June 7, 2016 Awards & Recognitions Night
Congratulations to All of the Student, Staff, School and Community Partner Honorees from the June Awards & Recognitions Night
Posted on 06/16/2016
Congratulations to the outstanding students, staff members, programs and community partners recognized at the year-end Board of Education Awards & Recognitions Night on June 7. Please read on to learn more about their achievements. Photos are posted on the school system’s website:  www.wcboe.org/news under Photo Events.


2016 Superintendent’s Choice Art Recognition

Certificate of recognition to 39 students whose artwork was selected as a 2016 Superintendent’s Choice at the Elementary and Secondary Student Art Show at the Wicomico Public Library: 

Dai’ron Makle, Prekindergarten, Charles H. Chipman Elementary, instructor Mr. Auger

Alixon Marcial-Hernandez, Kindergarten, Kindergarten, West Salisbury Elementary. instructor Mr. Auger

Gillian Houlihan, Kindergarten, Westside Primary, instructor Mrs. Bishop

Wyatt Otwell, Grade 1, Delmar Elementary, instructor Ms. Ledda

Ka’Tya Reddick, Grade 1, Prince Street Elementary, instructor Ms. Littleton

Hailey Renshaw, Grade 2, Willards Elementary, instructor Mrs. Phillips

Tereke Lewis, Grade 2, Pemberton Elementary, instructor Mr. Cotton

Aneesah Ductan, Grade 2, Beaver Run Elementary, instructor Mrs. Johnson

Willa Scrimgeour, Grade 2, Fruitland Primary, instructor Mrs. Smith

Diamond Torney, Grade 3, North Salisbury Elementary, instructor Mrs. Hertz

Madison Derbyshire, Grade 3, Fruitland Intermediate, instructor Mrs. Richard

Ava Lewis, Grade 4, Northwestern Elementary, instructor Mrs. Littleton

Nevaeh Brown, Grade 5, Glen Avenue Elementary, instructor Mrs. Phillips

Eden Carey, Grade 5, Pittsville Elementary, instructor Ms. Gilland

Nahsi Parsons, Grade 5, East Salisbury Elementary, instructor Mr. Cotton

For a collection of six ceramic fish, these Grade 5 students from Westside Intermediate, instructor Bishop:

McKenzie Hammond

Brianna Fisher

Kerrigan Kerfoot

Bradley Calloway

Karter Kern

Sania Gordy


Lily Glynn, Grade 7, Pittsville Middle, instructor Ms. Gilland

Josh Kwak, Grade 8, Salisbury Middle, instructor Mr. Hammack

Brinay Marshall, Grade 8. Mardela Middle, instructor Mrs. Dean

Taylor Jacobs, Grade 8, Wicomico Middle, instructor Ms. Smith

Jade Abreu Anaya, Grade 8, Bennett Middle, instructor Mrs. Harmon

Makayla Stephens, Grade 8, Salisbury Middle, instructor Ms. Matteson

Athena Simms, Grade 9, James M. Bennett High, instructor Mrs. Cook

Skye Saunders, Grade 11, Mardela High, instructor Mrs. Dean

Jacob Palmer, 2016 graduate, Parkside High, instructor Mrs. McCoy

Cassidy Booth, Grade 10, Wicomico High, instructor Mrs. Pavlekovich

Woojoon Song, Grade 11, James M. Bennett High, instructor Mrs. Davis

Jesus Cruz, 2016 graduate, Wicomico High, instructor Mrs. Choi

Ethan Hendershot, 2016 graduate, Wicomico High, instructor Mr. Jones

Daniyal Aziz, 2016 graduate, James M. Bennett High, instructor Mr. Foltz

Dominique Ramsey, 2016 graduate, James M. Bennett High and Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program, instructors Mr. Foltz, Mr. Hupke, Mrs. Choi

Shelby Long, Grade 11, Parkside High and Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program, instructors Mr. Foltz, Mr. Hupke, Mrs. Choi

Ashley Barnes, 2016 graduate, Wicomico High and Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program, instructors Mr. Foltz, Mr. Hupke, Mrs. Choi

Stephanie Burkett, 2016 graduate, James M. Bennett High and Wicomico County Visual and Performing Arts Program, instructors Mr. Foltz, Mr. Hupke, Mrs. Choi


2015-2016 Maryland Society for Education Technology Student Contest

Certificate of recognition for winning the K-2 Multimedia Division of the 2015-2016 Maryland Society for Educational Technology Student Contest to Ms. Katherine Byrne, 1st grade teacher at Pinehurst Elementary. Her project won 1st place in the 2015-2016 Maryland Society for Educational Technology Student Contest in the grades K-2 division for the multimedia presentation entitled “First Grade Dreams.”  The project featured student artwork and writing done as a follow-up to their study of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Students shared their dreams for a better world. The work was showcased and the teacher was recognized at the society’s Common Ground Conference held in Ocean City in April. Thanks to Technology Coach Carmon Molnar for her assistance with this project.


Maryland Council on Economic Education Stock Market Game

Certificates of recognition to the North Salisbury Elementary team of fifth-grade students for being the 1st place winner for the Eastern Shore Region of the recent Maryland Council on Economic Education Stock Market Game:

Karyme Arroyo-Flores

Lycan Burke

Zakira Fleming

Damian Kunie

Jack Maier

Tristan Ridgell

Ceylan Yesiltas

Mrs. Cindy Phillips, teacher

The Maryland Council on Economic Education sponsored an online “Stock Market Game” in which teachers and student teams could participate to learn more about the stock markets, the American economic system and the global economy. Participants develop skills in math, language arts, research and critical thinking, while building and maintaining a stock portfolio.


