Congratulations to All of the Honorees from the May 3 Awards & Recognitions Night
Congratulations to the Outstanding Students, Staff Members, Programs and Community Partners Recognized at the May 3 Board of Education Awards & Recognitions Night
Posted on 05/04/2016
Congratulations to the outstanding students, staff members, programs and community partners recognized at the May 3 Board of Education Awards & Recognitions Night. Please read on to learn more about their achievements. Photos will be posted soon on the school system’s website: under Photo Events.

Young Authors Contest Regional and State Winners


Certificate of achievement for Rachael Walker, Wicomico High, for winning 1st place in both the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council Young Authors Contest and Eastern Shore Reading Council Young Authors Contest, for Grade 10 Poetry,

Certificate of recognition to the following students for winning 1st place in the Eastern Shore Reading Council Young Authors Contest:

Grade 5 Short Story: I’naka Hudgins, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 5 Poetry: Dylan Dorr, Northwestern Elementary

Grade 5 Short Story: Ayati Sangwan, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 6 Poetry: Shalese-Psalmy Lacson, Bennett Middle

Grade 7 Poetry: Carmen Broadwater, Wicomico Middle

Grade 7 Short Story: Matthew Waggoner, Wicomico Middle

Grade 8 Poetry: Hannah Vodak, Pittsville Middle

Grade 10 Short Story: Nicholas Nguyen [when], Wicomico High

Grade 11 Poetry: Alexis Emerson, James M. Bennett High

Grade 11 Short Story: Dhritisha Chakraborty, James M. Bennett High

Grade 12 Poetry: Rashmi Sharma, Parkside High

Every year public and private school students in Wicomico County and surrounding counties participate in the Young Authors Contest sponsored by the Eastern Shore Reading Council and the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council. Students in grades 2 through 12 submit entries in the poetry and short story genres. A panel of judges selects the local winners, and these 1st place local winners advance to the Young Authors Contest at the state level for judging. In the local competition, Wicomico County students placed first in 12 out of 22 categories.


Just Zoo It! Campaign Winning Wicomico Schools Classroom


Certificate of recognition to Malina Fisher’s Kindergarten class at Westside Primary for being the top Wicomico public school classroom in the fundraiser. The class collected $610.69. Later this month, the class will enjoy their reward of a VIP trip to the zoo.

This is the fifth year that the Delmarva Zoological Society, in partnership with public and private schools in four counties, ran the Just Zoo It! campaign. Students in every elementary classroom in Wicomico County received cans to collect coins and bills around Halloween. All of the money raised is for capital improvements at the Salisbury Zoo, which is an important education destination for Delmarva schoolchildren. So far, the Just Zoo It! campaign has raised more than $150,000 for the zoo.


National Science Teacher Association/Shell Science Lab Challenge National Finalist

Certificate of recognition to Mardela Middle and High School Earth/Space and Environmental Science teacher Catherine Krygeris, a national finalist for the National Science Teacher Association-Shell Science Lab Challenge.

The National Science Teacher Association, with financial support from Shell Oil, annually sponsors the Shell Science Lab Challenge for all science teachers in the United States and Canada. The purpose is to reward science teachers who seek to provide exemplary laboratory experiences for their students. Eighteen district winners receive an award of $3,000 for lab materials and equipment, and five national finalists each receive an award package of more than $10,000 to support their professional development and the purchase of equipment and laboratory materials for their school. This year, for the first time, a Wicomico County science teacher was selected as one of 18 district winners and then one of five national finalists, after completing a rigorous final application process. She was recognized at the National Science Teacher Association Annual Professional Development Conference last month in Nashville, Tenn.


