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Congratulations to the Outstanding Students, Staff Members, Programs and Schools Recognized at November Awards & Recognitions Night

Congratulations to all of the outstanding students, staff members, programs and schools recognized at the school system's Nov. 14, 2019 Awards & Recognitions Night. Photos are posted in a Facebook album

Maryland Character Education 2018-2019 School of the Year Awards

Four Wicomico schools received a Maryland Character Education School of the Year Award at the annual awards luncheon of the Maryland Center for Character Education @ Stevenson University. Each of these schools was chosen for the award for outstanding character education initiatives and for including a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.

Certificate of achievement for each of these outstanding schools:

Willards Elementary School is proud to be a first-time recipient of this character education recognition. Receiving this award on behalf of the students, staff and families of Wonderful Willards are Principal Judy Nicholson, Assistant Principal Jen Rice, and guidance counselor Christina Thompson.  Staff and students at Wonderful Willards “ride the wave to a brighter future” as they demonstrate their “Dynamic Dolphin” good character choices by being “RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE and READY to LEARN”.

Westside Primary School is a first-time recipient of the Character Education Award. Receiving this award on behalf of the students, staff and families of Westside Primary are Principal Mr. Glendon Jones, Lead Teacher Mrs. Tawanda Small and School Counselor Ms. Robin Price. The school also appreciates former principal Mrs. Maria Wright for her leadership. Westside Primary staff and students utilizes our Mustang Rules, in conjunction with our Character Education Program, as the basis to promote good character. At Westside Primary School, our students know that together “WE CAN AND WE WILL”.

Prince Street Elementary School is proud to be a recipient of this character education recognition for the third straight year. Receiving this award on behalf of the students, staff and families of Prince Street are Principal Jason Miller, Assistant Principal Kim Waters, Dean of Students Carla Hodges-Brown and student advisor Joe Raffa. Prince Street staff and students utilize PRIDE Rules in conjunction with the PBIS Program as the basis to promote good character. PRIDE stands for “Prepared, Respectful, Individually Responsible, Demonstrating Self Control and Eager and Ready to Learn.”

North Salisbury Elementary School has received this award for the fourth year in a row. New this year, North Salisbury created six school Houses representing the Six Pillars of Character defined through Character Education. Representing all North Salisbury staff, students, families, and supporters are Principal Dave Harris, guidance counselor Adrienne Jenkins, instructional assistant Calvin Burrell, and Assistant Principal Marie Baker. At North Salisbury School, students are TRUSTWORTHY, RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, FAIR, CARING and GOOD CITIZENS. They know that together, “WE ARE NORTH SALISBURY!” 


Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Contest Winner

Congratulations to one of our middle school students who won himself a Dash Robot through a national contest. Alexander Acle, then in the 5th Grade at North Salisbury Elementary, entered the “Review or No Review” contest through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, or ORISE. ORISE invited students to create a review game for the end of the year using coding software, for themselves and their peers. Congratulations to Alexander, now at Salisbury Middle, for being a winner with one of the top two elementary submissions in the contest.


Tournament of Bands ACCs Achievements for Marching Bands, Individual Band Member Honors

Every fall the marching bands of Wicomico County Public Schools participate in a series of field band competitions through the Tournament of Bands, one of the largest competitive band organizations in the country with more than 400 active schools and organizations. Three Wicomico County bands qualified to compete at the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships, known as ACCs, on October 27th. There are a few individual honors to note as well.

Certificate of recognition to Band Director Mark Pages and the Wicomico High School Marching Band. The Wicomico High School Marching Band participated in its second season of Group 3-Open competition. Season highlights for th “Paisajes de Espana” field show include a 4th Place finish at Chapter Championships with a season high score of 84.90. The band competed at ACCs for the seventh straight year, and despite miserable weather that forced it to curtail some aspects of its field show, the band scored 84.30. WiHi’s band went on to once again perform at Salisbury University’s Sea Gull Stadium, playing the National Anthem, presenting its halftime show and serving as a pep band in the stands for the November 2nd SU football game against Christopher Newport University.

Recognition for two of Wicomico High School’s outstanding musicians:

Drum major Daniel Davis performed last summer with the Jersey Surf in the Drum Corps International World Championship Prelims and Semifinals in Indianapolis. Daniel plays the tuba and he played, marched, rehearsed and performed for three months to prepare.

Congratulations to Taylor Jacobs for being selected to the Tournament of Bands All-Star Marching Band. Taylor will march and play with the band in the 6ABC/Dunkin Donut Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.

Certificate of recognition to Band Director Douglas Miles and the James M. Bennett High Clipper Band. The JMB Marching Band once again earned a spot at ACCs as one of the top bands in the nine-state area. At Chapter Championships, the JMB band placed 3rd with a score of 89.3 for “The Light Inside” field show. Drum Major Abbey Loar earned a Specialty Award for 1st Place Drum Major. At ACCs, the JMB Band & Guard was a bronze-level finalist, placing 13th with a score of 88.1 in Group 3-Open.