Wicomico Representative in Maryland Day Flag Ceremony

Certificate of recognition to Ben LeBaron of  North Salisbury Elementary for representing Wicomico County in the flag ceremony for the 2016 Maryland Day program in Historic St. Mary’s City March 19. The Flag Ceremony featured a student representative from each county who presented the county flag before a podium of dignitaries. Wicomico appreciates this fourth-grade student’s service to his state and community.

Wicomico STEM Challenge County Champions

This year for the 4th annual Wicomico STEM Challenge, students from all intermediate and middle schools designed and built devices to solve a grade-specific challenge. The winners from each school competed head-to-head May 23rd at the STEM Challenge County Finals. The teams finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each grade level received medals, and the 1st place team for each grade level earned a plaque to take back for display in their school. Certificates of recognition to the members of the 1st place teams for winning their grade level challenge in the 2016 Wicomico STEM Challenge County Finals:


3rd Grade: Safe Racer - Vehicles to safely carry eggs in a crash-test simulation

North Salisbury: Jamear Wiley, Shayla Lewis, Olivia Stokes


4th & 5th Grade: Mars Rover - Disaster Relief - A free-fall egg drop

4th Grade (tie for 1st place):

Prince Street: Hailey Soriano, Alysia Ullman, Monica Reza-Rios, Kayla Wallace

Delmar: Justin Rodgers, Russell Affum, Elijah Coleman, Dominick Adkins


5th Grade

Pinehurst: Billy McFarland, Tyler Bailey, Bridan Jackson, Rene Rojas-Carrillo, Jazir Massey


6th Grade Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

Wicomico Middle: Noah Dejesus, Jason Sterling-Peek


7th Grade: Sailboats

Wicomico Middle: Kirsten Parsons, Carmen Broadwater


8th Grade: Mousetrap cars

Bennett Middle: Mirenna Morgan, Lauren Phillips, Zikuh Wang


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Be the Spark Challenge

Fifth-grade Magnet students at North Salisbury Elementary participated in a contest through the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to create everyday spinoff ideas that showed innovation and creativity using NASA technology. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, together with Hasbro, collected these ideas through “glogs” in the 2016 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC). Certificate of recognition to the 5th Grade team from North Salisbury Elementary that will join the three other winning teams at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on June 30th for the NASA OPSPARC Awards Ceremony, and will receive a NASA Be the Spark Award as runner-up in the 2016 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC) through the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

Jeffrey Mueller

Warren Nathan Poole

Brian Alexander Schmidt

Teacher: Mrs. Mildred Johnson


Fuel Up to Play 60 Maryland Ambassadors for 2016

Certificates of achievement for outstanding leadership in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program to:

Breanna Swords-Smith, Fuel Up To Play 60 Maryland Program Ambassador to the 2016 National Student Ambassador Summit this July. She will be representing East Salisbury Elementary, where she is finishing the 5th grade, and all Wicomico and Maryland schools participating in Fuel Up to Play 60 as the Fuel Up To Play 60 Maryland Program Ambassador at the 2016 National Student Ambassador Summit in Lafayette, Ind. Wicomico County is pleased to honor a student who has emerged as a leader for student-led health and wellness in Wicomico County.

Allison Welkie of East Salisbury Elementary, Maryland Program Advisor of the Year representing Wicomico County Public Schools and the Baltimore Ravens. She will be traveling to Indiana with her student, Breanna, to participate in the national Fuel Up To Play 60 Summit.

In 2014 the Wicomico County Public School System became the first school system in the nation to pilot a countywide NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 program, in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. The ongoing Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative is powered by great student and adult leaders like Breanna and Ms. Welkie.


Vocabulary.com Leaders

Vocabulary.com is a new application that encourages students to expand their vocabulary through games and targeted instruction. It can specify words contained in a specific work, words found on the SAT, or words that are associated with a particular grade level. Wicomico County provides access to Vocabulary.com to every student in fifth through twelfth grade. This year Wicomico students answered more than 1 million questions, and mastered more than 42,000 academic words. Certificates of recognition from the Board and medals presented by Ruby Peters, Vocabulary.com’s Regional Sales Manager Mid-Atlantic Region, to the top 10 students in Wicomico:

Winston Mazzetti, Pittsville Elementary, the top finisher with 11,518 answers

Autumn Huntington, Pittsville Elementary, 8.174 answers

Victoria Hearn, Pittsville Elementary, 7,615 answers

Alexa Edmond, Bennett Middle, 5,512 answers

Connor Hall, Parkside High, 5,454 answers

Hannah Kim, Salisbury Middle, 4,935 answers

Arielle Folke, Pittsville Elementary, 4,927 answers

Jarrett Smullen, Mardela High, 4,669 answers

Douglas Ward, Parkside High, 4,080 answers

Randy Crocker, Pittsville Elementary, 3,851 answers


Certificates of recognition to the teachers who led the way this year in engaging their students in building vocabulary skills by using Vocabulary.com:

Lindsay McCauley, 5th Grade teacher at Pittsville Elementary and Middle, the top finisher with 126,460 answers