Carson Scholars


Certificates of achievement for being named a 2016 Carson Scholar to:

Riley Forrestal, 5th Grade, North Salisbury Elementary

Danielle Edwards, 8th Grade, Wicomico Middle

Zander Forsythe, 11th Grade, James M. Bennett High

Certificates of recognition to renewed Carson Scholars for 2016:

Anna Long, 8th Grade, Bennett Middle, for the 4th time

Gia Bautista, 9th Grade, Wicomico High, for the 2nd time

Jaime Miller-Vail, 9th Grade, Parkside High, for the 2nd time

Kevon Turnamian, 12th Grade, James M. Bennett High, for the 2nd time

Each year, the Carson Scholars Fund recognizes a select group of high-achieving students from around the country in Grades 4 and higher who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and humanitarian qualities. In April, seven students from Wicomico County Public Schools were honored in front of family, peers and educators as new or renewed Carson Scholars. With this honor, new Carson Scholars receive a $1,000 scholarship for college, funded by the world-renowned John Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and his wife, Candy Carson. 


5th annual Wicomico County Elementary Chess Tournament

Certificates of recognition for achieving a 1st place grade-level finish in the 5th annual Wicomico County Elementary Chess Tournament to Mathias Ford, Grade 2, Delmar Elementary, and Solomon Harris, Grade 5, Westside Intermediate.

On April 15th, Wicomico County held its 5th annual Elementary Chess Tournament at Westside Intermediate School. Students in grades 2-5 from Wicomico public and private schools and home school competed, and it was the biggest Wicomico chess tournament yet with 109 registered players.

Certificate of appreciation to M&T Bank, represented by vice presidents Brian Allen and Gene Malone, for M&T’s generous donation of $5,000 this school year for chess. The donation supported chess clubs in Wicomico elementary and middle schools, the Wicomico County Elementary Chess Tournament at Westside Intermediate School, and the first Wicomico County Middle School Chess Tournament that will take place May 13th at Salisbury Middle School. (There’s still time to register to compete in the Middle School Chess Tournament.)


2016-2017 Wicomico Teacher of the Year


Wicomico Teacher of the Year engraved golden apple gift from the Board of Education to Mrs. Christy Briggs, an English Language Arts teacher at Bennett Middle School, to celebrate her selection as the 2016-2017 Wicomico Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Briggs also received a new Dell laptop from vendor partner DataNetworks, and congratulations from U.S. Representative Andy Harris, represented by Mr. Bill Reddish, Community Liaison.

The new Teacher of the Year runs a student book club at Bennett Middle, mentors aspiring teachers in her classroom, helps lead her school’s faith-based partnership with Oak Ridge Baptist Church, and is active in state and local reading councils. A 19-year teacher who is National Board Certified in Early/Middle Childhood Reading/Language Arts, Briggs has long been recognized and appreciated as an outstanding educator. We are proud to note that she is a 1991 graduate of Parkside High School, and is part of a family strongly committed to public education in Wicomico County. Briggs received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Masters of Education in Reading from Salisbury University. Since 1997 she has taught at Prince Street Elementary, Fruitland Intermediate and Bennett Middle. As Wicomico Teacher of the Year, Briggs represents the more than 1,250 teachers of Wicomico County Public Schools, and will represent Wicomico County Public Schools in the Maryland Teacher of the Year recognition program.


2016 Maryland State Geographic Bee


Certificates of recognition to the Wicomico students who qualified for and participated in the 2016 Maryland Geographic Bee:  

Matthew Waggoner, Grade 7, Wicomico Middle

Ryan Selser, Grade 6, Salisbury Middle

Two Wicomico students qualified for the Maryland Geographic Bee, a qualifying affiliate for the National Geographic Bee. These students emerged as school winners in head-to-head competition with classmates, and then scored high enough on another written test to qualify as one of 100 finalists across the state to compete in the April 1st Maryland State Geographic Bee.


2017 Maryland Middle School Principal of the Year

Certificate of achievement for being named the Maryland Middle School Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals to Ms. Liza Hastings, Bennett Middle School.

