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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Calvert County Times

Education

Board of Education Discuss New Hires in Schools By Sarah Miller Staff Writer

The Calvert County Public Schools Board of Education (BOE) got an extensive update on the latest numbers for new teacher hires in the county during their first meeting of the year on Jan. 8. The meeting started with nominations of officers. Sitting member Tracy H. McGuire was nominated as president of the board, and new member Pamela Cousins was nominated as vice-president. Calvert County Public Schools hired sixty-nine teachers for the 2014-2015 school year, 48 percent of whom had experience teaching in another state or Maryland school district. According to Director of Human Resources Victoria Karol, the school system’s challenge for the 2015-2016 school year will be ensuring that highly qualified, content certified teachers are in every classroom as the system seeks to adjust staffing in light of declining enrollment and fiscal constraints. In the 2014-2015 school year, 51 percent of newly hired teachers graduated from a Maryland college or university, 39 percent of new hires have earned a Master’s degree, and three percent have earned a doctorate, 84 percent are female, sixteen

percent are male and 42 percent are graduates of Calvert County Public Schools. “In Calvert County, we strive to hire the very best,” said Supervisor of Human Resources Laveeta Hutchins. According to a CCPS press release, “Because CCPS traditionally attracts a large number of applicants, recruitment focuses on attracting individuals to teach in critical need areas—including all areas of special education, speech language pathology, middle and high school mathematics, middle and high school sciences, world languages, ESOL, computer science, and career and technology education—and on diverse applicants in all areas. Representatives of the Human Resources Department attend recruitment consortiums in Maryland and Pennsylvania and participate in on-campus recruitment visits and consortium career fairs that focus specifically on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” During the public comment portion of the meeting, one Calvert parent spoke up about their concerns that budget cuts will mean higher student to teacher ratios in the classroom and

Photos by Sarah Miller

the effect it will have on students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP). During his report to the board, Superintendent Daniel Curry addressed the concern. “In the end, every IEP has to be honored,” he said. For more information, visit www.calvertnet.k12.md.us. sarahmiller@countytimes.net

Educators Talk About Challenges in Coming Years

By Sarah Miller Staff Writer The Calvert Education Association (CEA), in conjunction with the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff (CAESS) held their first ever legislative dinner on Jan. 12 at Adams Ribs in Prince Frederick. “I know if you’re here this evening, you care about education,” said CEA President Debbie Russ during her welcoming statements. The discussion covered three topics - investing in education, implementing the Common Core and protecting time to learn and time to teach. Sunderland Elementary School teacher and CEA board member Dona Ostenso spoke about the need for continued and increased funding for schools. “It’s a myth that you can do more with less,” Ostenso said. When talking about the Common Core, teachers in the room said they don’t dislike the curriculum, but they worry

about the number of things being implemented all at once, including the PARCC test, new learning standards and new teacher evaluations which are tied into student performance on standardized tests. “We cannot afford to take risks with a high stakes evaluation,” said Sunderland Elementary fourth grade teacher Linda Hampshire, adding that teachers are afraid to be innovative or can’t take time to go more in depth on specific topics because it may negatively affect standardized test scores. Some teachers in the group worry that students are being tested too often and it’s negatively affecting them because they are stressed and comparing themselves to their peers constantly. “We’re testing the kids all the time,” said CEA member Carol Howard. The ever-increasing number of duties and responsibilities, for both the students and teachers, feed into the need to protect time for students to learn and teachers to prepare. Right now, teachers and students use their lunch periods and personal time before and after school to go

over areas students are struggling in, said Huntingtown High School teacher Beth Megonigal. The money needs to be available to hire support staff and get the needed technology into schools. “The idea that we can do it all is absolutely impossible,” Megonigal said. A number of local and state representatives came out to the legislative dinner, including Maryland State Board of Education member Guffrie Smith, all five members of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners, Delegates Tony O’Donnell and Mark Fisher, Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller and representatives from the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners. sarahmiller@countytimes.net

American Legion Seeks Oratorical Competition Participants By Sarah Miller Staff Writer The American Legion Post 274 is welcoming all high school students to participate in the annual oratorical competition in Lusby. “This is one of the best programs that any of the veterans organizations deals with,” said longtime competition coordinator Ed Miller. At the beginning of the school year Ed and his wife, Carol Miller, went to each high school in Calvert to get the word out. In the past, the competition has included students from public and private schools, in addition to home-schooled students, Carol said. The competition will have two sections - a prewritten speech, lasting between eight and 10 minutes, and an impromptu speech, lasting three to five minutes.

The prewritten speech must be memorized, Ed said. The competition gives students poise and confidence to speak in front of crowds, Carol said. It also gives them a chance to win cash prizes and scholarships. Students will not be allowed to use notes or any sort of props during their presentations. Students will be told what the possible topics will be for the impromptu speeches, but not which topic they will be given. They will be given five minutes to prepare during the competition before giving their impromptu speeches, Ed said. The competition is scheduled for Jan. 24, with a snow date scheduled on Jan. 31. For more information, email Carol at carolmiller9188@ gmail.com. sarahmiller@countytimes.net

Photos by Sarah Miller

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2015-01-15 Calvert County Times  

The Calvert County Times newspaper. Serving Calvert County in Maryland. Published by Southern Maryland Publishing. Online presence is provid...

2015-01-15 Calvert County Times  

The Calvert County Times newspaper. Serving Calvert County in Maryland. Published by Southern Maryland Publishing. Online presence is provid...

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