Carl Bright, Parkside High, 105,162 answers

Tara Elliott, Salisbury Middle, 94,665 answers

Jane Pruitt, Parkside High, 78,328 answers

Shannon Baum, Pittsville Elementary and Middle, 72,355 answers


“If I Were Mayor, I Would …” Essay Contest

Certificates of recognition to students who were finalists in the 2016 “If I Were Mayor, I Would …” Essay Contest sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association:

Kendall Mahle, North Salisbury Elementary, teacher Ms. Black

Conner Phippin, Northwestern Elementary, teacher Ms. Shupe

Each year, the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association invite 4th grade students to participate in a statewide essay contest: “If I Were Mayor, I Would...” The contest gives students a chance to creatively use grade-specific language arts skills and civics/social studies knowledge while addressing topics such as environmental initiatives, citizen recognition, safety and education. Wicomico had two district finalists in this year’s competition.


Maryland Eastern Shore Spelling Bee/Scripps National Spelling Bee

Certificate of achievement to the winner of the 2016 Maryland Eastern Shore Regional Spelling Bee and participant in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Maya Matava of Salisbury Middle School. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore sponsors the Maryland Eastern Shore Regional Spelling Bee for students in grades 4-8 in Lower Shore public, private and home schools. The 2016 Bee was held at UMES March 5th with more than 50 competitors, and the winner was determined after many rounds of competition. This regional spelling bee champion won an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May. We are proud that for the fourth straight year, Wicomico County Public Schools had a representative in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Thanks to all the teachers, school spelling bee coordinators, and parents who support students in this annual spelling competition.


Destination Imagination Global Finals Teams

Certificates of achievement to the five Destination Imagination (DI) teams from Wicomico County Public Schools whose performances in the Maryland State DI Tournament earned them a spot in the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn. DI is an activity that student teams engage in after school and on weekends to build their skills in creative problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking. DI transcends race, gender and ethnic boundaries and is unparalleled in its engagement of parents. The Wicomico County DI teams competed with 1,500+ teams from other states and 150 countries in an experience they will never forget.

Pace of Change           Challenge A:  Technical

Middle Level - Bennett Middle School Daydreamerz

2nd place at the State Tournament

28th place at Global Finals

Jack Sterling

Jack Cuppett

Landon Stauffer

Kaitlin Cashman

Landon Weer

Allison Harris

Evan Frolich

Team Managers: Dave Harris, Kathy Sterling, George Weer

DI School Facilitator: Barbara Fodor


Challenge B: Scientific In Plain Sight

Elementary Level - North Salisbury School DI Mindful Thinkers

2nd place at the State Tournament

42nd place at Global Finals

Riley Forrestal

Eden Donoway

Brianna West

Grace Nichols

William Creese

Karyme Arroyo-Flores

Team Managers: Shannon Forrestal, Ashton Donoway

DI School Facilitator: Mary Kinnamon


Challenge C: Fine Arts Get a Clue

Middle Level: Bennett Middle School Legendary Llamas

4th place at the State Tournament

24th place at Global Finals

Pag-asa Sison

Sheyene Brown

Psalmy Lacson

Johnnie Watkins

Da Hyun Son

James Watkins

Team Manager: Amy Jo Watkins

DI School Facilitator: Barbara Fodor


Challenge D: Improvisation Close Encounters

Middle Level: Salisbury Middle School Funky Monkeys

2nd place at the State Tournament

7th place at Global Finals

Brennan Kaiser

Gavin Parker

Luke Dean

Ethan Baker

MaKenzie Johnson

Maya Matava

Team Managers: Jen Parker, Jodi Reikard, Kelly Kaiser

DI School Facilitator: Tara Elliott


Service Learning Challenge: Project Outreach The Meme Event

Senior Level: Wicomico High School DI of the Tiger

1st place at the State Tournament

21st place at Global Finals

Rebecca Aydelotte

Jeffrey Dumpson

Kainat Imtiaz

Jessica Greene

Team Manager and DI School Facilitator: Rebecca Mathews


Performance of Lifesaving CPR

Every day, school nurses are called on to handle a range of health issues with skill, training, professionalism and compassion. They are a critically important part of a school’s support team for students. Recently three of them were suddenly called upon to perform potentially lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the job, and all rose to the challenge with their CPR skills with good results for the students involved. Certificates of recognition for performing lifesaving CPR when called upon in the performance of their job in Wicomico County Public Schools to:

Kim Cade, RN, Wicomico High School. The nurse was called to a classroom for a student who was unresponsive. The student responded after several chest compressions.

Maureen Greenlees, RN, Glen Avenue Elementary. She was called to the classroom for an unresponsive student, gave chest compressions and prepared to use the automated external defibrillator. The student responded after several chest compressions.

Rachel Marine, RN, on the special needs bus serving students throughout Wicomico County. When a student was noted to be unresponsive during a bus ride, the bus was pulled into a parking lot and the nurse performed chest compressions and rescue breathing on the floor of the bus until the student responded.


Letters about Literature

Certificate of recognition to Ava Connolly, Grade 6, Salisbury Middle. Her letter to Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling made her a Maryland finalist for the 2016 Letters about Literature contest. Every year, The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress presents Letters about Literature, a national reading and writing promotion program, with support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic – explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves. In Maryland, 2,000 students entered the contest, and only 91 were selected as state finalists. Ava was recognized as a state finalist by Maryland Humanities at a ceremony on April 23rd.


