MCPS Bus Operator Wins Award for Her Volunteer Work
From left to right, Benjamin Banneker Middle School Principal Ruschelle Reuben; JoAnn Burl, Golden Apple winner; Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Board of Education Member Rebecca Smondrowski gather at the event honoring Burl.
MCPS bus operator JoAnn Burl has been honored with the Golden Apple Award for her volunteer efforts by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Burl is a member of the Benjamin Banneker Middle School PTA, and currently serves as its president. She is also secretary for the Montgomery County Council Parent Teacher Association Board of Directors. This month, she is launching a book club for middle school students in Montgomery County. This club will help students explore their history, learn life skills and develop a vision for their own lives.
In addition, Burl is the founder and president of a non-profit called Jeanette’s Joy Community Service, where she has volunteered in underserved communities and worked with ex-offenders to help them create better lives for themselves. She is a single mother and has three children.
The Golden Apple Award recognizes outstanding volunteers, organizations and individuals within the Maryland public school system. Winners are selected based on their demonstration of superior volunteer work in Maryland public schools. Nominated by her daughter, LaTasha Beasley, Burl was given the award on Jan. 10 during an event at Banneker Middle School. Among those who attended were Banneker Principal Ruschelle Reuben and Board of Education Member Rebecca Smondrowski.
Einstein graduate Carly Neely gives a bouquet of flowers to honoree Joan Rackey, who has directed the school’s band for 38 years.
Albert Einstein High School celebrated its 50th anniversary on Jan. 12 with an alumni jazz concert. Music director Joan Rackey, who has been with the school for 38 years, conducted the alumni band, which included Einstein graduates who are studying music or have worked as professional musicians. The alumni were joined by guest artists Paul Carr of the Jazz Academy of Music, MCPS instrumental music supervisor Rick Penix, Suitland High School band director Kurt Lucas, and Doug Elliot of the Airmen of Note. Einstein’s current Honors Jazz Band also performed, and the two bands played two pieces together. County Executive Isiah Leggett and a representative from the office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen presented citations for the school’s anniversary and for Joan Rackey’s 38 years of service. Other dignitaries in attendance included County Council Member Phil Andrews, Board of Education President Christopher Barclay, Member Shirley Brandman, and student member John Mannes, and CEO of the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council, Suzan Jenkins. The event was sponsored by PACE (the Performing Arts Coalition of Einstein).
Last Updated: 1/24/2013