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Two Recognized as Top P.E., Health Ed Teachers in State, and More Good News

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MCPS teachers have won top honors from the Society of Health and Physical Educators Maryland (SHAPE MD). They were recognized for their work and contributions to health education, physical education (P.E.) and/or student wellness.

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Brian Baker of Takoma Park Middle School was named Middle School Physical Educator Teacher of the Year.

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Heather Giovenco of Sherwood High School was named Health Educator of the Year.

Three staff members also received the Simon A. McNeely Award, given to teachers who demonstrate outstanding innovation in teaching health education or P.E., along with active involvement in school and community affairs. They were: Heather N. Bruns, health teacher at William H. Farquhar Middle School; Jamie Unger, P.E. teacher at William Tyler Page Elementary School; and Stacy Azizirad, teacher of adapted P.E., Wheaton High School.

In addition, Daryl Howard, instructional specialist in the Equity Initiatives Unit, was named a Friend of SHAPE. This award is given to school administrators or community leaders who promote, support and advocate for health and physical education programs in school settings.

The Distinguished Advocate for Healthful Living Award was given to Laurie-Anne Sayles, Montgomery County Councilmember. This award honors legislators who promote, support and advocate for health and physical education.

Richard Montgomery Students Named to Honor Choir

Five Richard Montgomery High School students have been accepted to the American Choral Directors Association's (ACDA’s) 2024 Eastern Honor Choir. 

The students are:

Senior Choir

Shirley Han, Soprano 2
Cedar Dwyer, Tenor 1

Junior Choir

Ambha Chandran, Soprano
Nala Ashe-Moncet, Soprano
Kiran Madia, Alto

The ACDA choir consists of students from the Northeastern region of the U.S. ACDA is a professional development organization dedicated to improving choral music instruction. The students have been invited to ACDA’s conference next March in Providence, R.I., where they will have an opportunity to perform challenging musical selections under the direction of nationally renowned conductors. 

Argyle MS Featured in Principals’ Leadership Magazine

Argyle Middle School was featured in the November issue of Principal Leadership, a publication of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The article, titled “Rebuilding School Community and Culture: The move to restorative justice,” was written by school principal, James Allrich, who was named the 2023 Maryland Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.

Churchill Student Launches Sports Equipment Nonprofit

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Winston Churchill High School field hockey player Laura Jablonover founded Project Happy Feet, a nonprofit that offers people living in low-income communities equal access to athletic equipment. The organization started by collecting more than 80 pairs of shoes, which were recycled by a third-party charity. Project Happy Feet has received donations and is collecting shoe donations at Churchill and at Thomas S. Wootton High School. Read more and check out their website.

Seneca Valley Student Pens Children’s Book

Sanaa Chege, a sophomore at Seneca Valley High School, has written a book about her experiences on the diving team at school. She began diving just last fall and now dives year-round. After seeing a lack of diversity on her team, she decided to write a book to share her journey to encourage and inspire others. Her children’s book, “A Diver Like Me” will be published in February 2024. Learn more.

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