The Board of Education of Charles County, at its May 10 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.

At its May meeting, honored by the board were J’Trenee Bryant of Malcolm Elementary School; Kimberly Cline of J.C. Parks Elementary School; Marissa Ellis of Dr. James Craik Elementary School; Michelle Murray of Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; and Bruce Washington of St. Charles High School.

The Board of Education recently recognized outstanding employees at its recent meeting. From left are J’Trenee Bryant of Malcolm Elementary School; Kimberly Cline of J.C. Parks Elementary School; Bruce Washington of St. Charles High School; Michelle Murray of Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; and Marissa Ellis of Dr. James Craik Elementary School. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

At Malcolm, where she is a kindergarten teacher, Bryant does everything she can to meet the needs of her students. “She cares about them and sets high expectations for each to meet. Her patience gives some of the school’s youngest learners a safe place to learn and grow,” Malcolm Principal Mary Finneran said. Bryant is the kindergarten team leader and a member of the school’s visionary team. Her peers respect and admire her for her ability to foster relationships with them and with students as well. “She takes pride in her work and has a strong work ethic,” Finneran said.

Cline is a kindergarten teacher at Parks and has been a team leader for the last three years. Before teaching kindergarten, Cline was a first-grade teacher and team leader for five years. Her career in CCPS spans nearly 25 years, with the past 20 spent at Parks. Cline is active in the school’s environmental efforts and led the team that advocated for outdoor space to be better prepared for use by students. She was among the initial team members who planned for the school’s wetland area and was instrumental in Parks earning an environmental sustainability award from the state earlier this school year. “You can see that Kim has always been prepared to make Parks a success for students,” Parks Principal Gregory Miller said. Cline is a member of several committees that support science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), reading and math events, and the PTO, MESA, Relay for Life, and other groups.

As a fifth-grade teacher, Ellis devotes time to engaging students and supporting her co-workers. “She is always willing to assist by sharing her time, knowledge, and expertise,” Craik Principal Michelle Beckwith said. Ellis has a strong work ethic and a caring heart, Beckwith said. Ellis had taught with CCPS for 13 years, first meeting Beckwith when she taught her now principal’s daughter in the second grade. In her time with CCPS, Ellis has taught second, third, and fifth grades. “She is supportive of coworkers and shares her time, knowledge, expertise, and her classroom — it’s the largest in the building,” Beckwith said. Ellis has a positive attitude that inspires her students to do their best. “She goes above and beyond to design instruction for her students,” Beckwith said.

When a staff member had to be out on extended leave, Murray — a special education teacher — stepped up to take on an additional class. “This is no small task, considering that she also case manages several scholars, co-teaches, and has a class of her own,” Stoddert Principal Erica Williams said. “She has taken on this responsibility with great success.” Murray was instrumental in collaborating with a sixth-grade math team to share instructional strategies that have proven to be beneficial to students with special needs. “She not only introduces these strategies to the team but models and co-teaches in order to support both staff and scholars,” Williams said.

Every morning before the school opens, Washington takes a St. Charles High School tour to better prepare for the day ahead. His days can stretch into the night when he willingly steps up to fill in when the night crew is short a staff member. As the building service manager at the school, Washington led his team in preparing areas to be used by CCPS graduating seniors when St. Charles became the staging area for the 2021 graduation ceremonies taking place at Regency Furniture Stadium. It’s an accomplishment that will be duplicated for the 2022 graduates. “Mr. Washington maintains clear lines of communication with team members and administration,” Principal Richard Conley said. Previously, Washington was a team leader on the Building Grounds Technician Team at the College of Southern Maryland, winning many accolades during his time at CSM. He has been honored by CCPS as an outstanding volunteer and has been recognized as a CCPS Building Service Manager of the Year in 2011.

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