The Board of Education of Charles County recognized five CCPS staff members at their April 11 meeting for their outstanding work and dedication to student success. The Board honors staff members each month chosen by their school principals for recognition who demonstrate their commitment to teaching and learning.

Outstanding staff members honored by the Board of Education at its April meeting include Mary Bailey, left, Christian Mendoza, Nicole Deavers, Melissa Scott and Courtney Swann. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Mary Bailey, a reading recovery teacher at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, was recognized for her strategic and consistent teaching style. Bailey leads reading interventions with students and supports reading in select first-grade classrooms. “Mary readily extends her knowledge, time, heart and the proverbial blood, sweat and tears to developing the capacity of teachers to deliver effective reading instruction and skills to assess students reading ability,” said Shannon Finnegan, Ed.D., principal of Higdon. Bailey has been honored by outside organizations, named a Teacher of the Year by Walmart and nominated for Reader’s Digest’s Hero of the Year and Maryland’s Teacher of the Year.

Nicole Deavers, the testing coordinator at La Plata High School, was recognized for her excellence in preparing students and staff for assessments. “There is not an assessment at La Plata that will catch students and staff unprepared. That’s down to Deavers and her excellence as the school’s testing coordinator,” said La Plata Principal Douglass Dolan. Deavers can be called on to cover classes for teachers when needed and plays an integral role in the data analysis and development of the school’s improvement plan goals. Deavers was selected to serve as a new teacher mentor due to her ability to relate to colleagues and her willingness to assist where needed.

Christian Mendoza, an instructional assistant (IA) for the SOAR program at Eva Turner Elementary, was recognized for his willingness to help out wherever needed. “I don’t think he even knows what the word ‘No’ means,” said Principal Gary Lesko. Mendoza’s attention to detail and work ethic are evident in evaluations. During his time at Turner, Mendoza has worked for three principals and all three have rated Mendoza’s skills as highly effective.

Melissa Scott, a learning resource teacher at Piccowaxen Middle School, was recognized for her willingness to fill in wherever needed to ensure the smooth running of the school. “Ms. Scott has stepped up to fill in a variety of capacities to ensure the smooth running of Piccowaxen,” said Principal Wualanda Thenstead. Scott’s expertise flows into other aspects of the school beyond her official role, such as organizing technology, providing trainings to staff, and working with students in the Gifted and Talented program.

Courtney Swann, a fourth-grade teacher at Berry Elementary School, was recognized for her leadership and dedication to her students. “She is a quiet and influential leader who is a role model of integrity and reflective professionalism,” said Principal LeighAnn McLaud. Swann embraces all responsibilities with a positive attitude, serving as a mentor and peer coach to new teachers and sharing tips for classroom management and instructional delivery. Swann is an expanded learning opportunities (ELO) tutor and gifted cluster teacher to a range of students.

The Board of Education and CCPS are proud to honor these staff members for their hard work and dedication to the school system and student success.

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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