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Five Students Win Amazon Future Engineer Scholarships, and Other Good News

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Five MCPS graduating seniors have received 2024 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarships worth up to $40,000 over four years to pursue a degree in computer science or engineering. The students will also receive a paid internship after their freshman year to gain practical work experience with mentorship from Amazon leaders.

The students are:

  • Gabriel Diaz, Wheaton High School
  • Melat Ghebreselassie, Springbrook High School
  • Franco Molinari, James Hubert Blake High School
  • Khadija Ndiaye, Northwood High School
  • Kamsy Umeaku, Paint Branch High School

The students were among 18 Maryland students and 400 in the Washington, D.C. region chosen based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, and financial need.

Ten Edison Students Win Gold at State SkillsUSA Competition

About 120 Thomas Edison High School of Technology students participated in the SkillsUSA state competition in Carroll County. Among the accomplishments:

  • Edison was recognized as a Chapter of Excellence and received a Bronze Medal for Chapter of Distinction.
  • Genevieve Swisher, automotive collision and repair teacher at Edison, was recognized as Region 5 Advisor of the Year. 
  • Edison students won Gold in eight events, Silver in 10 events and Bronze in 14 events. In total, Edison students won 39 medals.

Gold medal winners will advance to the national competition in Atlanta in June. The students, their high schools and their winning categories were:

  • Emily Lobo, Wheaton, Job Skill Demo A
  • Leonardo Fernandes, Albert Einstein, Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Joanna Quijada, Wheaton, Architectural Drafting
  • Christian Ricks, James Hubert Blake, Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Mathias Ocana, Walt Whitman, Carpentry
  • Isis Gaia Valiphanh, Northwood, Nail Care
  • Bhavi Vaghani, Blen Worede and Sarah Tadesse, Wheaton, Career Pathways Showcase–Healthcare
  • Devin Cammack, Richard Montgomery, T-Shirt Design

MCPS Students Publish Children’s Book to Spread Awareness About Autism 

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Sisters Neeyo Ouelega, a sixth grader at Argyle Middle School, and Seti Ouelega, a junior at Watkins Mill High School and freshman at Montgomery College, have co-authored a children’s book, “Marvelous Meghan: Our Big Sister” about their older sister who was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. The girls, along with their family, also spend time sharing their experiences and Meghan’s story with fellow classmates and staff at Argyle to help raise awareness during Autism Awareness Month. 

“We feel like autism is still a topic that people don’t really know much about,” said Seti Ouelega. “We felt the most effective way to spread awareness about it is to start with the kids because they are the next generation.” 

The girls wrote the book in 2020 and self-published it in 2022. The book drives the message that even though people on the autism spectrum may exhibit things and express feelings differently, they also just want to be loved and have fun. 

MCPS Hosts Second Annual Next Generation Leadership Day

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Nearly 500 fourth and fifth graders participated in the second annual Next Generation Leadership Day earlier this month at Wheaton High School. The leadership conference included a day of workshops created by and led by trained secondary student leaders.

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The workshops built the confidence, empathy and leadership capacity of the student leaders; exposed them to multiple areas of leadership and advocacy; helped them practice public speaking, team building and goal setting, and provided student leaders time to network with each other.

The event was hosted by the Student Leadership and Extracurricular Activities Unit and supported by the Montgomery County Educational Foundation.

MCPS Middle Schools Engage in March MATHness Competition

March Madness took on a new dimension this year as 16 middle schools engaged in their own version of the tournament: March MATHness. The initiative, designed to leverage the IXL platform for interactive learning, saw students compete in a friendly contest aimed at enhancing their math skills.

All MCPS middle schools have access to the IXL platform, a resource that facilitates asynchronous learning and independent practice aligned with classroom teachings. This year, math teachers from 16 schools participated in the March MATHness event by harnessing the power of technology to foster math proficiency among students.

The top five winners were: Redland, John T. Baker, Kingsview, William H. Farquhar and A. Mario Loiederman middle schools. Other participants included: Argyle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gaithersburg, John Poole, Julius West, Lakelands Park, North Bethesda, Rocky Hill, Rosa Parks, Takoma Park and Tilden

MCPS Honored for Commitment to Music Education

For the second straight year, MCPS has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the designation, MCPS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.

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