Certificate of recognition for the James M. Bennett High Marching Band, and a certificate of achievement for Drum Major Abbey Loar for her 1st Place award.

Certificate of recognition to Parkside High School Band Director Kevin Zaczkiewicz and the Marching Rams. Parkside hosted the annual Delmarvacade of Bands competition, scoring the school’s best exhibition score ever at 90.35. At Chapter Championships, the band had top Group 3-Open Pit Crew and a best-ever Parkside band score of 93.15 for 2nd Place with its show, “The Red Brick Road.” At ACCs, the Parkside Marching Rams scored 93.10 to finish the season as a silver medalist and 6th Place finisher.

Certificate of achievement for Parkside percussionist Wil Elliott for being named to the Tournament of Bands All-Star Marching Band. He will march and play with the band in the 6ABC/Dunkin Donut Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.


Research Science Institute

Wicomico County Public Schools is proud to prepare students for college and career, and we’re glad to see students pursuing opportunities outside the school walls. James M. Bennett High senior Bryan SebaRaj applied for and was among only 80 students nationwide to be accepted into the Research Science Institute (RSI) held this past summer at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This challenging and rewarding six-week program is the first summer science and engineering program offered cost-free to students that combines on-campus coursework in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. Bryan conducted novel research under the direction of Dr. Michael Chin, investigating the activity of Tafazzin, a dysfunctional protein in those suffering from Barth Syndrome, for use in a treatment for the disorder. Bryan appreciates the great preparation and recommendation he received from his AP Biology teacher for helping him secure a place in this excellent summer institute.


Bayside Sportsmanship Award

Certificate of achievement for Mardela Middle and High School as winner of the Bayside Sportsmanship Award for 2018-2019, an honor shared with Kent County High School. Congratulations to Athletic Director Kory Shiles, Assistant Principal in charge of athletics, Shawn Gardner, and Principal Liza Hastings. For more than a decade, the Bayside Sportsmanship Award has been presented each year to the Bayside school or schools that have accumulated the highest ranking in climate, spectators, coaching and supervision. For each varsity sport throughout the year, schools submit evaluations ranking their opponents. At the conclusion of the school year, a Bayside Conference committee compiles the results for each separate sport to generate a grade for each school.


United Way 2019 Lower Shore Addiction Awareness Visual Arts Competition

Students from the Lower Shore and Dorchester County submitted entries to the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore’s 2019 Lower Shore Addiction Awareness Visual Arts Competition. Their works were both creative and thought-provoking, illustrating the heartbreak and dangers of addiction. Winners were announced in May, and Wicomico entries were displayed at the Salisbury Art Space for the community to view.

1st Place winners from Wicomico Schools:

For middle school: Giselle Martinez-Castro, Wicomico Middle

For high school: Athena Simms, 2019 graduate of James M. Bennett High


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Certificate of achievement for Ms. Hemalatha Bhaskaran (James M. Bennett High), a Maryland Finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She has been teaching AP Environmental Science and Environmental Science at JMB since 2004.

This is a prestigious award that recognizes teachers who have both an in-depth knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Ms. Bhaskaran was a leader in her school’s successful effort to become a Maryland Green School, and during the summer has taught Environmental Education with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She served on the steering committee of the first Youth Environmental Action Summit in 2019, and was honored as an outstanding summit mentor. She is one of just three Maryland science teachers who are finalists for this national award, with the winner to be named at a future date.


Maryland Council on Economic Education 2019-2020 Calendar Artist

Certificate of recognition for Brooke Barlow, a sixth-grader at Mardela Middle and High, who entered the Maryland Council on Economic Education’s annual poster contest for Maryland students in grades 1 through 8 while in the 5th Grade at Northwestern Elementary. This contest helps teachers stimulate interest in learning basic economic and personal finance concepts by giving students an opportunity to creatively demonstrate their understanding of economic concepts. The winning posters have been made into a calendar for September 2019 through December 2020. For the month of July 2020, the Maryland Council on Economic Education’s calendar will feature Brooke’s illustration on opportunity cost.


Healthiest Maryland Business Wellness at Work Bronze Award

Wicomico County Public Schools has a very active Wellness Committee that works throughout the year to promote nutrition, fitness and wellness throughout the school system. This year the committee’s efforts paid off with bronze-level recognition through the Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work Awards. Congratultions and thank you to these leaders of the 2018-2019 Wellness Committee:

Tina Vincent, Carl Vincent, Paige Larmore, Laura Jones, Nick Thompson


Maryland State FFA Plant Research Competition

Two students in the Horticulture Program at the Parkside High School Department of Career & Technology Education were winners in the Maryland State FFA Plant Research Competition this year. Certificates of achievement for Caleb Messler (Parkside) and Cameron Hill (JMB) for their winning entry, entitled “Effects of Mycorrhizal Inoculation on Pepper Plant Germination and Seedling Establishment.” Their research showed promise in using mycorrhizal fungi in pepper production, providing time savings, stronger plants and improved profitably for growers. Not only was the project a winner in Maryland, it was recognized as one of the top 15 FFA plant research submissions in the country.


