Feb. 23 BOE Awards & Recognitions Night
Congratulations to All of the Honorees from the Feb. 23 Board of Education Awards & Recognitions Night
Posted on 02/29/2016
Congratulations to the outstanding students, school programs, schools, departments and others who were recognized at the Feb. 23 Board of Education Awards & Recognitions Night. Please read on to learn more about their achievements. Photos are posted on the school system’s website at http://bit.ly/1ScjWfk.

Coastal Association of Realtors Poster Contest

Certificate of recognition to Ayati Sangwan of North Salisbury Elementary School for being the 1st place winner in the Coastal Association of Realtors Poster Contest to promote fair housing. The Coastal Association of Realtors recently had a poster contest to promote and recognize fair housing guidelines. The theme of the contest was “Dreams Come True with Fair Housing.”  Students in the tri-county area were invited to submit entries, and out of all of the entries from the three Lower Shore counties Ayati, a student in Mrs. Mildred Johnson’s class, placed first to win a gift card and a certificate.


FIRST Lego League Winning Teams

As part of Wicomico County’s STEM Initiative – STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- Wicomico County hosted its 7th annual regional FIRST Lego League tournament in December. This event included Lego-building challenges for younger students, a robotics workshop, the Jr. FIRST Lego League Showcase, and the FIRST Lego League team tournament.


Certificates of recognition to the students and coaches from the elementary teams that won at the regional level in the Jr. FIRST Lego League Showcase:

Prince Street Elementary LEGO Blasters, 1st place: Meghan Trivits, Lojain Alaala, Jason Shelton, Robert Nadeau, Zuri Guerrero-Jose, Donald Kirby, coach Jamiliah Marshall

Westside Intermediate W.I.S.S.L.E., 2nd place: Michael Malone, Chase Watson, Genevieve Weaver, Jenna Song, Turner Greenhalgh, Emma Boothe, coach Lynn Schwemlein

Northwestern LEGOMinds, 3rd place: Stacey Fisher, Mason Rudd, Jacob Samis, Marisa Hupke, Barnabas Jones, Dylan Dorr, Devin Spicer, Charlie Bradshaw, Max Klebon, coach Charles Echard


Certificates of recognition to the students and coaches from the middle school teams that won at the regional level of competition to advance to the First Lego League State Tournament:

LEGO Heads of Salisbury Middle School: Tommy Rollins, Parker Massey, Tony Lin, Kibo Park, Ben Jordan, coach Carole Rollins

Bennett Middle School Trash Diggers: Shan Dilworth, Robert Batts Jr., Nicholas Fissel, Nick Hogans, William Parsons, Jordan Rinaldi, Drake Swanger, coach James McCrobie

LEGO Miners of Wicomico Middle: Madison Palmer, Ariel Laurent, Robert “Bobby” Schaller, John Hutcherson, Mark Martin, John Rodriguez, Robert Goldsborough, coach Jamie Eakin


Citizenship in Action

Certificate for Citizenship in Action in the service of another to:

Terriq Bivens, 11th-grade student, Parkside High School

Tomika Coppers, Terriq’s mother

One cold January morning as junior Terriq Bivens was walking to school he noticed a little girl who appeared to be about 4 years old sitting on the front step of her home. She was alone, cold and crying. Not seeing anyone with the girl, he called his mother as he kept walking and she encouraged him to return and question the child. Having learned that she could not find her mother or grandmother, Terriq asked the girl to accompany him to school, staying on the phone with his own mother as they walked. Terriq held the little girl’s hand and eventually carried her because it was a long walk. Meanwhile, his mother alerted Parkside that he was bringing the child to school with him for help in finding her family, and the school contacted the proper authorities. At the girl’s request, Terriq remained with the girl throughout the process. Fortunately, authorities were able to resolve the matter and reunite the girl with her parents. Terriq, with support from his mother, truly performed a life-saving act for the little girl that day, and we are proud to have him as a student and football player. He exemplifies what Parkside does to raise strong and responsible citizens who are prepared to be heroes in our community and our world.


Prudential Spirit of Community State Honoree

Certificate of achievement to Luke Pitsenbarger, Parkside High School senior, who was named one of two state honorees for the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Award. He spent part of last summer repairing houses for people in need through the Appalachia Service Project, a Christian volunteer organization. He worked with a team that put a new roof on a Jonesville family’s decaying trailer, and lifted the family’s spirits at the same time. Luke has continued to find ways to contribute in his own community. As an active volunteer since middle school, he has coached at football camps, served the homeless, and aided people with disabilities. As one of two Maryland Prudential Spirit of Community honorees, he will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC to join state honorees from across the country in four days of recognition events. He will have the chance to be one of 10 students named as one of America’s top youth volunteers of 2016.


Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore Mary Gay Calcott Award of Excellence

Certificate of recognition to the recipient of the 2015 Mary Gay Calcott Award of Excellence from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore: James M. Bennett High’s “Commit to the C” program. This program is designed to build camaraderie amongst students, develop a sense of caring and community, prepare students for their individual occupational path, and develop productive citizens in society. Representing JMB for this recognition were these key members of the Commit to the C team: Lisa Forbush, Kris Quintana, Keith Donoway, and Principal Steve Grudis.

The Calcott Award of Excellence is presented each year to the most creative education program in each county submitted for an Education Awards Grant.  This award is named for the late Professor Calcott of Salisbury University whose life embodied her teaching ideals of liberal education: teaching students to think, to express themselves with clarity, and to care about the world they live in. This honoree received an additional $1,000 award to support their educational initiative, as well as a share of the $59,968 in grants the Community Foundation awarded to Lower Shore educators and schools.

This year the Community Foundation awarded grants to:

  • Wicomico County Board of Education, to support Project SMART, which aims to close the high school achievement gap by developing a core of student leaders.
  • Pinehurst Elementary, to support Project Shooting and Shining STARS, which aims to close the elementary age achievement gap.
  • Westside Intermediate, to support an arts integration experience with Synthetic Theater.
  • East Salisbury Elementary, to purchase music equipment for a 5th grade Guitar for Life program.
  • Fruitland Primary, to purchase music instruments for students in Pre-K through 2nd grades.
  • Pemberton Elementary, to support a literacy artist-in-residence experience with singer/songwriter Sue Trainor.
  • West Salisbury Elementary, to support a history-themed artist integration with Mr. Kwame Shaka Opare.
  • Pinehurst Elementary, to support after school program transportation expenses.
  • Prince Street Elementary, to support the wraparound parenting program Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students).
  • Parkside High, to support the CTE Project Localize, in partnership with UMES and 4-H Extension.
  • Parkside High, to support the CTE First Robotics Team 3389.
  • Wicomico Middle, to support a pilot Environmental Literacy/STEM program.
  • James M. Bennett High, to support the enrichment and values program “Commit to the C”.

Optimist International Essay Contest

Certificates of recognition to the following James M. Bennett High School students who were winners in this year’s Optimist International Essay Contest for the Optimist Club of Salisbury:

Lauren Plankey, 9th grade, 1st place

Eun-Ha Yim, 9th grade, 2nd place

High school students were invited to participate in the Optimist International Essay Contest to develop their own views around a central idea.  The theme this year was: “Lead by Example: Reality or Fiction.” Students attended an Optimist Club of Salisbury dinner where they read their essays aloud and received cash awards


National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists

Certificates of achievement to Wicomico County seniors who are finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program:

Tiffany Pham, Parkside High School. Tiffany is an AP Scholar of Distinction, President of the Latin Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, and recipient of the Presidential Award for Academic Achievement.

Michael Li, James M. Bennett High School. Michael is a National AP Scholar, is eligible to represent the district in the United States Presidential Scholars Program, and is one of 40 national finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search.

The National Merit Scholarship Award Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Students are recognized on the basis of their outstanding ability and potential for academic success in college, as measured by the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Of the 1.5 million students who take the PSAT/NMSQT in a given year, only 15,000 students nationwide are recognized as finalists.


All State Music Honors

Certificates of achievement to the Wicomico students selected through audition for the 2016 Maryland All-State Musical Performing Groups. These students have proven themselves to be among the best in the state, and were chosen by audition from among thousands of candidates. The All State performances take place this February and March as part of the Maryland Music Educators Conference.

Mardela High School (Cory Boltz, Band Director): Hunter Wirt, 9th grade, percussion, All State Junior Band

James M. Bennett High School (Charles Reavis, Choral Director):

Josh Harman, 9th grade, bass, All State Junior Mixed Chorus

Corian Mills, 9th grade, bass, All State Junior Mixed Chorus

Clark Mitchell, 12th grade, tenor, All State Senior Mixed Chorus

Jackie Bailey, 12th grade, alto, All State Senior Mixed Chorus

Sandra Zelaya, 11th grade, alto, All State Senior Mixed Chorus

Emily Gutierrez, 10th grade, alto, All State Senior Mixed Chorus

Parkside High School (Antoinette Daniel, Choral Director): Brooke Bennish, 11th grade, alto, All State Senior Women’s Chorus. Brooke is also a vocal student in the Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program.