2016 Maryland State Solo & Ensemble Festivals

Each spring the Maryland Music Educators Association holds the State Solo and Ensemble Festival for students who have received a Superior rating at the District Solo and Ensemble level. The Board is proud to present certificates of achievement to students who received a Superior rating at the state festival – the highest rating available to a performer at this highest level of competition.


For strings, instructors Ashley Palmer, Sharay DuBose and Sarah Burton:

Bennett Middle:

Teiji Schoyen, Grade 7

Cristina Avanessian, Grade 6

Pittsville Middle:

Simon Jeong, Grade 7

Josephine Sollars, Grade 7

Wicomico Middle:

Eduardo Minchala, Grade 6

Mardela High:

Elizabeth Johnson, Grade 11

James M. Bennett High:

Sophia Keniston, Grade 11

Ju Young Park, Grade 10

Hope Jones, Grade 12

Gabe Dunn, Grade 9

Christopher Sajadi, Grade 11

Parkside High:

Marina dePietro, Grade 10

Trish Manning, Grade 11

Leyna Paul, Grade 9

Miyuki Schoyen, Grade 10

Lindsey Ward, Grade 11

Sarah Dabipi, Grade 11


For band, instructors Gary Hammer, Ken Dasher,

Cory Boltz, Jana Hobbs, Douglas Miles, Kevin Zaczkiewicz, Lillian Hoffman:

Bennett Middle:

Yeong Lee, Grade 7

Gi Kwon, Grade 8

Mardela Middle:

Cole Russ, Grade 7

Logan Rudd, Grade 7

Destiny Colon, Grade 7

Alyssa Boltz, Grade 7

Abreya Gunther, Grade 8

Matthew Guy, Grade 8

Brooklyn Tyndall, Grade 8

Tianna Staten, Grade 8

Makhai Bratton, Grade 8

Jake Taylor, Grade 8

Travis Hurley, Grade 8

Pittsville Middle:

Patrick Knoll, Grade 8

Mason Lewis, Grade 7

Lilly Dasher, Grade 6

Josh Jackson, Grade 8

Kenny Yeager, Grade 8

Sarah Knapp, Grade 6

LeQuiesha Hodges, Grade 6

Matt Lewis, Grade 7

McKenna Linzey, Grade 7

Kailey Thamert, Grade 7

Cassie Messler, Grade 8

McKenna Truitt, Grade 8

Emily Coiro, Grade 8

Wicomico Middle:

Taylor Jacobs, Grade 8

Bry'an Brown, Grade 8

Duncan Kihuiria, Grade 8

James M. Bennett High:

Chris Avanessian, Grade 11

Jon Adams, Grade 11

Hyun Ji Lee, Grade 12

Peter Lim, Grade 11

Laura Adams, Grade 9

Hannah Burchard, Grade 9

Mardela High:

Morgan McGee, Grade 9

Rachel Lewis, Grade 9

Lauren Fox, Grade 10

Abigail Boltz, Grade 11

Emma Timmons, Grade 11

Cole Owens, Grade 11

Mitchell Adams, Grade 9

Maggie Adams, Grade 10

Jamie Taylor, Grade 11

Hunter Wirt, Grade 9

Malik Allen, Grade 9

Gary Hoehler, Grade 9

Parkside High:

Yunie Pak, Grade 12

Hannah Lewis, Grade 11 and Visual and Performing Arts Program

Daisy Dolin, Grade 9

Wicomico High:

Camisha Dennis, Grade 11


For choral, instructor Jeff Baer:

Katelin Beach, Grade 11, Wicomico High and Visual and Performing Arts Program


Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award

Certificate of recognition for receiving the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce to Mark S. Thompson, Mentoring & Community Services Coordinator for Wicomico County Public Schools. Each year, the Chamber of Commerce presents awards to outstanding individuals and organizations in our community. At its awards banquet in April, the Chamber gave its Humanitarian of the Year Award to Thompson as someone who works tirelessly for others in the school system and the community. He was nominated by Chamber members who wanted to recognize him for his years of service to the community in various capacities. This is a very special award, given only when someone has risen to the stature of Humanitarian of the Year through their outstanding record of work for others. The 2016 winner is just the 10th recipient of this award, which is sponsored by RE/MAX Crossroads.

When Thompson moved to the Eastern Shore in 1996, he accepted the call to the ministry at First Baptist Church in Salisbury and served there in many capacities. He is continuing that service at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury where he serves as Outreach Pastor for the Adopt-A-Block Ministry. He volunteers as a Chaplin at Coastal Hospice; serves on numerous boards in Salisbury including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Wicomico Housing Authority, Village of Hope, Salisbury Urban Ministries, Horizons, Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center, and the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore. After a 23-year career with FedEx he became Executive Director of the West Salisbury Youth Club, now called the Richard Hazel Youth Center of The Salvation Army, and later the Director of the Eastside Salvation Army. In June 2005 he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve on the Board of Education for Wicomico County. He was elected vice president of the board in 2006 and president in 2008.


Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking yearlong class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Students from several Wicomico County Public Schools were part of the inaugural YEA! class sponsored by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, and Wicomico Schools is a YEA! sponsor. Throughout the class, students developed business ideas, wrote business plans, conducted market research, pitched their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launched and ran their own legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowered students to take charge of their futures in a profound way. Applications are being accepted now for 2016-2017, and we urge students to check out YEA! It’s more than just an outstanding learning opportunity: Each of the students in the inaugural class earned money for their business, and three of these students achieved outstanding recognition for their ideas.

Certificates of recognition to the Wicomico students in the inaugural graduating class of YEA! the Young Entrepreneurs Academy sponsored by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce:


From Bennett Middle School:

Jonathan West, 8th grade

Sean Richardson, 8th grade

Leah Osman, 7th grade

Marvin Li, 7th grade

Osman Yahya, 7th grade

RJ Batts, 8th grade

From Salisbury Middle: Yoonsuh Nam, 7th grade

From Wicomico High: Dariana Ortiz, 11th grade

From James M. Bennett High:

Mia Fisher, 9th grade

Jessica Wilkes, 10th grade

Liam Frey, 2016 graduate

Robert Branton, 2016 graduate

The Board of Education is proud to present certificates of recognition as members of the inaugural YEA! class and certificates of achievement to students whose YEA! business ideas earned them great acclaim in the community and beyond:


From Parkside High, juniors:

Adit Abraham

Benyam Ephrem

The VelopApps business created by Adit and Benyam was chosen as the winner of the Shark Tank-like Salisbury YEA! Investor Panel on March 30th. As winners, these students represented Salisbury YEA! at the Saunders Scholars Regional Competition in Rochester, New York on May 5-7.


From James M Bennett High: Tyler Dunn, 2016 graduate

Tyler’s Cap Strap business idea was a $5,000 winner for Tyler and his business partner, Jordan Palmer, in the Salisbury University Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Entrepreneurship Competition on April 21st. Tyler was the youngest person ever to compete in this event.


American Legion Oratorical Contest

Certificate of achievement for placing 1st in the Regional American Legion Oratorical Contest to Ahmed Abdelwahab, 2016 graduate of James M. Bennett High School. The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.

Scholarships for Teachers: Engineering is Elementary, CCART Fisher Art Education

Certificates of recognition to teachers who have received scholarships to advance their education in their subject area:


John Reichenberg, high school science teacher at Choices Academy, selected to receive an Engineering is Elementary Teacher Scholarship. He will study at the Boston Museum of Science (authors of the Engineering is Elementary series) to become more skilled in this elementary science resource that is used in our elementary science classrooms and our after school programs, in which he serves as a teacher. This scholarship will cover an expense paid trip to Boston this summer for a two-day training session at the Boston Museum of Science. John has previously distinguished himself by being selected to attend the Educators @ Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama and Honeywell’s Green Boot Camp in San Diego.


Shayn Smith, art teacher at Fruitland Primary, selected as a recipient of a $2,000 Fisher Art Education Scholarship by the Cavallaro Cleary Visual Arts Foundation. Earning this scholarship involved a portfolio presentation and consideration by a committee of art education professionals. Ms. Smith will apply the scholarship toward education loans in pursuit of visual art education at Salisbury University. Marie Cavallaro of CCART joined the Board on the stage to make this presentation.


Maryland History Day Competition

Wicomico County Public Schools participated in the History Day Competition for the first time this year, at both the county and state levels. Six group or individual projects advanced to the Maryland History Day competition in May, and one team was a big winner, advancing to national competition. Certificates of achievement to the members of the Parkside High Rho Kappa History Honor Society team for the team’s documentary on The Cambridge Race Riots, which won 1st place in regional and state History Day competitions, won the Maryland Historical Society’s Special Award for Research in Maryland History, and qualified to compete at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest being held June 12th-16th in College Park, Md.:


Ahmed Ahmed

Chris Taylor

Adit Abraham

Sumit Sharma

Benyam Ephrem


This team is fortunate to be led by an advisor whose dedication to scholarship and research with a very clear focus on continuous improvement helped advance his team to the national competition in June. Certificate of recognition to Parkside history teacher Mr. David Crissman, who advised the Rho Kappa History Honor Society team and who was recognized by Maryland Humanities at the state competition as the Maryland History Day Wicomico County Teacher of the Year. Thanks also to Parkside history teacher Ronald Wainwright for his support of the team.

Certificate of appreciation to Ms. Lori Bock, Supervisor of Social Studies, for her leadership in working with Salisbury University to expand Wicomico County students’ opportunities to learn through historical research in the History Day competition.


FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship

This year the Wicomico County Robotics FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) Team #3389 The Tec Tigers came together and built a robot called “Da Bunka Busta” from scratch in six weeks in preparation for competition. The robot was developed to conquer ramparts, sally ports, rock walls, a portcullis, and a moat, and to shoot boulders at their opponents’ castle during the FRC competition, FIRST Stronghold. The Tec Tigers’ robot excelled in district competition and earned the team a position in the FRC World Championship held in St. Louis in late April. The team placed 63rd in its division at the competition and gained memories that will last for a lifetime. Students and their adult mentors became a robotics family during the time spent together in planning, building, practicing and competing. The students challenged themselves, gained knowledge and built not only robots, but their own future. The team’s largest group of seniors, 6 of the 10 students who went to the World’s Competition, led the way this year. Those seniors are now 2016 graduates who are moving on to college, and some have received scholarships for at least half of the tuition if not full tuition through the FIRST Robotics program.