More than 40 administrators were nominated for the Middle School Principal of the Year Award, and Ms. Hastings was among those who completed an application for the statewide award. Applications were judged by a statewide panel of school administrators. In March, the principal was surprised at the end of her televised morning announcements with the news that she is the 2017 Maryland Middle School Principal of the Year for the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals. This outstanding administrator is a 1992 graduate of Mardela High School. She taught at Glen Avenue Elementary and Wicomico High, then served as dean of students at WiHi. Since 2008 she has served at Bennett Middle as assistant principal and then principal.


Unified Strength and Conditioning State Invitational Tournament Champion


Certificates of achievement to the following players and coaches of the Parkside High School Unified Strength and Conditioning Team for finishing first in the Unified Strength and Conditioning State Invitational Tournament:

Students: Jeremiah Justice, Jake Renshaw, Daniel Gianelle, Grant Skilling, Leandra Yamashiro, Jessie Willey, Dylan Laing, Ryan Osowiecki, Josh Yoon, Josh Justice, Mikayla Amey, Alyssa Venere, Luke Pitsenbarger, Makenzie Shreeves, Asher Amey

Coaches: Bruce Harrell, Kim Pelot, Erica Amalfitano, Emily Miller

Wicomico County Public Schools is proud to partner with Special Olympics Maryland to offer Unified Sports seasons in the four high schools. Students with and without disabilities join to have fun, master the skills of a sport, and compete in tennis, bocce, and strength and conditioning. Competing against teams from around the state, the Parkside High School Strength and Conditioning team advanced through the bracket to gain the most points and be named the championship team. All of the players were on their game and more importantly the students showed a great deal of sportsmanship in their victories to finish first in the state.


American Mathematics Competition (AMC8) at Salisbury University


Certificate of recognition to the 7th-Grade students whose scores at the inaugural American Mathematics Competition (AMC8) at Salisbury University placed them in the top 5% nationwide and earned them a place on the National Honor Roll:

Noah Hornstein, Salisbury Middle

Marvin Li, Bennett Middle

Yoonha Nam, Salisbury Middle

In November, some 100 area middle school students competed in the inaugural American Mathematics Competition (AMC8) at Salisbury University. The AMC8 is the oldest and most prestigious middle school math contest in the country. The day-long event at SU was hosted by the Mathematics and Computer Science Department for students from Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Sussex counties. Teachers participated in a math education workshop, and students toured the SU campus and attended a fun math talk by Dr. Steven Hetzler. The key part of the day involved students taking a 40-minute, 25-question multiple-choice exam that was sent off for nationwide scoring. Three students from Wicomico County Public Schools were placed on the National Honor Roll for scoring in the top 5% in the nation at this event.

2015-2016 Wicomico County Math League Winners


The Wicomico County Mathematics League is an ongoing competition that is designed to test math and problem-solving skills of students in grades nine through twelve. The league is divided into two divisions, Junior Varsity and Varsity, with each school having two teams represented. The top scorer at each school receives a medallion, and the top three scorers in the county receive a trophy. The Wicomico County Board of Education is pleased to recognize the following students for their achievements in the 2015-2016 Math League:

Top Scorers for each school, Junior Varsity

Matthew Selser, James M. Bennett High

Skye Saunders, Mardela High

Allan B. Hall III, Parkside High

Millicent Kihiura, Wicomico High

Top Scorers in the County, Junior Varsity

1st Place-Matthew Selser, James M. Bennett High

2nd Place-Allan B. Hall III, Parkside High

3rd Place-Millicent Kihiura, Wicomico High

Top Scorers for each school, Varsity

Michael Li, James M. Bennett High

Bryce Bond, Mardela High

Justin Goodman, Parkside High

Chang Lee, Wicomico High

Top Scorers in the County, Varsity

1st Place:  Michael Li, James M. Bennett High

2nd Place: Kevon Turnamian, James M. Bennett High

3rd  Place: Chang Lee, Wicomico High

This year’s top teams and recipients of the school trophies for scoring the highest number of points in this year’s Math League:

The Parkside High JV team, coached by Ms. Brandy Taylor

The James M. Bennett High Varsity team, coached by Mr. Keith Donoway


Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition


Certificates of recognition to the team from Wicomico County Public Schools that finished 2nd in the 2015 Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition:

Kevon Turnamian, Hannah Lee and Michael Li, James M. Bennett High

Certificate of recognition for being the 3rd place individual winner of the 2015 Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition to Hannah Lee, James M. Bennett High.

