On February 14th, the Board of Education recognized five students from Charles County Public Schools for their achievements in the areas of academic achievement, career readiness, and personal responsibility.

Pictured from left are Janelle Smyre, Chase Yupari, Sydney Carter, Isabella Carter and Elizabeth Heglar. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Janelle Smyre from J.P. Ryon Elementary School was recognized for personal responsibility. Chase Yupari from William A. Diggs Elementary School was recognized for academic achievement. Sydney Carter from General Smallwood Middle School was recognized for career readiness. Isabella Coleman from Thomas Stone High School was also recognized for academic achievement. Finally, Elizabeth Heglar from the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center was recognized for academic achievement.

Janelle Smyre is a fifth-grade student who is recognized for her actions in demonstrating honor, integrity, grit, and hope both at school and in the community. She is involved in the school band and the Reimagining Ryon Club, enjoys playing volleyball, and loves to draw and create stories in her art journal. Her teachers consider her to be creative and caring, and she works well with her classmates.

“Her teachers consider her to be very sweet, caring and a joy to teach,” Barnett said. Smyre works well with her classmates and cares about their wellbeing in and out of the classroom, Barnett said. “She is welcoming to new students and makes it a point to make them comfortable in their new surroundings,” Barnett said.

Chase Yupari is a hardworking and high-achieving fifth-grade student at Diggs who loves math and has a positive attitude toward learning. He volunteers to help others and participates in all classes. Outside of school, he plays soccer, cooks, plays games, and enjoys traveling with his family. Yupari aspires to be a therapist when he grows up to help people overcome their fears.

He is a great example to his peers and is a high achiever,” Diggs Principal Ben Harrington said. Yupari loves math and enjoys excelling while learning new things. “He participates in all classes, volunteers to help others and is eager to share his perspective, which usually includes ideas that are abstract,” Harrington said.

Sydney Carter is an eighth-grade student at Smallwood and is enrolled in the school’s AVID program to prepare for a future career. She is an honor roll student and already taking Algebra I. Carter is diligent, responsible, efficient, and always eager to lend a helping hand to her fellow students. Although she has not decided on a career, she is interested in pursuing art.

“Sydney is diligent, responsible and efficient and puts her absolute best effort into all of her assignments,” Brenda Tillotson, Smallwood principal, said. “Sydney always greets her teachers and is ready to lend a helping hand to her fellow students.” Carter demonstrates career readiness through her actions and effort. “She is not afraid of a challenge or afraid to ask for help when she needs it, and she is always seeking to do better,” Tillotson said.

Isabella Coleman is a senior at Thomas Stone who is academically sound and has phenomenal leadership qualities. She has achieved high standards throughout her high school career, has clear goals for her future, and is enrolled in or has taken more than eight AP classes, and is in the Project Lead the Way program. Coleman runs cross country, and is a member of the school’s MESA and It’s Academic teams. She has attended summer leadership programs such as the Georgetown University’s Advanced Medical & Public Health Internship.

“Isabella is academically sound, has phenomenal leadership qualities and her caring personality is contagious.” Shanif Pearl, Thomas Stone principal, said. “Isabella’s contributions, commitment, and dedication were impactful and greatly beneficial to the clubs and organizations she participates in.”.

Finally, Elizabeth Heglar is a senior at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center taking automotive classes who was recognized for academic achievement. She has a 4.0 GPA in her CTE automotive classes and currently works for Ford Motor Company. Heglar has attained three certifications from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence and has been an ambassador for the automotive program at Stethem. She is also a successful student-athlete who wrestles for Maurice J. McDonough High School and has won several awards in wrestling competitions. Heglar has applied to both Shenandoah and Frostburg universities and plans to major in business.

“Elizabeth is a very focused, high-achieving young lady,” Timothy Major, Heglar’s automotive teacher, said.  “Elizabeth is a responsible, resilient and multifaceted young lady who strives to do her best no matter what challenge she is faced with.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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