Maryland Delegate to the 2019 Global Youth Institute of The World Food Prize

Certificate of achievement for Yuki Jatmiko (WiHi), a junior in the Horticulture Program at the Parkside High School Department of Career & Technology Education, who was one of about 200 exceptional students worldwide selected as a delegate to the 2019 Global Youth Institute of The World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa in October. She earned her spot on the strength of her research submission on “China, Water Scarcity: Realties and Solutions.” Yuki had an amazing opportunity to participate in meetings and discussions with world leaders, educators and students from around the world. She represented her program, Wicomico Schools and the State of Maryland exceptionally well.


Recognitions for Parkside CTE Horticulture Program

Certificates of achievement for two more honors that the Parkside CTE Horticulture Program has received this year.

The FFA Association National Chapter Award recognizes the leading agricultural education program in each State. The top state programs are evaluated by National FFA leadership on 15 criteria related to building student leadership, involve and integrating students in community work, and strengthening agriculture through literacy, advocacy and community support. Maryland FFA honored Parkside CTE Horticulture as the top agricultural education program in the state. Parkside CTE Horticulture was then recognized with an FFA National Chapter Award. Certificate of achievement for Parkside CTE Horticulture’s FFA Chapter presented to Parkside FFA Secretary Anna Smith and Horticulture instructor Mr. Jerry Kelley.

Each year the leadership committee of the Maryland Agriculture Teachers Association selects and highlights a Horticulture teacher who has built program capacity and applied innovative instructional approaches for students. Mr. Jerry Kelley has certainly done that, guiding his students in developing community connections, conducting research, and engaging in local, state and national learning opportunities. Under his leadership, the A+ Garden Centre has grown into the largest high school greenhouse business in the country. Congratulations to Mr. Jerry Kelley, the Maryland Horticulture Teacher of the Year!


National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.5 million students who take the test in a given year, only 34,000 are honored as Commended Students. Certificates of achievement for Wicomico County’s 2019 National Merit Scholarship Commended Students:

James M. Bennett High: Mulan Bell, Lauren Illa, Kyong “Josh” Kwak, Bryan SebaRaj, Patrick SebaRaj

Parkside High: James Hsia, Sarah MacDonald


AP Scholar Awards

AP Scholars at various levels who are current Wicomico County students were recognized at the Awards & Recognitions Night. These students have taken challenging college-level AP or Advanced Placement courses. At the end of each AP course, students have the option to take an exam on which high marks may earn them college credit and AP Scholar recognition. Congratulations to all of Wicomico’s AP Scholars, many of whom graduated in 2019.


AP Scholars with Distinction AND National AP Scholars

Certificate of achievement for Bryan SebaRaj (JMB), who is both an AP Scholar with Distinction AND a National AP Scholar. AP Scholars with Distinction have received an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken AND grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. In addition to meeting the requirements as an AP Scholar with Distinction, National AP Scholars had an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on 8 or more AP exams.

Congratulations also to these 2019 graduates who are AP Scholars with Distinction and National AP Scholars: Michael Avanessian (JMB) and William A. Faulkner (WiHi).


AP Scholars with Distinction are recognized with a certificate of achievement for receiving an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken AND grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. We are proud to recognize our current AP Scholars with Distinction:

James M. Bennett High: Mulan Z. Bell, Julia C. Fitzpatrick, Lauren F. Illa, Brandon C. Konlian, Kyong R. “Josh” Kwak, Yeongju Lee, Marvin F. Li, Emma B. Murphym Patrick D. SebaRaj

Parkside High: Felipe I. Calderon, James Z. Hsia, Sarah C. MacDonald, Brian H. Min

Wicomico High: Maryum A. Khwaja, Camden N. Nguyen


AP Scholars with Honor are recognized with a certificate of achievement for receiving an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, AND grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Current AP Scholars with Honor are:

James M. Bennett High: Ayden Harris, Anna M. Long, Richard L. Marsh, Mark D. Schweitzer, Zahra A. Siddiqui, Vy Tran, Trate L. Underwood

Wicomico High: William J. Amrhein, Daniel L. Davis, Dennis M. Killian, Bianca L. Sweeney


AP Scholars recognized with a certificate of recognition for receiving grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams:

James M. Bennett High: Taylor J. Aukward, Zachary A. Barnes, Ryan L. Cadwallader, Xavier A. Creel, Ryan O. Duvall, Morgan R. Esham, Kevin Gutoskey, Theodore L. Hirsch, Goutham S. Korada, Jonius Serrano, Madison L. Synowiec, Drew M. Von Kollmar, Hannahlise Y. Wang

Mardela High: Taylor E. Cordrey, Cameron E. Horner, Tianna A. Staten

Parkside High: Samantha A. Glenn, Gabrielle A. Hunt, Anisah Khattak, Jesus Lopez, Evelyn A. Sarbanes, Weston L. Smith, Hannah E. Vodak

Wicomico High: Reece S. Chang, Dong W. Lee, Madison E. Palmer, Colleen E. Sullivan