Salisbury University’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department’s 32nd annual Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition was sponsored by Delmarva Power and was held in November at Salisbury University. High school teams from around the Eastern Shore participated in this competition that tests the math and problem-solving skills of students in team and individual events.


National Finalist, Intel Science Talent Search/National Merit Scholarship


Certificates of achievement to Michael Li of James M. Bennett High for being selected as a national finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search and for being among the small percentage of students nationwide to earn a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. (Li was one of two students, along with Tiffany Pham of Parkside High, previously recognized by the Board as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.)

Li competed with top students from across the country in March for more than $1 million in awards in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search. The Intel Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science and math competition. It encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and create technologies and solutions that will positively impact people’s lives. From all of the applications Intel received, Intel and the Society for Science & the Public selected 40 students to present as finalists in a week-long event in Washington, D.C. This JMB senior engaged in extensive research on Deciphering Neural Coding for Sensorimotor Decision-Making. He earned $1,000 for himself and his school as one of 200 semifinalists, and was eligible for at least $7,500 plus additional awards as a finalist at the showcase event in Washington, D.C.

The Board congratulated Li and Arjun Agarwal of James M. Bennett High on being identified as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education. While neither student applied to advance in this recognition program, it was a tremendous honor to be among the top students in the country who were named candidates.


Highest Awards in Scouting: Girl Scout Gold Award & Boy Scout Eagle Award


The Board presented certificates of achievement to students who have earned the highest rank in Scouting in the past year. For Girl Scouts, the Gold Award is the highest and most prestigious award that Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can earn during high school. Girls uphold the Standards of Excellence, achieve the Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes, and make a mark on the community that creates a lasting impact on the lives of others. For Boy Scouts, the Eagle Award represents leadership, service, mastery of outdoor skills, and completion of a service project that benefits and engages the community. Earning the Eagle Award is an achievement of the highest level, and it’s an honor each of these students will hold for life.

Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts:

Hanna Holland, Parkside High

Eagle Award, the highest ranking in Boy Scouts:

James M. Bennett High: Carsten Bievenour, Brent Burton-Ziara, Arthur Carlton-Jones, Mason Greenlees, Reed Morgan, Connor Mull, Ian Parsons, John William Treuth

Parkside High: Ryan DeBerardinis, Justin Goodman, Jonah King, Dylan Warwick

Mardela High: Bryce Bond, Parker DeWitt, Sam Lawson

The Board extended congratulations to several 2015 graduates who earned their Eagle Award: Wesley Schaire and Drew Turner of Parkside, and Kory Bratton of James M. Bennett High.


Maryland General Assembly Page Program


Certificate of recognition to the 2016 Maryland General Assembly student pages and page alternate from Wicomico County Public Schools, all three of whom served in Annapolis this year:

Abigail Bazin, James M. Bennett High

Dylan Carew, Mardela High

Kevon Turnamian, James M. Bennett High, alternate

Each year, some 120 student pages and 36 alternates are selected by the local school systems to participate in the Maryland General Assembly Page Program. Selected pages work for two non-consecutive weeks at the State House in Annapolis in either the House of Delegates or the Senate. This program provides students with a valuable, hands-on experience regarding the day-to-day intricacies of the legislative process in the state of Maryland. A Student Page Selection Panel of teachers and parents from each of the county’s high schools interviewed page applicants who met the academic requirements and expressed an interest in government and politics, and selected pages and an alternate from Wicomico County Public Schools.


