Excel Beyond the Bell Program
This edition of mcpssuper features a behind-the-scenes look at the ‘Excel Beyond the Bell’ program. This after-school program is a partnership among Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council that provides high-quality, safe, and enriching after school opportunities for children in elementary and middle school. Currently in five MCPS schools, the program offers students many exciting activities, bus transportation home, and a free meal.
Meet the guests featured in this edition
Gabriel Albornoz, Director, Montgomery County Recreation Department
Gabriel Albornoz was appointed to serve as the director of the Montgomery County Recreation Department by County Executive Ike Leggett in January 2007. At age 30, he became the youngest cabinet-level appointment in the history of Montgomery County. As director of the department, he is responsible for overseeing 37 recreation facilities, including community recreation centers, administrative offices, aquatic centers, and senior centers; more than 3,000 employees; and managing the department’s budget. Excel Beyond the Bell exemplifies the commitment of Albornoz to provide high-quality, out-of-school partnerships and safety-net services that ensure that children, especially those most vulnerable, have ample youth development opportunities.
Robert Dodd, Principal, Argyle Magnet Middle School for Digital Design and Development
A veteran MCPS educator, Mr. Dodd has been with Montgomery County Public Schools for 19 years and has served as both an elementary and middle school principal. Mr. Dodd believes strongly that the Excel Beyond the Bell after-school program provides amazing opportunities for students to engage in activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while collaborating with other students in teams to solve real-world problems. Argyle students in the program are highly engaged and excited to stay after school. Mr. Dodd also reports that students who participate in Excel Beyond the Bell clubs and activities are more successful during the regular school day.
Students from Argyle Magnet Middle School
Sihame, Hirschel, and Mario are students at Argyle Magnet Middle School who take part in the Excel Beyond the Bell after-school program. Sihame is in 7th grade and studied acting in the Ready, Set, Improvise class. Hirschel is a 6th grader who has built remote control cars in the RC Cars group, and also learned about healthy foods and cooking in UMD Cooking. Mario is a 6th grader in the Future Space Explorer group, and also the Manga club. All three students have also the outdoor activity group, YMCA Horizon.