Certificates of achievement for competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in St. Louis to the members and supporters of Wicomico County Robotics FRC Team #3389 The Tec Tigers:


Parkside: Nicolas Yerkes, Ethan Ames, Destin Ames, Ahmed Abusin

James M. Bennett High: Adith Thummalapalli, Alexander Patterson

Wicomico High: Zackary Reynolds

Mardela High: Connor Hatton

Home School: Shane Hernandez

Salisbury Christian School: Nathan Spicer-Davis


Mentors, advisors and parents who supported the team as it competed at the World Championship:

Holly Hatton

Chris Hatton

Traci Yerkes

Pat Yerkes

Kraig Ames

Linda Ames

Thomas Ayers

James Culp III

David Miles

Jenny Miles

Tom Mader

Melissa Mader


2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Honors Conference Awards

All four high schools now offer students the opportunity to participate in SMART, Solutions for Multicultural Achievement Review Team. Some of these SMART students attended the 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Honors Conference at Hampton University in Virginia this spring. Thanks to the faculty advisors for supporting SMART in our high schools.

Certificates of recognition for success in competitions held at the 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Honors Conference at Hampton University:


Oratorical Contest, 2nd place: Sebastian Melendez, 2016 graduate of James M. Bennett High

Essay Contest, 2nd place: Mi'Yae McCaskill, Parkside High

Quiz Bowl Team, 2nd place:  winning 2nd place: Ahmed Abdelwahab, Hannah Lee, Luke Murphy, Amber Ngo, Adith Thummalapalli, James M. Bennett High


Certificate of achievement for a 1st place finish in the Talent Contest at the 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Honors Conference to Jeremiah Copeland, 2016 graduate of James M. Bennett High


2016 Parent Involvement Matters Award Winner

Certificate of achievement to Mrs. Donna Turnamian, an Evening High School and James M. Bennett High School parent volunteer, for being Wicomico’s semi-finalist and one of five state finalists for the 2016 Parent Involvement Matters Award for the Maryland State Department of Education. She has been volunteering in Wicomico County schools since her children became a part of the school system, and she is now the proud parent of two 2016 graduates. Whether it was being a PTA president, being part of the Parents in Action team supporting construction of the new Bennett Middle School, or working with counselors at James M. Bennett High to provide snacks for students who were hungry but reluctant to admit it, she has been a parent who cares for all students.

For the PIMA honor, she was recognized for the work she is doing with Evening High School. She has marshaled the resources of her church, Faith Lutheran, to be a community/faith partner through Salisbury’s Promise; in many ways, they have been ‘family’ to these students. They not only provide a reception twice a year for graduating students, but they have provided school supplies, hats, gloves, reflector vests for walkers & bike riders, and baby items for the children of young mothers who are determined to get their diploma.

PIMA honorees were recognized June 3 at a gala reception hosted by the Maryland State Department of Education. This is the only parent award program of its kind in the nation, and it recognizes parents and guardians for their exceptional support of public education.


Wicomico High School JROTC Program Recognition

Certificate of achievement for excellence in community support and performance to the Wicomico High School JROTC Program for its activities during the 2015-2016 school year. The Wicomico High School JROTC program serves 150 cadets from all four high schools, and is the largest JROTC program in the tri-county region. This school year JROTC Cadets performed as Honor Guard during the Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day ceremonies held at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. JROTC Cadets also placed more than 200 flags at graves of military veterans laid to rest at Wicomico Memorial Park. 

The JROTC Color Guard performed more than 50 missions within the community, leading the Fruitland Easter Parade and Fruitland Little League Parade, participating in the rededication of Bennett Middle School, and performing at Salisbury University Men’s Lacrosse, Civic Center, Bayside Championship Basketball Game, Special Olympics, Salisbury Christmas Parade, Snow Hill Christmas Parade, Salisbury Jaycees, VFW, American Legion, 9/11 Ceremony, JROTC Military Ball, Shorebirds Opening Day and Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club – just to name a few.

JROTC volunteered at many events in the school system and community this school year, including Special Olympics, East Salisbury Elementary School, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Fruitland Little League, Salisbury Jaycees, Wicomico County Parks and Recreation, Wicomico War Memorial, American Education Week, Martin Luther King ceremony, Lions Club, Holiday Basketball Tournament and VFW.  

The Wicomico High School JROTC Academic Team advanced to the second round of the JROTC Academic Bowl, 1 of 4 in the state of Maryland. The Tribe Battalion Drill Team won first place in Regulation Rifle Drill and Exhibition Rifle Drill at our regional drill competition.  Tribe Drill Team qualified and was nominated by Cadet Command to compete in the JROTC National Drill Competition in Ft. Knox, Kentucky – 1 of 2 in the state of Maryland.


Wicomico Mentoring Project Shining Star Mentors

The Wicomico Mentoring Project, part of the Student and Family Services Team, is fortunate to have many caring volunteers work with children who just need a little encouragement and support to do better in school. Certificates of appreciation to the following Shining Star mentors, who have been the most consistent in their service and contributed the most hours of mentoring during this school year:


East Salisbury Elementary: Phillip Doyle

Prince Street Elementary: Phillip Gee "Mr. G"

Bennett Middle: Cameron Jackson

James M. Bennett High: Eddie Harmon

Mardela Middle and High: Mary Lutz


The school system thanks all mentors for the wonderful service they give. This year children benefited from more than 600 matches. However, there are always more students who need mentors. Visit www.wcboe.org/mentoring or call 410-677-4400 for information.