Community Giving Activity: Sending Younger Students to Camp


Certificate of recognition to Madison Copeland of Parkside High for his community giving activity, a birthday concert that raised more than $1,800 to send East Salisbury Elementary students to summer camp at Camp Odyssey.

Rather than receive gifts on his birthday, this former student at East Salisbury Elementary, now a senior at Parkside, used his special day as an opportunity to give back to his community. For his birthday in November, the student held a concert at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church. He requested monetary donations to help students from East Salisbury School attend summer camp. During the concert, he raised more than $1,800. As a result of his musical talent and generosity, this money will be used to send at least 10 students to Camp Odyssey this summer.


NAMM Best Communities for Music Education

The Board of Education is very proud to that Wicomico County Public Schools has again been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the NAMM Foundation Survey. On behalf of all music educators in the school system, this Best Communities for Music Education certificate is presented to Gary A. Beauchamp, Supervisor of Fine Arts for Wicomico County Public Schools, on behalf of all the music educators who are key to Wicomico’s outstanding music education program.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation 17th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. Wicomico County Public Schools was one of only three school districts selected in the state of Maryland, and the only one recognized on Delmarva. This was the 7th time in the past ten years that Wicomico County Public Schools has been selected as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States.


2016 Maryland Music Educators Association Outstanding Career Music Teacher Award


Certificate of achievement to Mrs. Joan (Joanie) Brittingham, music teacher at Pemberton Elementary, for being honored by the Maryland Music Educators Association with the 2016 Outstanding Career Music Teacher Award. She was honored at the Maryland Music Educators Association Award of Excellence luncheon, held on April 16th.

Since 2015 Mrs. Brittingham has been the music teacher at Pemberton Elementary, serving students from Prekindergarten through Grade 5 with General Music and Chorus. She is currently co-chair of the Pemberton Arts Immersion PLC and works closely with her fellow teachers to integrate learning. This award-winning teacher is a dedicated professional, a terrific motivator, a supportive colleagues, and a friendly face for students at community performances and events. She is a graduate of Snow Hill High School and Frostburg State University. Prior to joining Wicomico Schools, she taught general music and chorus in Worcester County Public Schools. In 2014-2015 she was the Teacher of the Year for Pocomoke Middle School and received the Innovation Award for Worcester County.

Mrs. Brittingham joins many past Wicomico recipients who might have taught you or someone else in your family: Dollie Wright 1998, Ronald Linkswiler 2004, Todd Riddleberger 2005, Janice Davis 2006, Ginger Rizzi 2007, Mae Higgins 2008, Gary Hammer 2009, Lillian Hoffman 2010, Kevin Zaczkiewicz 2011, Antoinette Cropper 2013, Dr. Jeffery Baer 2014, and Mr. Cory Boltz 2015.


Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts


Wicomico County student artists create visual art at very high levels, and a number of outstanding artists were recognized.

Certificate of recognition for winning the Graphics Division of the 2015-2016 Maryland Society for Educational Technology Student Contest to Brian Colliton, a student in the Horticulture program at Parkside High School Department of Career & Technology Education. The contest featured multimedia, desktop publishing, graphic art, and games and apps. His outstanding design work for the Project Localize posters was named the winner in the Graphics Division. His work was showcased and he was recognized at the society’s late April Common Ground Conference in Ocean City. Thanks to some key supporters for this graphic project: staff member Chris Cuppett, Wicomico County Extension educator Amy Rhodes, and Samantha Harmon of the Lexicon of Sustainability.


Certificate of recognition for creating the winning design in the Spring Fling Poster Design Contest held by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce to Parkside’s Shelby Long, a participant in the Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program. Her design was used as the promotional poster for the “Alice in Wonderland”-themed Spring Fling in Berlin.


Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan is a strong supporter of the arts, and this spring she invited students to submit artwork for the First Lady’s Spring Biannual Student Artwork Exhibit in Annapolis. Work by nine Wicomico students was accepted for the exhibit, with students attending a grand reception on March 4th to open the show.

