News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) held the second annual Be the Difference Awards program June 10 to honor volunteers who contribute their time, talents and resources to students, staff and schools.  

The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year “Be the Difference” awards program began in 2018 to recognize exemplary volunteers. There are five categories including elementary school parent volunteer, middle school parent volunteer, high school parent volunteer, Charles County business volunteer and community organization volunteer.

Winners are named in each category, voted on by a committee made up of Board of Education members and CCPS staff.

This year, Stephanie “Dusty” Guili was named the outstanding elementary school volunteer. She is known for pitching in wherever she’s needed at J.C. Parks Elementary School from helping building service workers to working with students on their reading and during Maker Space. Melissa Morris, a Matthew Henson Middle School parent, was named the outstanding middle school volunteer. Morris is president of the school’s Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), coordinates staff appreciation events and works concession stands at school dances and sporting events. Marvin and Lisa Marshall’s three children have graduated from Westlake High School, but the couple continues to give their time to the school. They chaperone field trips, cook for special events and help with Wolverines’ athletic boosters. Marquita Queen Foxworth was named the business volunteer. A member of the Professional Advisory Committee, Foxworth provides insight to the interactive media program at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center. Lisa Ambers of Beyond the Classroom was named the community organization volunteer. The organization brought SOAP — Student of Active Parents — to the Eva Turner Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and organizes Cocoa with Santa, an event for senior citizens.

Principals and school staff nominated more than 40 volunteers among the five categories this year, including:

Elementary school parent volunteers

  • Desma Andres, Dr. James Craik Elementary School;
  • James Berry, Gale-Bailey Elementary School;
  • Kaprena Camp, Craik;
  • Teresa “Tiki” Shasho Clark, Dr. Thomas Elementary School;
  • Barbara Curbelo, William A. Wade Elementary School;
  • Jeneen Davis, Arthur Middleton Elementary School;
  • Justin Dean, William A. Diggs Elementary School;
  • Mary Dent, T.C. Martin Elementary School;
  • Charlene Dover, Martin;
  • Juanita Ford-Rodriguez, Berry Elementary School;
  • Stephanie “Dusty” Guili, J.C. Parks Elementary School;
  • Alvin Keith Hunter, Indian Head and Mary H. Matula elementary schools;
  • Cathy Payne, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School;
  • Toni Pierce, Malcolm Elementary School;
  • Rizwan Ramakdawala, Diggs;
  • Kevin Ritter, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elemenary School; 
  • Robert Sondheimer, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School;
  • April Sterling, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School;
  • Norma Stump, J.C. Parks Elementary School;
  • James Tabourne, Indian Head Elementary School;
  • Veronica Tilghman, Eva Turner Elementary School;
  • Rebecca Warner, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School and
  • Pamela Weimer, Parks.

Middle school parent volunteers

  • Shaneeza Kazim, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School;
  • Amy Moore, Matthew Henson Middle School;
  • Melissa Morris, Milton M. Somers Middle School;
  • Tamia Smith, John Hanson Middle School and
  • Tammy L.S. Wright, Mattawoman Middle School.

High school parent volunteers

  • Susan Alcorn, La Plata High School;
  • Revel Battle, North Point High School;
  • Cynthia Bridgett, Henry E. Lackey High School;
  • Derrick Fleet, St. Charles High School;
  • Michael Huber, Thomas Stone High School;
  • Bobbi Maljak, Maurice J. McDonough High School;
  • Lisa and Marvin Marshall, Westlake High School and
  • Brian Sheckells, McDonough.

Charles County business volunteers

  • Marquita Queen Foxworth, Robert D. Stethem Educational Center; and
  • La Plata Business Association, Charles County Public Schools fine arts staff.

Community organizations volunteers

  • Beyond the Classroom — Lisa Ambers, Turner;
  • Tri-County Chess Corner — Brett and Melissa Carey, Charles County Public Schools gifted education staff; and
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. — Upper Marlboro/Waldorf alumni chapter, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...