Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees with careers that span a period of 40, 35, 30 and 25 years were recognized for their years of service to the school system and commitment to education.
Jill Jowdy-Morrow, the physical education teacher at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, has worked for CCPS for 41 years. She started as a long-term substitute at La Plata High School teaching physical education and coaching a varsity field hockey team — “Which I didn’t quite know how to coach,” she said. “It was a good group of girls, and I just followed their lead.”
In October 1980, Jowdy-Morrow interviewed for a PE position that would be split between two elementary schools — Wayside and Glasva. Both schools have since closed with Wayside refurbished, reopened and renamed Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School in the 1988-89 school year. Jowdy-Morrow has been at Higdon ever since.
Working with elementary school-aged children allows her to teach basic movement skills that students will carry on through life. She also wants to instill in them a lifelong love of movement. “I want them to have the power to be in charge of their own health, to know it’s important,” Jowdy-Morrow said.
During a traditional school year — 2019-20 was anything but — Jowdy-Morrow and the students get outside at least for a little while if the weather allows. “They don’t complain —there’s no ‘I’m too hot’, ‘it’s too cold’ — they know what I expect, and they know what to expect from themselves,” she said of the students.
She’s looking forward to getting kids back in the gym and using equipment again. Jowdy-Morrow didn’t have PE in school until she was in eighth grade and while she always knew she wanted to teach; it was around eighth grade that she realized she would like to teach PE.
“I didn’t like how kids like me were picked last for teams. I hated that feeling,” she said, adding that at the time she hadn’t been taught basic athletic skills. “I vowed I would teach kids basic skills like throwing, catching, kicking and running.”
Also honored for the 40 years of service were Brenda Garner, secretary to the director of transportation, and Clifton Posey, building service manager at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School.
They are three of 37 CCPS employees the school system honored for 40, 35, 30 and 25 years of service.
40 years of service
- Brenda Garner, secretary to the director of transportation, CCPS Annex 1 Building
- Jill Jowdy-Morrow, physical education teacher, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School
- Clifton Posey, building service manager, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School
35 years of service
- Susan Belmore, art teacher, T.C. Martin Elementary School
- Brian Chase, building service manager, Gale-Bailey Elementary School
- Tony Chase, building service manager, Robert D. Stethem Educational Center
- Darrell Clark, building service worker, Maurice J. McDonough High School
- John Farmer Jr., building service manager, F.B. Gwynn Educational Center
- Robert Opiekun, vice principal, William A. Diggs Elementary School
- Lisa Peters, secretary in special education, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building
- George Simms, pupil data accounting specialist, Starkey
- Jack Tuttle, content specialist — social studies, Starkey
30 years of service
- Robert Ansell, pupil personnel worker, Starkey
- Tanya Ansell, reading interventionist, Theodore G. Davis Middle School
- Heather Beaton, library media specialist, General Smallwood Middle School
- Glenn Belmore, risk manager, Starkey
- Mary Capper, physical education teacher, Martin
- Cheryl Davis, vice principal, North Point High School
- Tanya Dorsey, building service manager, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School
- Cynthia Fitzsimmons, infants and toddlers teacher, Gwynn
- Linda Gill, Ed.D., executive director of schools, Starkey
- Todd Glasgow, physical education teacher, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School
- Lawrence Gross, building service assistant manager, Malcolm Elementary School
- Jana Heyl, drama teacher (theater arts), McDonough
- Lisa Love, secretary in instruction, Starkey
- Steven Miller, supervising specialist in transportation, CCPS Annex 1
- Sheryl Morrison, pupil personnel worker, Starkey
- Carroll Proctor, building service assistant manager, Diggs
- Wendy Proctor, building service worker, Gwynn
- Leslie Schroeck, high school resource teacher, La Plata High School
- Jean Walter, special education instructional assistant, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School
- Bruce Washington, building service manager, St. Charles High School
- Vera Young, content specialist — English and language arts, Starkey
- Julie Yowell, second-grade teacher, William B. Wade Elementary School
25 years of service
- Michael Blaine, Latin teacher, La Plata High School
- Amanda Chaney, food service manager, Berry Elementary School
- Stephanie Shanholtzer, second-grade teacher, Wade.