Certificate of recognition for having artwork accepted into the First Lady’s Spring Biannual Student Artwork Exhibit to:

Evan Gaba, from the Art Department at James M. Bennett High

From the Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program: Chris Burt (Parkside), Ashley Barnes (Wicomico), Brenda Chauvette (Parkside), Emili Hibbitts (JMB), Emma Watkins (Parkside), Joseph Wood (Wicomico), Trey Wehlan (Parkside)

Certificate of achievement for having artwork accepted into the First Lady’s Spring Biannual Student Artwork Exhibit and being named the 1st place high school winner by the First Lady to:

Dominique Ramsey, James M. Bennett High


Certificate of achievement for being named by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers as a Silver Medal in Art recipient in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to Dominique Ramsey, VPA and James M. Bennett High. Dominique’s work was selected by creative professionals as among the most accomplished in the nation. This year, nearly 320,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Less than 1% received recognition at the national level.


Last month’s Blooming Artists Youth Show at the Art Institute & Gallery was a great success, showcasing work by student artists of all ages. This year’s featured artist was Ye Jin Han, a 2015 graduate of Parkside High School who had been part of the Visual and Performing Arts Program. Next year the Blooming Artist Youth Show spotlight will shine on another outstanding VPA student, who won the Judges’ Choice Award and will have a one-person part of the 2017 show.

Certificate of achievement for winning the Judges’ Choice Award and being named the featured 2017 youth artist in the Art Institute & Gallery’s 2016 Blooming Artists Youth Show to Dominique Ramsey, VPA and James M. Bennett High.

Certificate of recognition for having artwork receive honorable mention in the Art Institute & Gallery’s 2016 Blooming Artists Youth Show to Brenda Chauvette, VPA and Parkside High.


Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Finals


Certificate of recognition to Nick Selser of James M. Bennett High for being one of nine students who competed in the 2016 Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Finals at the Baltimore Museum of Art on March 12. The Poetry Out Loud Contest was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The contest invites into the English classroom the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater. By participating, students hone their public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure of competition with classroom, school, county, regional, state and ultimately the National Finals.


Most Outstanding Basketball Players: Barbara McCool Award & Butch Waller Award


Every year, thousands of students in our schools benefit from working with outstanding coaches who not only guide students in success in sports but help them build life skills as well. In 2015, the Salisbury Lions Club established awards to celebrate the legacies of two of these outstanding coaches, the late Barbara McCool of Mardela Middle and High and longtime WiHi basketball coach Butch Waller. The awards celebrate the achievements of the athletes and the positive impact these basketball coaches have had on students. Basketball players from all four Wicomico County high schools are eligible for these trophies, with coaches and the media selecting the winners of the McCool trophy for the top female player and the Waller trophy for the top male player.

Trophies presented by Alfred T. “Bruzz” Truitt III of the Salisbury Lions Club, Mardela High Head Basketball Coach Kesha Cook, and Wicomico High School Head Basketball Coach Butch Waller, to these outstanding athletes, students and citizens who are the 2016 winners:

Lakiaha Wright of Wicomico High, Barbara McCool Award

Gary Briddell of Parkside High, Butch Waller Award


MD State Athletic Directors Association Anderson/Belinko Professional Development Award


Certificate of achievement to Irwin “Stosh” Schtierman of Wicomico High for receiving the Anderson/Belinko Professional Development Award for 2016. Wicomico County Public Schools is proud to partner with the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association and is pleased that Schtierman is the 2016 Anderson/Belinko Professional Development Award. This award is presented each year to an association member who possesses and has contributed to the vision of professional development – the legacy of Ron Belinko and Dave Anderson, were co-LTI coordinators for many years and worked to build the strong Leadership Training Institute program within the state of Maryland. The Anderson/Belinko winner is someone who has made significant contributions and demonstrated excellence in professional development at the local and state levels.


