The Board of Education of Charles County at its Nov. 9 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. School principals annually select one student and staff member for Board recognition. Students are honored for accomplishments in the areas of academic achievement, career readiness, and personal responsibility.

Honored by the Board on Nov. 9 were Yaretzy Alegria-Hernandez of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School; Samuel Binsol of William B. Wade Elementary School; Lionel Saravia of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School; Peyton Lewis of Matthew Henson Middle School; and Eric Thompson of the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center.

Alegria-Hernandez is a fifth-grade student at Dr. Mudd and was recognized in the area of personal responsibility. Alegria-Hernandez brings a growth mindset each day when she enters the hallways of Dr. Mudd, Principal Orlena Whatley said. “Yaretzy is a positive role model who leads by example. She completes every task on time and goes above and beyond expectations on all school assignments and at-home projects,” Whatley said. Alegria-Hernandez’s teacher, Monet Greene, said it’s an honor to have her in class. “She is a true definition of a student leader. She strives to make our classroom a better place for all through her kind words and meaningful interactions with her peers,” Greene said. “If a student or I need help, Yaretzy is always offering or willing to assist.” Even through the pandemic, Alegria-Hernandez persevered to ensure she remained focused on her goals earning the principal’s honor roll each quarter and maintaining all 3s in personal responsibility on her report card. Alegria-Hernandez is a member of the Destination Imagination team and plays the flute in the band. Outside of school, Alegria-Hernandez enjoys reading, drawing, riding her bike, and spending time with her family.

Binsol is a fifth-grade student at Wade recognized in the area of academic achievement. Binsol has been a “very proud” Wildcat since he was in kindergarten.  According to his teachers — past and present — Binsol is a very polite, respectful, dedicated and a hard-working student who will do anything for anybody at any time. “He is the kind of student who puts 100 percent of himself into any project that he takes on and is not satisfied until it is done to the best of his abilities,” Wade Principal William Miller said. “Samuel is as an amazing student with leadership skills and is a role model for his peers and school community.” Binsol plays the saxophone, is a member of the school’s math team, plays chess and is a safety patrol at Wade. Outside of school, Binsol enjoys playing soccer, is excited about playing lacrosse, being with his friends and family and being on the computer. In the winter months, Binsol skis and snowboards. During the warmer months, he trains to compete in triathlons. 

Saravia is a fifth-grade student at Jenifer recognized in the area of academic achievement. Saravia is a student who receives instruction in gifted and talented education. He earned straight As throughout third and fourth grade.  Saravia’s fifth-grade teacher Carollyn Correll said he is a well-rounded and intelligent student who performs well in all subject areas. “He does his best to understand the information being taught and often adds valuable information to class discussions,” Correll said. Saravia has a pleasant personality and it shows through his many peer friendships, Jenifer Principal Kevin Jackson said. “Lionel’s friends look up to him as a great friend and leader,” Jackson said. Last year, Saravia was a member of the math team and recognized as a fourth-grade champion at the winter chess tournament. More recently, he was named the fifth-grade champion in the fall chess tournament held Oct. 16. Saravia plays percussion in the school band. “Lionel is an excellent example of the team mission possible spirit at Jenifer,” Jackson said.

Lewis is an eighth-grade student at Henson recognized in the area of academic achievement. His teachers describe him as polite, respectful, smart and hard working. Those traits are evident as Lewis has maintained a straight A average through sixth and seventh grade and is on track to receive straight As this year. He is an active member of Henson’s school community as a member of its Lego Robotics team, National Junior Honor Society and the golf team. Outside of school, Lewis is a first-class Scout and gives back to the Charles County community in many ways, Henson Principal Christina Caballero said. “Most recently, Peyton planted trees in recognition of Sept. 11, collected food for Charles County food banks, assisted with the collection of baby supplies for local charities, and participated in river clean-up efforts.” Lewis wants to take on additional leadership roles in the Scouts and aims to become an Eagle Scout.  After high school, he plans to attend college and study engineering.

Thompson is a senior at St. Charles High School who attends Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses at the Stethem. He was recognized by Stethem for career readiness. At Stethem, Thompson is enrolled in the HVAC program and is known as a student leader. “It is a pleasure having Eric at Stethem,” Principal Curry Werkheiser said. Thompson is dedicated to learning about HVAC systems, even spending time at lunch with his instructor John Young to glean more knowledge through hands-on projects. Thompson names his parents as his role models and believes that hard work pays off. Thompson has his hands full outside of school — he recently accepted a position with a HVAC company. Coupled with his school commitments and job, Thompson also takes on landscaping projects on the weekends. Thompson’s future goal is to become a member of the Steamfitters Union and own his own business. In addition to working two jobs, Thompson manages to maintain top grades and keep a healthy balance in life. Outside of school and work, he enjoys going fishing and takes guitar lessons.

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