Wicomico High School (Dr. Jeff Baer, Choral Director):

Katelin Beach,11th grade, alto, All State Senior Women’s Chorus. Katelin is also a vocal student in the Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program.

Schyler Sample,11th grade, bass, All State Senior Mixed Chorus


Healthy Holidays Choral Competition

Certificate of recognition to the Parkside High School Concert Choir, Director Antoinette Daniel, for winning the 1st Daily Times/Peninsula Regional Medical Center Healthy Holidays Choral Competition. In December, seven area high school choirs responded to the challenge to compete in the 1st Healthy Holidays Choral Competition. The contest took place at the Centre at Salisbury and was hosted by The Daily Times and Peninsula Regional Medical Center, with support from B&B Music of Salisbury. Under the direction of choir director Antoinette Daniel, the Parkside High School Concert Choir won in a preliminary round to advance to the final on Saturday, December 12th. That day four teams faced off: Parkside, Stephen Decatur High School Show Choir, Cape Henlopen High School Concert Choir, and Faith Baptist School Choir. Parkside scored the highest to take home the trophy and the $1,000 top prize – about a fifth of the money the choir needs to raise to take part in a competition at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. this spring.


Achievements by Students in Parkside CTE Horticulture

Certificates of achievement to the student leaders of the “Project Localize” initiative by Parkside CTE Horticulture. Student leadership and team coordination for this project was critical as students connected with new insights and growers weekly, and worked with experts locally and in California.

Brian Colliton, Parkside senior, dedicated photographer and graphic designer for the posters

Carmara Jones, Wicomico High senior, research and interview leader for student groups

Janelle Stevenson, Wicomico High senior, civic engagement coordinator for Project Localize

Parkside CTE Horticulture was one of five high school programs selected from across the country to participate in a unique initiative called “Project Localize.” Project Localize is a project-based/ place-based student investigation of local food producers through the lens of sustainability. Students connect instruction with visits to local growers and document investigation through interviews and creation of graphic essays. This project promotes agriculture, environment, nutrition and technology literacy while connecting students with local community. The project is supported by the Lexicon of Sustainability - Rumplefarm Productions Petaluma California. Parkside CTE’s Project Localize posters are currently on display at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art along with nature-inspired student artwork, and they will also be displayed at the Art Institute & Gallery March 4th through April 2nd. Project Localize calls these posters the best ones it has ever seen.


Certificates of achievement to the two students who presented at the White House Dec. 1 on Jr. MANRRS (done in collaboration with the collegiate MANRRS chapter of University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Project Localize and the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute. They were part of “Raising the Profile of Agriculture,” sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Janelle Stevenson, Wicomico High senior, presented the “Project Localize” initiative. Janelle is president of the school’s Jr. MANRRS chapter.

Gabrielle Morris, Parkside senior, presented as Maryland’s representative to the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue and Global Youth Institute of The World Food Prize, as well as research presenter at the national MANNRS conference in Houston.


Certificate of achievement to Gabrielle Morris, senior at Parkside High and a student in the Parkside CTE Horticulture program for being selected as a Wallace Carver Fellow in the United States Department of Agriculture Summer Research Program. She will have a paid internship at the Agricultural Research Service at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, working in the field, greenhouses and lab studying turf grasses for drought and salt tolerance. This fall she will attend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to study plant and soil science.


United Way Campaign Recognition

Every year, employees of Wicomico County Public Schools generously support the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore’s annual campaign. In the 2015-2016 school system campaign, a grand total of $53,026.15 was raised to help people right here in our community through the United Way. This year Wicomico school system employees boosted their giving total by $10,000 over the previous year. Thank you to the thousands of employees who supported the United Way, to the school and site coordinators, to bookkeeper Jeannie Underwood for her leadership, to payroll, and to campaign coordinator Mark Thompson. The Board of Education and United Way recognized schools and departments that achieved 100% giving:

Fruitland Primary – coordinators Dave Harris, Carroll Nichols, Kerri Conway

Willards Elementary – coordinator Regina Rando

Wicomico Early Learning Center – coordinators Maria Wright and Trina Tilghman-Dix

Business Support Services – coordinator Joyce Phillips

School Improvement – coordinator Brooke Barnes

Transportation – coordinator Melinda Preller

Certificate of recognition to Mardela Middle and High for having the highest donation total of any school or office, at $6,117. Mardela coordinators were Frederick Briggs, Linda Nestor and Cathy Ramey.