Students to be honored for gifted education accomplishments

Students to be honored for gifted education accomplishments

Eight Charles County Public Schools students were recently selected for recognition for their accomplishments in gifted education by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education. Each student receives a Student Accomplishment in Gifted and Talented Education award. They are:

  • Thomas Buckley, eighth grade, General Smallwood Middle School;
  • Kincade Burroughs, fourth grade, T.C. Martin Elementary School;
  • Rachel Chernoff, fourth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School;
  • Madison Furman, eighth grade, Smallwood;
  • Morgan Krauel, eighth grade, Smallwood;
  • Kaelan Parkin, fifth grade, William B. Wade Elementary School;
  • Alayna Steinmetz, fifth grade, Craik; and
  • Trinity Treadway, fifth grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School.

They were nominated for recognition by the learning resource teachers at their schools, who work with students enrolled in enrichment courses and gifted education programs. Criteria for recognition of selected award winners include: student performs at a high level; is a current recipient of a school system, state or national award or competition winner; and participates in a gifted and talented program.

The students will be recognized at a Feb. 24 state reception. Connie Mattingly, a learning resource teacher at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, also will be honored at the reception with an Outstanding Educator in Gifted and Talented Education – Teacher as Leader award.

Also being recognized are Milton M. Somers Middle School eighth grader Brianna High. She was named the second place overall middle school winner in the Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education essay contest. In her essay, High details her experiences as a gifted education student at Somers and how they have helped her excel personally and academically. The reception is celebrating Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s proclamation of February as Gifted and Talented Education Month.

Buckley is an honor roll student and enrolled in enrichment, gifted and accelerated classes at Smallwood. He is consistently honored with both high and principal’s honors for academic excellence. His current grade-point average is 3.86. He is well known among his teachers for his level of participation and personal responsibility. Buckley is a member of the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team at Smallwood, which earned first place in the bridge building category at both the county and state tournaments last year. Additionally, Buckley has been named the top speller at Smallwood during their spelling bee for the past two school years.

Burroughs is an honor roll student who has been participating in the gifted and talented program since last school year. He consistently earns straight A’s and has received principal’s honors since he was a third grader. As a third grader, Burroughs participated in MESA and his team won first place in the bridge category at the county level among competing elementary schools. He is also a member of Destination Imagination (DI) and helped his team win second place in the county competition and first place at the state level last year. His DI team competed at the global event and earned a second place award in its challenge and eighth place overall. Burroughs is also on the chess team and member of the STEM club, unified basketball team, football team and the Cub Scouts.

Chernoff was identified for gifted services at the end of second grade and is enrolled in gifted courses for reading and mathematics. She reads on a sixth-grade level and received straight A’s throughout her third-grade year. Chernoff has also received straight A’s so far this school year. In 2015, Chernoff earned a perfect score in math on end-of-year county assessments and earned a 124 out of 125 in reading. Dana Moyer is the learning resource teacher at Craik and nominated Chernoff for recognition. In her nomination, Moyer refers to Chernoff as a student who is “remarkable when compared to her classmates.” “Rachel continues to do well academically. She is quite impressive,” Moyer wrote.

Furman is enrolled in all enrichment, gifted and accelerated classes and consistently receives recognition with principal’s honor roll and student of the month/quarter awards. Her current grade-point average is 3.85 and she has participated in the gifted and talented program at Smallwood since the sixth grade. In 2013, Furman received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and won awards in the Charles County History Fair for the past two school years. In 2015, Furman was part of a Smallwood MESA team that won first place in the Hovercraft challenge at the state tournament. She is well known among her teachers as a student who pays great attention to detail and is meticulous in her work.

High is an honor-roll student and is consistently named to the principal’s honor roll. She is president of the National Junior Honor Society and member of the Lady Seahawks science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) club. High also participates in the Friends of Rachel Club, DI, MESA, All-County and Tri-County Orchestra and the Principal’s Advisory Council. In October 2015, she was recognized before the Board of Education as the exemplary student in the area of academic achievement from Somers. The Board honors one student per school annually.

Krauel is enrolled in all enrichment, gifted and accelerated classes and currently has a 4.0 grade-point average. She has earned principal’s honor roll since she was a fourth grader and also has received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. For her academic performance, Krauel has earned several subject area awards and has been named student of the month as a sixth- and seventh-grade student. She has participated in All-County Orchestra for the past three years and advanced to the State Solo and Ensemble Festival, where she received an excellent rating. Krauel is active with MathCounts and has competed in both the Charles County Science and History fairs at the middle-school level of competition.

Parkin is an accelerated math student and scored a 99 percent on the quantitative portion of the CogAT test, which is used to help identify students for gifted and talented education programs. Parkin is currently working with the learning resource teacher at Wade, Joseph Perriello, to learn sixth grade accelerated math curriculum. Last year he earned a perfect score on the end-of-year county math assessment in accelerated math. He also won first place in the Charles County Math Challenge among competing fourth graders. In his nomination, Perriello said that Parkin is an exceptional student and is consistently at the top of his class.

Steinmetz is an honor roll student at Craik and strives to receive straight A’s each quarter. Last year, she received a perfect score on the reading end-of-year assessment and a 115 out of 125 on the math assessment. She has received gifted and talented curriculum for the past three school years and currently reads at a seventh-grade level. Steinmetz is active in MESA and helped her team in 2015 earn a first-place award at the regional level, and second place at the state competition. She is also a member of Craik’s Knowledge Bowl team, which won first place among competing regional schools last year. She is known among her teachers as a perfectionist. Steinmetz also submitted a poem in a Daughters of the American Revolution writing contest and won a first place state award and a second place national award.

Treadway is enrolled in gifted reading and math classes and was identified for gifted services as a second grader. She is well known among her teachers as a student who goes above and beyond in all that she does and humbly accepts recognition for her hard work. Last year, Treadway helped the Gale-Bailey fourth-grade math team earn a second-place team award at the county competition. She also ranked third among individual competing students. Treadway almost always scores 100 percent on grade-level assessments and often out performs her peers.

For more information, visit the MSDE website at

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 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.

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