President’s Volunteer Service Award


Certificate of achievement to Jared Sullivan of Wicomico High for receiving the gold President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Corporation for National & Community Service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award program recognizes middle and high school students who have volunteered significant amounts of time to serve their communities and their country. The gold President’s Volunteer Service Award is given to young adult students who have given more than 250 hours of service if age 16 or above, or 100 hours of service for teens ages 11-15. Jared is a sophomore and has more than 1,150 recorded hours of service. Most of those volunteer hours have been with the Boy Scouts of America, but he has also volunteered with the Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre Productions and the Appalachian Service Project. He has received a letter and a certificate sign by President Obama, and was nominated by his school for recognition in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.


Friends of Wicomico Public Libraries 2016 Light of Literacy Awards


The Friends of Wicomico Public Library’s Light of Literacy Awards breakfast on April 7 recognized individuals and groups as shining examples of the best and brightest of our community in the area of literacy. Their work to promote the power of literacy to improve and transform lives is work that should not only be recognized, but imitated.

Certificates of recognition to the following recipients of the 2016 Friends of Wicomico Public Libraries Light of Literacy Awards:

Youth Luminary: Samantha Wiersberg, James M. Bennett High. As a Girl Scout, Samantha conducted several projects benefiting the Fruitland Community Center. She organized book drives to build the center’s library, and designed a website to highlight its programs and provide links to learning websites. By reaching out to the after-school students at the Fruitland Community Center, she has become a shining example of how one person can implement big change through committed acts of service.

Educator Luminary: Tara Elliott, Salisbury Middle. She has taught more than 1,500 6th-grade students during her 17-year career as an English Language Arts teacher at Salisbury Middle. She challenges every student to read 40 books while in her class, which really adds up to support literacy. She meets with students at the library during the summer to continue their love of reading. Throughout the school year she meets with a group of poetry-loving students to share and analyze poetry. Ms. Elliott is also writing her first book of poetry and her first children’s book.

Optimist Oratorical Contest


The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives young people the chance to speak to the world. First conducted in 1928, the Oratorical Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people room to develop their own views around a central idea.  The theme this year was “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others”. This year there were 86 contestants in our county.

Certificate of achievement as the Wicomico County first place winner, Girls Division, the 2016 Optimist Oratorical Contest Zone 4 girls winner, and the Optimist District girls winner to Rawan Osman, James M. Bennett High. She competed in the District competition in Ocean City April 23 and won a $2,500 award.

Certificate of recognition as the county boys winner in the 2016 Optimist Club of Salisbury’s Optimist Oratorical Contest to Nicholas Selser, James M. Bennett High.


2016 Maryland SkillsUSA Championships

The Maryland SkillsUSA contest showcases Maryland’s best and brightest career and technology education students as they compete for medals, prizes, scholarships, state recognition, and the chance to continue on to national and even international competition. Wicomico County SkillsUSA students made an excellent showing at the April Maryland SkillsUSA Championship, placing nine students in the top three of a number of skill contests. The three 1st place students will go on to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky this June, along with their instructors.

Certificates of achievement for Wicomico County’s 1st place winners and gold medalists, heading on to national competition:

Raul Moreira Rivera (Wicomico High), CNC Milling Specialist

Ethan Ames (Parkside High), CNC Technician

Carsten Bievenour (James M. Bennett High), Masonry

Certificates of recognition to the following students who won bronze or silver medals in the Maryland SkillsUSA Championships:

2nd place silver medalists:

Zachery Reynolds (Wicomico High), CNC Milling Specialist

Joshua Laird (James M. Bennett High), Kalib Ehrisman (Parkside High) and Jonathan Osowiecki (Wicomico High), Welding Fabrication Team

3rd place bronze medalists:

Collin Baker (Parkside High), Plumbing

Aaron Davis (Parkside High), CNC Technician