The Board of Education of Charles County at its Oct. 11 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.
Honored by the Board at its October meeting were Kevin Clancy of Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; Tina Fullerton of J.C. Parks Elementary School; Samantha Kruemmel of Dr. James Craik Elementary School; and Ki’Tira Shorter of Malcolm Elementary School.
Clancy, a language arts teacher at Stoddert, has been at the school for more than 25 years. During his career at Stoddert, he has been a mentor for new language arts teachers and has coached cross country and track and field. Clancy has been a leader in promoting reading and writing strategies leading to student success. He not only supports students, but he is also available for colleagues in the building to discuss strategies and ideas. “His humble demeanor makes him one of the most approachable and trusted staff members in the building,” Stoddert Principal Erica Williams said. Through his research into best practices, Clancy works to develop students into critical thinkers and dynamic readers. “He is diligent in his efforts,” Williams said. “He shares his experiences and is always looking for new ways to engage his scholars.”
Before coming to CCPS a decade ago, Fullerton spent 30 years working in a therapeutic setting with people who have special needs. Fullerton was at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center before making the move to Parks where she is an instructional assistant in the SOAR program. She has also worked with students in the ACHIEVE program at Parks. Her experience makes her a natural to mentor other IAs, Parks Principal Greg Miller said. “She regularly trains them on best use strategies, using her many years of experience on how to work with students with special needs, many of whom are nonverbal,” Miller said. “There are IAs and teachers who regularly come to Tina for support and suggestions.” When a teacher has a question for Miller about a student, he will often say, “Go to Tina,” knowing her expertise and skills will be of better use to them. Outside of the school day, Fullerton’s talent for art comes into play. “She has hosted many paint nights at our school for staff, thereby improving staff morale,” Miller said. “Tina truly has a wonderful heart, and it shows every day with the children she serves.”
At Craik, Kruemmel is proactive at solving problems and finding solutions to issues that affect students throughout the school. As the technology facilitator, she has made password cards for students and visits classrooms to help. In the past Kruemmel ran the learning center when school buildings were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She pitches in beyond the school day, creating banners and projects for Veterans Day and helps the school celebrate Black History Month with daily trivia, prizes, posters and activities. Kruemmel stays up to date professionally by attending professional learning opportunities and taking part in book studies. At the school level, she is willing to jump in. “She will collaborate across grade levels to ensure students excel in technology learning goals,” Craik Principal Jason Deihl said. Kruemmel participates in school and community events, volunteering to be a member of Craik’s events committee and Field Day committee.
When students attended the Summer Boost program at The Transition School, they found it was smooth sailing. Due in no small part to Shorter, who coordinated the program at the school. “She was able to meet the needs of students, parents and staff in the completion of summer learning for elementary school students,” Malcolm Principal Scott Hangey said. At Malcolm —where she is the first grade team leader — Shorter has taken on several leadership roles including Synergy coordinator and co-chair of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) committee. Shorter ensures staff members stay current on technology, often training colleagues on how to use the Class Dojo system. She has prepared PowerPoint presentations and schedules one-on-one time with staff members if needed to help them better use Synergy and Class Dojo. The extra responsibility doesn’t take away from her dedication to students. “She continues to press the envelope of excellence within her classroom,” Hangey said. “She welcomes guests into her classroom to observe and freely shares her expertise with teachers both inside and outside of Malcolm Elementary School.”