2016 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings/Graduation Rate Recognition

In 2016, Wicomico Schools awarded diplomas to 861 graduates in the Class of 2016. This was a great milestone for students, families, and those who have supported these students throughout their school years. It’s also an important indicator of how the school system is preparing students to be college and career ready. High graduation rates are good news for students and the community. Congratulations to the high schools for their success in getting students to graduation.

Certificates of recognition to our high schools for the acclaim they have received for their graduation rates:


Three Wicomico County high schools received national ranking or recognition and medals in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings released this spring:

James M. Bennett High School, Principal Steve Grudis. JMB was nationally ranked in the report. The school ranked #1,789 in the nation and 51st in the state of Maryland, and received a silver medal.

Parkside High School, Principal Kim Pinhey. Parkside High School received a bronze medal in the report and was a school recognized nationally. Parkside’s graduation rate for the 4-year cohort is an excellent 93.21%.

Wicomico High School, Principal Don Brady. Wicomico High School received a bronze medal in the report and was a school recognized nationally.


Mardela High School, Principal Frederick Briggs. The Wicomico County Board of Education presents a certificate of recognition to Mardela High School for its outstanding graduation numbers. As a smaller school serving grades 6-12, Mardela Middle and High did not fit the criteria to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The listing for the school shows impressive numbers, however, and in 2015 the school’s 93.62 graduation rate was the highest graduation rate in the county. Mardela Middle and High has a “college readiness index” near the state average, and strong numbers for Advanced Placement participation and success.


47 ABC Teachers Who Make a Difference

Local TV station 47 ABC supports teachers throughout the area by surprising lucky educators with the 47 ABC Teacher Who Makes a Difference monthly recognition, sponsored by Accurate Optical. The TV station receives nominations and surprises recipients in their classrooms. Certificates of recognition for being named a 47 ABC Teacher Who Makes a Difference in 2015-2016 to:

Christy Cannell Gilbert, 2nd-Grade teacher at Prince Street Elementary, January 2016

Dr. Harlan Eagle, physical education teacher at West Salisbury Elementary, March 2016

Ken Johnson, science teacher at Salisbury Middle, April 2016


Outstanding Leadership for Wicomico County Public Schools

Certificate of recognition for outstanding leadership for Wicomico County Public Schools to the Student Government Association of Wicomico High School, represented by SGA officers Peter Kim and Courtney Brown and advisor Dionna Sterling. Every year high schools participate in blood drives for students, staff and other supporters. The pints of blood donated at these school blood drives help boost the supply of blood the Blood Blank of Delmarva can supply when needed, and provides those who participate with an important opportunity for service to others. Since 2010, Wicomico High School has been in the top 3 of Delmarva high schools for blood donations, under the leadership of the Student Government Association. In the 2014-2015 school year, Wicomico High School was No. 2 in donations. Thanks to the efforts of the SGA and the generosity of blood donors, Wicomico High School is leading the way for high schools across the peninsula.

Certificate of recognition for Outstanding Leadership for Wicomico County Public Schools to Dr. Cathy Townsend, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, for her vision and leadership in bringing the Leadercast 2016 event to Salisbury and Wicomico County to help build leaders in our community. On May 6th, 150 leaders from Wicomico Schools, Wor-Wic Community College and the community participated in Leadercast in the Wicomico High School Auditorium. Leadercast is the world’s largest one-day leadership conference, broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast to more than 100,000 people in hundreds of locations around the world including the WiHi Auditorium. For the past 16 years, Leadercast has brought people together and equipped them to become better leaders, managers, community members, and employees. Dr. Townsend led a team through the months of planning to put on a seamless event, and reached out to engage the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Salisbury Committee, Salisbury University, Wor-Wic Community College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Wicomico Public Libraries as local Leadercast sponsors.


Certificate of recognition for Outstanding Leadership for Wicomico County Public Schools to Dr. Judylynn Mitchell, Supervisor of Education That is Multicultural, for her leadership in making the Maryland Multicultural Coalition’s Multicultural Education Conference in Salisbury a success. On April 23rd some 300 educators from across the state came to the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center for the conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Celebrating the Beauty of Diversity: Preparing for the Future,” and the keynote speaker was Chris Haley, nephew of Roots author Alex Haley. This was an excellent opportunity to pick up new ideas on helping all learners, cultural proficiency, multi-leveled student progress, and more. Some of our own educators and students presented.

Baxter Enterprises/McDonald’s McEducator Awards

Thanks to a partnership that started in 1999 between West Salisbury Elementary and Baxter Enterprises/McDonald's, thousands of teachers and tens of thousands of students have benefited from support that exceeds a half-million dollars. This support includes coupons and bicycles to reward good scholarship and citizenship at the elementary level, spirit nights at some of the 21 Baxter McDonald's restaurants on Delmarva, $1,000 scholarships for a graduating senior at each high school, and McEducator Awards for top teachers from each elementary school.

