The Board of Education of Charles County at its March 8 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 for recognition who demonstrate their dedication to teaching and learning.

Pictured (left to right): Latrice Chase, fourth-grade teacher, Eva Turner Elementary School; Stephanie Campbell, learning resource teacher, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School; Nicholas Andrews, mathematics teacher, La Plata High School; Michael Hicks, building service manager, Piccowaxen Middle School; and Brooke Proctor, first-grade teacher, Berry Elementary School. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Honored by the Board at its March meeting were Nicholas Andrews, math teacher, La Plata High School; Stephanie Campbell, learning resource teacher, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School; Latrice Chase, fourth-grade teacher, Eva Turner Elementary School; Michael Hicks, building service manager, Piccowaxen Middle School; and Brooke Proctor, first-grade teacher, Berry Elementary School.

Nicholas Andrews, math teacher, La Plata High School Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Andrews is a teacher, coach, coordinator, and mentor at La Plata. “He is always looking at ways to grow in his role as a teacher to help provide students with a learning environment that creates student success,” La Plata Principal Douglass Dolan said. Andrews is a go-to person for those who are having trouble with technology and is one of La Plata’s Synergy coordinators. “He is always willing to help staff find ways to manage the Synergy system and make it work best for their needs in the classroom,” Dolan said. Andrews was recognized by SMECO as a Math Teacher of the Year and coaches La Plata’s math team. He also coaches varsity soccer. “Mr. Andrews has high expectations for his students and does an outstanding job assisting them to meet those expectations,” Dolan said. Andrews pitches in wherever he is needed, including taking on an additional class and giving up his planning time.

Stephanie Campbell, learning resource teacher, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary Schoo Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Campbell has led many initiatives and projects while at Dr. Higdon including creating the school’s Crush It program that encourages students to do their best on countywide assessments. This year, Campbell took the Read Across Charles County theme of Creating a Nation of Diverse Readers and flew with it, contacting American Airlines for materials to turn the school into Higdon International Airport for the day. Students heard stories from authors who are from around the country. “Students received airline tickets, passports, and opportunities to receive a book from the airport store,” Higdon Principal Shannon Finnegan, Ed.D., said. Campbell demonstrates leadership as the school’s Leader in Charge, taking over the reins when administrators are out of the building. She was the school’s Summer Boost coordinator last year and is working with the administration to develop Higdon’s ELO program. “Stephanie is always willing to support staff, students, and the school system,” Finnegan said.

Latrice Chase, fourth-grade teacher, Eva Turner Elementary Schoo Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Chase is the longest serving teacher at Turner, spending the past 16 years at the school. “She is a quiet force who consistently puts students first,” Turner Principal Gary Lesko said. Chase is a role model for teachers in the school and is an early adopter of ideas and techniques that will benefit students. She was one of the first teachers in the building to introduce restorative circles to her classroom after hearing Lesko talk about the practice. “She consistently puts her students’ learning as her first priority and works extremely well at establishing relationships with her students,” Lesko said. “She is well respected by her peers, students, and parents of her students.” Chase’s dedication to Turner filters down to her students — evident by her class winning the schoolwide Spirit Week contest held earlier in the school year. She is part of the fabric of Turner, Lesko said. “She has a giving heart, firm hand, and loving heart,” he said.

Michael Hicks, building service manager Credit: Charles County Public Schools

When Piccowaxen Middle School Principal Wualanda Thenstead first arrived at the school as its new leader, it was Hicks who helped her gain her footing in her “new ship.” He took the time to walk Thenstead through the building and help her get familiar with it and the grounds. “The summertime can be rather quiet,” Thenstead said. “But Mr. Hicks made sure to keep it lively with his humor.” Hicks checks in with Thenstead and ensures she’s kept in the loop about his and his team’s projects. Many at Piccowaxen consider him family. “He is usually the first person who people see when they come into work each day,” Thenstead said. He is approachable, helpful, hardworking, and welcoming. Much of Hicks’ job is done behind the scenes, from setting up for school concerts and dances to making sure posters stay up on the walls of classrooms. It is Hicks who ensures Piccowaxen is running smoothly. “It’s not just what Mr. Hicks does, it’s how he does it,” Thenstead said. “He is phenomenal.”

Brooke Proctor, first-grade teacher, Berry Elementary School Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Proctor has worked at Berry since 2017 as a first-grade teacher and has been a highly effective teacher along with being a team leader, peer mentor coach, and co-chair for the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. “Her teacher-leadership qualities have proven to be invaluable,” Berry Principal Louis D’Ambrosio said. “Her insight is sought and accepted among the leadership team at Berry.” She keeps up to date with professional learning to further her knowledge and doesn’t hesitate to reach out to the instructional leadership team for advice. Proctor goes the extra mile for her students, D’Ambrosio said. “She assists with assessments, spirit weeks, and is a member of the Parent Teacher Organization. She is an integral part of Berry Elementary School.”


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply