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Brookhaven’s Rob Grundy Named ESOL Principal of the Year

Brookhaven Principal Rob Grundy is surrounded by his staff as he's honored with the ESOL Principal of the Year Award.

Rob Grundy, principal at Brookhaven Elementary School, has been honored as the ESOL Principal of the Year for outstanding leadership and support of the ESOL program at his school. Grundy was given the award by the ESOL/Bilingual Advisory Committee (EBAC) in a surprise June 4 presentation at the school. The award recognizes principals who have been acknowledged by teachers as having a great impact on the academic success of ESOL students.

Four MCPS teachers have been honored for their innovative use of technology in the classroom. The four are: Nancy Ale and Michelle Lipson of Earle B. Wood Middle School, Brenda Green of Cabin John Middle School, and Jake Scott of Montgomery Blair High School. They are four of 102 educators who will present the ways they use technology to engage students at the Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Forum in Redmond, Wash. this summer. They will share and collaborate on best practices and discuss methods to incorporate 21st century learning into their instruction. Educators will compete for a chance to represent the U.S. at Microsoft’s global forum this fall in Athens, Greece. Read about their projects here.


During an end-of-the-year celebration, the Department of Family and Community Partnerships (DFCP) honored staff and community partners for their participation in the Parent Academy. DFCP recognized about 20 of its community partners, MCPS employees who presented workshops, child care providers and staff who presented and facilitated sessions. During the 2011–2012 school year, more than 2,000 people attended 101 Parent Academy workshops.


Anthony Epps, physical education teacher at Forest Knolls Elementary School, was recognized by the MCPS Vision Program at the annual recognition event held by the Vision and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HOH) programs. He was given a Collaboration Award in appreciation for leading the annual fishing recreation program with MCPS blind and visually impaired students. In addition, Wilma Holmes, principal at Flower Valley Elementary School, received a special joint Vision and D/HOH Collaboration Award.

Others who were honored during the event are as follows:

For Vision:

  • Lisa Sprehn, ESOL resource teacher at Seneca Valley High School, for Collaboration Award
  • Bobby Holland, Student Award (he is graduating from Einstein High School)
  • Nikki Woodward, teacher of the visually impaired, Staff Award

For Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program:

  • The 4th grade team at Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School for D/HOH Collaboration Award
  • Gideon Samara, D/HOH Graduating Senior Award (graduating from Rockville High School)
  • Kathy Puckett, D/HOH Teacher at Rockville High School, The Dr. Edna K. Monsees Award for staff
  • The Somay Family, Dr. Sue Schwartz Family Award (their son Ziya is graduating from Rockville High School)

Kimberly Moore, a teacher at Gaithersburg High School, has been awarded a James Madison Fellowship from the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Washington, D.C. The fellowship will fund up to $24,000 of Moore’s course of study toward a master’s degree.

Marc Waldman, an eighth grade English teacher at Kingsview Middle School, recently had his first novel published. The book, Mighty Mac, is a fiction book for 5th to 10th graders. Several of Waldman’s students offered input and advice on the story. It is available on Barnes & Noble’s website and on

Five Spirit Award winners have been announced from the Walk this Way fitness competition, which challenged MCPS employees to walk 10,000 steps a day. The winners are:

  • Marci Grimes, first grade teacher at Fox Chapel Elementary School. Grimes was an inspiration, and her team enjoyed discussing workout routines at lunch. She worked closely with team members to brainstorm different fitness activities that would best meet goals, and reviewed the fitness log with those who needed assistance.
  • Hanan Sinnokrot, prekindergarten paraeducator at Maryvale Elementary School. Sinnokrot loves to cook and often brought in healthy meals she prepared at home. She arrived at work early to walk the inside of the building for at least 45 minutes. Many staff members have joined in, sparking the creation of a Tuesday walking club after school. The challenge helped her lose, control her cholesterol and blood sugar, and increased her energy. “Deciding to do this program is the best thing I have done for myself,” she said.
  • Alan Fishman, P.E. teacher at Strathmore Elementary School. Fishman sent out emails with different activities to participate in to increase step count. Alan realized that his weight, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels were creeping up and barely in the acceptable range. He lost 10 pounds by increasing his activity and cutting out soda and fried foods in favor of fruit, vegetables and healthy fats, such as nuts.
  • Flor Herrera, special education bus attendant from the West Farm Transportation Depot. She advocates doing any activity, even if you only have 10 minutes. She has lost 30 pounds in the past two years, and she is a constant supporter of the wellness program in the DOT. She helps set up for fitness classes and promoted the spring DOT hike. Flor says “coming to work every day now has a new meaning because of the many activities that promote wellness as a whole. … I feel great!”
  • Sandra Rodriguez, administrative secretary for the Language Assistance Services Unit. She has brought a number of wellness activities to the Rocking Horse Road Center, including dodge ball, Zumba and yoga. She has facilitated activities for all fitness levels and has created a calendar to let staff know when they are happening. She leaves healthy treats on teammates’ desks and encourages staff to join in on a daily lunchtime walk.

And finally, The Bulletin wants to share an unusual but poignant story of helping others. Felicia Jackson is the parent of a fifth grader at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. On May 30, Jackson was feeling ill and having difficulty breathing when she arrived to pick up her daughter from school. She parked in front of the school and called 911. She called her mother, asking her to come pick up her daughter, and then phoned the school, telling them that her mother would be coming to get her daughter. Staff members rushed out, comforting her and staying with her until paramedics arrived. Jackson said she wasn’t sure how many staff members were there, but there were several, including the school nurse. She recognized the voices of assistant principal Stacey Brown and administrative secretary Tracy Paris. “I wanted them to know that I appreciated everything they did for me,” said Jackson, who suffered a heart attack that day. She is recovering and feeling better every day.




Last Updated: 6/12/2012