The 2016 McEducator Awards are given to an outstanding teacher from each elementary school for criteria including outstanding attendance, commendable observations and evaluations, positive rapport with others, tenured status, and an effective instructional program. Thanks to Baxter Enterprises CEO Tom Baxter and his daughter, Tiffany Baxter Beach, an owner/operator, each recipient will receive a $300 Marriott gift card and $100 American Express gift card. The Wicomico Board of Education is pleased to join Baxter Enterprises in recognizing these 2016 Baxter Enterprises/McDonald’s McEducator Award winners:


Danielle Oleszczuk, Beaver Run Elementary

Mary Funk, Charles H. Chipman Elementary           

Laura Hynes, Delmar Elementary    

Matthew Snyder, East Salisbury Elementary

Gretchen Klahr, Fruitland Primary   

Debbie Mills, Fruitland Intermediate

Kristy Capobianco, Glen Avenue Elementary                      

Kelli Lewis, North Salisbury Elementary

Dawn Boltz, Northwestern Elementary

Heather McDonough, Pemberton Elementary

Lori Shockley, Pinehurst Elementary                                          

Valerie Hughes, Pittsville Elementary

Dustin Thomas, Prince Street Elementary

Racquel Ruffin-Shrieves, Wicomico Early Learning Center

Rebecca Dobson, West Salisbury Elementary

Pam Berman, Westside Primary

Catherine Fowlkes, Westside Intermediate

Mary Lynn Stavely, Willards Elementary


Key Community Partners: Project Localize,  Reading Forever

Certificates of appreciation for being key community partners of the Parkside CTE Horticulture Program in Project Localize to: 


Amy Rhodes, Wicomico Extension Educator who facilitated technology instruction and visitation schedules, and arranged for graphics to be displayed at the AI&G

Jay Martin of Provident Organic Farm, who introduced us to this project and to local growers, and shared his expertise in sustainable growing practices.

Ron Wilson, who nominated the Horticulture Program for this project through the Lexicon of Sustainability. He coordinated visits, focused student attention to issues, and has coordinated the Parkside 4H Beekeepers

Wicomico County Public Schools is proud to partner with local stakeholders who support the Parkside CTE Horticulture Management program. Recently Project Localize highlighted local sustainability efforts in Wicomico County and built great ties in the community and beyond. Students not only learned what happens in a food system, they learned about what is happening in their own local food system as they prepared impressive posters on sustainability.


Certificate of appreciation for being a key community partner for school libraries and media centers in Wicomico Schools, with more than $132,000 in funds over 23 years, to the Reading Forever Fund at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, represented tonight by Heather Mahler. In 1991, Sam and Marilyn Seidel established an endowment within the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore to provide annual income to public schools solely for the purchase of library books. The Seidel’s wish was to instill and foster a love of reading by children enrolled in Wicomico County schools. Eligible schools contribute an annual gift to the endowment fund of 10 cents per enrolled student. These gifts assist in maintaining the financial health of the Reading Forever Fund, while helping to provide for its growth. Every year, the earnings of this endowment fund are distributed to each participating school. During the past 23 years, the Reading Forever Fund has granted more than $132,000, and awards approximately $8,500 to Wicomico County Schools each year.


Proven Winners Garden Center

Certificates of recognition for organizing the initiative to have the A+ Garden Centre in the Parkside High CTE Horticulture Program designated a Proven Winners Garden Center to:


Breanna Jones, Parkside junior

Sarah Donaway, Parkside sophomore

Certificate of recognition to instructor Jerry Kelley and his students, for the Horticulture Program’s A+ Garden Centre being designated a Proven Winners Garden Center

Students in the Horticulture Program at the Parkside High School Department of Career & Technology Education recently earned a new designation for the garden center they operate. Horticulture students completed industry and certification training and examination in March on garden trends, service, care and product awareness. A+ Garden Centre is now recognized as a certified Proven Winners Garden Center, a designation that will provide access to both advertising and resources along with the prestigious Proven Winners trademark. This is in addition to last year’s designation as an All American Select Display Garden.


Maryland Comptroller’s Silver Hammer Award

In May, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot came to Northwestern Elementary to present the school's custodial staff with the 2016 Silver Hammer Award for excellence in maintenance. This school achieved an almost unheard of Superior rating of 98% from state inspectors, proof that the custodial team is doing a fantastic job of keeping the school in tiptop shape for students and staff. Comptroller Franchot gave each member of the custodial staff a medallion, and presented the school with the Silver Hammer Award to display. Certificates of achievement to the members of the custodial staff at Northwestern Elementary School whose great work resulted in the school earning a 2016 Comptroller’s Silver Hammer Award for excellence in maintenance:


Winfield Chandler, Building Service Manager

Joseph Stuetz, former Building Service Manager

Custodians: Robert McGriff, Adrian Harmon and Tammy Krause

H&R Block Budget Challenge Winners

High school students throughout the country participated in the H&R Block Budget Challenge for a chance to boost their financial literacy and maybe even earn scholarship money for college. This learn-by-doing Budget Challenge allowed students to experience activities like paying bills, managing expenses, saving money, investing in retirement, paying taxes, and more, from the safety of a classroom. Two Mardela High School seniors did so well in the Budget Challenge this year that they each earned $20,000 scholarships for college – two of only 66 winners nationwide. Mardela has now had four $20,000 scholarship winners in the past two years.

Certificates of achievement to the 2016 Mardela High School graduates who each won $20,000 scholarships in the 2015-2016 H&R Block Budget Challenge:

Bria Johnson

Kathleen Sann