and excels in the virtual classroom. Mobley achieved high scores on the gifted abilities assessment for nonverbal, verbal and quantitative skills. He also earned high scores on county assessments in reading and math. Mobley is a leader among his peers and exhibits a positive attitude. Last year, he was a member of the school math team.

Newcamp has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout middle school. She puts forth her best effort in class, on all assignments and strives for high achievement. Newcamp is engaged in class; she asks questions, helps her peers, contributes to class discussions and provides insightful responses. When schools closed for in-person learning last year, Newcamp continued to publish the school newspaper virtually. She also took the lead on creating virtual morning announcements. Earlier this school year, Newcamp was recognized by the Board of Education as the exemplary student of the year from Davis.

Pettersen is a role model student who is passionate about learning. He is consistently named to the school honor roll. In November, Pettersen was recognized by the Board as Mitchell’s exemplary student of the year. Pettersen has attended Mitchell since kindergarten and is consistently named to the honor roll each quarter. He was identified for gifted services in third grade and received a score of five on recent reading and math assessments. Pettersen also earned a perfect score on his math post-test assessment last school year.

Rich is a hard worker and role model for her peers. She consistently demonstrates academic achievement in all content areas. Rich has been named to the school honor roll since third grade. Rich’s teachers refer to her as a leader in the virtual classroom and a student who always encourages others. She is a member of the school DI team and is always willing to help others be successful.

Rummelhoff is a well-rounded student and participates in a variety of activities at Craik. He is a conscientious student and excels academically. He thinks at a higher level and problem solves. Rummelhoff is humble and kind; he treats his peers with respect and is eager to help anyone in need. According to his teachers, Rummelhoff possesses a natural curiosity that drives him to ask questions and investigate.

Shamenek is a straight A student at Smallwood. She is consistently named to the Principal’s Honor Roll and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Shamenek models an exemplary work ethic and earns positive recognition from her teachers. She is enrolled in gifted courses in language arts, science and social studies. Shamenek is also enrolled in Spanish I and Algebra I and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Outside of school, Shamenek is a member of her church worship team and the Charles County Humane Society’s PAWS Club.

Khamari Smith reads and comprehends stories above his grade level. He is thoughtful in class and demonstrates a positive attitude. Smith likes to help his peers and encourages his classmates to participate regularly. He is known among his teachers as a quiet leader. He supports his peers in group projects and assignments. Smith was chosen for recognition because he is a role-model student with an amazing attitude toward learning.

Orianna Smith is a bright, hardworking student. She is self-motivated and does not shy away from a challenge. Her work ethic is evident in her successes at school and in the community. Smith is well known among her teachers as a student who loves to learn. She encourages her peers to participate and helps anyone in need of assistance. Smith is committed to her future and loves to learn about complex topics.

Specht is a role model student and hard worker. He is passionate about school and loves to be challenged by math and science. Specht is consistently named to the school honor roll. He is well known by his teachers for an admirable work ethic. Last year, Specht earned a first-place award in the county science fair. His commitment to learning is evident in his classroom participation.  

Stancliff demonstrates excellence in the virtual classroom and with extracurricular activities. She is a hard worker and role model for her peers. Stancliff is known among her teachers as a student who is kind, caring and encouraging to others. She is consistently named to the school honor roll and proud of her academic achievements.

Swann excels in math and reading and is enrolled in accelerated classes. She is supportive to her peers and consistently offers to help her teachers. Swann loves to read and share stories with her peers. She helps to lead classroom discussions and group activities. She is known among her teachers as a quiet leader. Swann likes to participate in extracurricular activities at school and in the community.

Tootle is an honor-roll student at Stoddert. She is enrolled in the Scholars Course of Study and takes accelerated classes. Tootle has taken gifted language arts for three years, and the highest math classes offered at Stoddert. She is also enrolled in enrichment science and social studies. Tootle has received several Student of the Quarter awards and Principal’s Honor Roll for straight As.

Venkatesh was first identified for gifted services in third grade. He has been named to the Principal’s Honor Roll each quarter of his middle school career at Smallwood. He scores above his peers on county and state assessments and takes accelerated classes. Venkatesh is enrolled in high school level math and Spanish. He has been a member of DI, Math Counts, the National Junior Honor Society, soccer club, track, jazz band and SGA. Venkatesh was also honored last month by the Board of Education as Smallwood’s exemplary student of the year.

Warren is an honor-roll student at Smallwood. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her middle school career. She models an exemplary work ethic and earns positive recognition from her teachers. Warren was recently selected as the Carson Scholars program nominee from Smallwood. She has participated in MESA, DI, the school positivity club, student council and school orchestra. Warren is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Junior National Young Leaders. She is also a longtime Girl Scouts member.

Young is a role model student and excels in all that she does. She comes to class each day prepared and ready to learn. Young performs above grade level and is committed to academic achievement. She has participated in the school science fair, strings ensemble, MESA and school math team. Young is well known among her teachers as a student who is kind, open-minded and supportive of her peers.

During the ceremony in which the CCPS students were honored, eight CCPS educators were recognized for their accomplishments in gifted education. Read about the educators on the CCPS website at ccboe.com.

About CCPS

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 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).

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