The Board of Education at its March 9 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members for their commitment to the school system and student success. Each month, the Board honors staff members chosen by their school principals who demonstrate their dedication to teaching and learning. The recognition ceremony was held in a virtual format and featured pre-recorded introductions and recognitions from school principals.

Honored were Bethany Berkowitz, Jennifer Malone, Janet Ryan, Carolyn Scott and Monica Strobel.

Berkowitz is a career and technology education (CTE) business and computer teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School. She has been teaching with CCPS for the past 14 years. Berkowitz strives to connect with and create relationships with each of her students. Her skill set in developing strong relationships with students allows her to help them develop a desire to learn and achieve. Berkowitz refers to her classroom as the “Class of Life” and her students agree. Her former students share their experiences in Berkowitz’s classroom with others and detail how her passion and energy helped influence their lives. Berkowitz often says “If a student does not feel important or wanted, why would he or she want to learn from you,?” She strives to instill in her students the feeling of importance. This year, Berkowitz is teaching personal financial literacy and accounting finance classes. She is the department chair for business and technology and Synergy coordinator. McDonough Interim Principal Linda Gill said Berkowitz is an exemplary teacher. “Her passion to connect with her students and make them feel like they are the reasons that she is there is why she is a successful teacher,” Gill wrote in a nomination letter.

Malone is the reading resource teacher at Mary H. Matula Elementary School. She has taught with CCPS for the past 25 years and is dedicated to her students. She goes above and beyond to make sure both her colleagues and students have the tools necessary for success. Malone is well known among her colleagues as a go-to resource for support. She is knowledgeable about grade-level standards and shares creative ways to engage students. Malone shares strategies and ideas with her colleagues and often co-teaches with others. As the reading resource teacher, Malone helps to oversee running records for reading level assessments and intervention groups. She also helps choose appropriate reading level texts for students. Malone guides other teachers with reading curriculum and is the first to offer her assistance to her colleagues. Matula Principal Carrie Richardson said Malone is a valued member of the instructional team. “Jen is never too busy to stop and help. She is always willing to listen, guide and support. She is an exemplary reading resource teacher, an absolute pleasure to work with and a valued member of the Matula school team,” Richardson wrote in a nomination letter.

Ryan is the reading interventionist at Arthur Middleton Elementary School. She has held the position for the past three years and previously worked as a media assistant at Middleton. Ryan transitioned to the reading interventionist role to have a bigger impact with students. She works with group of students who may need additional reading supports. Ryan is passionate about the success of her students. She goes above and beyond to ensure all students have access to materials to support their learning. Ryan has worked for CCPS for the past 18 years and models professional development and career enhancement. During her time with the school system, Ryan has held positions as a technology facilitator, media instructional assistant, administrative assistant and reading interventionist. Ryan has worked tirelessly to expand her knowledge and skill set. Middleton Principal Benjamin Harrington said Ryan models consistency and dedication to the school community. “Ms. Ryan has had an extreme impact on the students she works with daily. She has received many positive accolades from parents as she supports students,” Harrington wrote in a nomination letter.

Scott is a kindergarten instructional assistant at Gale-Bailey Elementary School. She is dedicated to the success of her students and passionate about their achievement. Scott supports her students daily, and also meets with small groups on Wednesdays to practice reading skills. She is a committed staff member and arrives to work each day ready to make a difference. Her passion is reading; she often works outside of her grade level to help other students practice reading skills. Scott is committed to enriching her skill set and takes professional development courses to enhance her own learning. When schools closed last March, Scott continued to help her students. She passed out learning materials to families, and even delivered items to the homes of students not able to pick up items at the school. She is well known among her colleagues for her commitment to the Gale-Bailey community. Gale-Bailey Principal Tangie Scales said Scott is a role-model educator. “Geanie drops off student materials to their doors. She takes every course that is available to become a better educator. She leads the learning of other instructional assistants. She strives to make sure all students are learning and have what they need to be successful,” Scales wrote in a nomination statement.

Strobel is a language arts teacher at Milton M. Somers Middle School. Strobel has taught at Somers for the past 17 years. She currently teaches eighth-grade students and is the team leader. Her passion for teaching is evident in her interactions with students. From challenging her students to reach higher levels of achievement, to helping them navigate online learning Strobel is committed to the success of her students. She is committed to her own learning and increasing her skill set to better help students. In 2011, Strobel received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College. She earned National Board Certification in 2013 in the area of Adolescent and Young Adult English Language Arts. Strobel works with students outside of her classes as the yearbook sponsor and National Junior Honor Society Sponsor. She also leads the eighth grade as the team leader. Strobel’s nomination was led by the Somers administrative team, department chairs and team leaders. Somers Principal Sandra Taylor said Strobel is a model educator. “She has long-term excellence in her position. She has worked at Somers for the past 17 years and helped several students gain skills necessary to be successful in high school,” Taylor wrote in a nomination statement.

The Board each month honors CCPS students and staff selected by their principal for recognition.

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