Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) celebrated the accomplishments of five outstanding students at the recent Board of Education meeting held on May 9. Ja’Sani Bennett, Sophia Blocker, Eesha Kadiyala, Mariam Yunis, and Isabel Diaz were recognized for their remarkable achievements in academic excellence, career readiness, and personal responsibility.

Charles County Public Schools students Isabel Diaz, left, Mariam Yunis, Sophia Blocker and Eesha Kadiyala were honored for outstanding accomplishments by the Board of Education at its May meeting.

Ja’Sani Bennett, a fifth-grade student at Arthur Middleton Elementary School, received accolades for her exceptional academic performance. Principal Nicole Hawkins commended Bennett for her dedication to representing Middleton positively. She actively engages in higher-level discussions, offers unique perspectives during group activities, and consistently demonstrates academic prowess. Bennett’s commitment to timely completion of tasks, seeking clarification through questions, and adhering to school rules exemplifies her dedication to safety. Throughout her academic journey, she has consistently earned principal’s honors every quarter since the third grade. Furthermore, Bennett is an active participant in the fifth-grade math team, All-County Chorus, Stella’s Girls, and the Dynasty Cheer Team.

Sophia Blocker, a fifth-grade student at Gale-Bailey Elementary School, was honored for her career readiness. With aspirations of becoming a veterinarian, Blocker actively prepares for her future by actively participating in whole and small group settings. Principal Tangie Scales praised Blocker for her adaptability, diligence, inquisitive nature, and creative problem-solving skills. Blocker’s dedication extends beyond the classroom, as she excels both on the softball field and as a trumpet player. Her commitment to helping others, paying attention, and taking thorough notes has earned her a well-deserved place on the Principal’s Honor Roll throughout the year.

Eesha Kadiyala, a fifth-grade student at Mary H. Matula Elementary School, was recognized for her outstanding academic achievements. Kadiyala has been a part of Matula Elementary since kindergarten, consistently maintaining a place on the Principal’s Honor Roll since the third grade. Alongside her passion for reading, solving math problems, and creative writing, Kadiyala actively participates in extracurricular activities such as the math team, VEX Robotics, and the Just Say No Club. Additionally, she contributes to the school community as a safety patrol member and represented Matula at the All-County Orchestra concert. Kadiyala aspires to become a pediatrician or teacher in the future.

Mariam Yunis, an eighth-grade student at Milton M. Somers Middle School, received recognition for her personal responsibility. Yunis has maintained an exemplary 4.0 GPA throughout middle school and is a member of the esteemed National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Principal Sandra Taylor commended Yunis for consistently demonstrating honesty, responsibility, and fairness. Yunis aims to attend the University of Maryland, College Park, after high school to pursue a degree in architecture.

Isabel Diaz, a senior at Maurice J. McDonough High School, was honored for her exceptional academic achievements. Diaz is enrolled in the prestigious Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) program, boasting an impressive 4.43 GPA and having completed seven Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Currently ranked in the top 5% of her class, Diaz serves as the secretary of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at McDonough. She is actively involved in various extracurricular activities, including the drama club, the Mock Trial team, the school orchestra, and competitive cheerleading. Diaz’s commitment extends beyond the school campus as she actively volunteers at William B. Wade Elementary School, assisting with beautification projects and classroom setup for teachers. Furthermore, Diaz actively participates in Sheriff Troy Berry’s student advisory committee and is currently conducting research on the impact of glyphosate-based weedkillers on human health as part of her capstone project for the CASE program.

The recognition of these exceptional students underscores the commitment of Charles County Public Schools to fostering academic excellence, career readiness, and personal growth among its students. The Board of Education acknowledges these outstanding individuals’ hard work, dedication, and passion.

The Board of Education believes in honoring students who consistently excel in their respective fields, as they serve as role models for their peers and inspire others to strive for greatness. Recognizing students for their achievements boosts their confidence and encourages a culture of academic and personal success within the school community.

By highlighting students like Ja’Sani Bennett, Sophia Blocker, Eesha Kadiyala, Mariam Yunis, and Isabel Diaz, Charles County Public Schools aims to showcase its student body’s diverse talents and capabilities. These students exemplify the core values of academic excellence, career readiness, and personal responsibility that the district seeks to instill in all its students.

The school principals, Nicole Hawkins, Tangie Scales, and Sandra Taylor, expressed their admiration and pride in the achievements of the honored students. They highlighted the unique qualities and contributions of each student, illustrating their dedication, passion, and commitment to their chosen paths.

The recognition received by these students extends beyond the school premises. Isabel Diaz’s active involvement in community service, including her volunteer work at William B. Wade Elementary School and participation in Sheriff Troy Berry’s student advisory committee, demonstrates the importance of civic engagement and making a positive impact beyond academic pursuits.

Charles County Public Schools recognizes that academic achievement is not the sole measure of success. By honoring students like Mariam Yunis, who exhibit exceptional personal responsibility and character, the district emphasizes the importance of integrity, honesty, and fairness in all aspects of life.

The achievements of Ja’Sani Bennett, Sophia Blocker, Eesha Kadiyala, Mariam Yunis, and Isabel Diaz serve as a testament to the commitment of Charles County Public Schools in providing a supportive and enriching environment for its students. The district’s dedication to academic excellence, career readiness, and personal growth ensures that students have the necessary tools and opportunities to reach their full potential.

As these students continue on their educational journey, it is evident that they are well-prepared to make a positive impact in their future endeavors. Charles County Public Schools takes pride in its students’ achievements and remains committed to fostering a culture of excellence that prepares students for success in academics, careers, and personal development.

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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