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Good News

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Gaithersburg High School hosted a Special Education Prom on May 17. More than 100 students from Watkins Mill, Albert Einstein and Wheaton joined Gaithersburg students in the school café for a catered event, complete with a DJ and dancing.

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The annual event also welcomed paraeducators and parents, along with a “Trojan Royalty” court.

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The prom was sponsored by the school’s Student Government Association and was supported by photography and cosmetology classes.

Wood Acres Teacher Up for America’s Favorite Award

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Catherine Ladd, a 16-year veteran of MCPS, is in the semi-finals for Reader’s Digest America’s Favorite Teacher award. Ladd is a first grade teacher at Wood Acres Elementary School. Voting ends at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday, May 23.

In 2021, she won a Shirley J. Lowrie “Thank You for Teaching” Award. Ladd has taught kindergarten through second grade, and has developed strategies to meet the needs of a variety of students, including gifted, learning disabled, autism spectrum and ESOL students. She is passionate about teaching students with disabilities alongside their peers and maintaining high expectations for the success of all students.

Richard Montgomery Student Wins First Place in Poetry Contest

Chelsea Zhu, a sophomore at Richard Montgomery High School, was awarded first prize in the 2024 Gaithersburg Book Festival poetry contest for high school students for her entry, “Voyage to the Exoplanet.”

Ayomi Mukerjee, a freshman at Thomas S. Wootton High School, received third prize for “My hair’s twists and tangles.” Ariana Miranda, a senior at Wheaton High School, won the fan favorite contest with her poem, “Color Coded.”

Girl Power Essay Contest Winners Announced

MCPS students Victoria Martine Nicholas, Umu-Hawa Barrie and Summer Zhong were the top winners in the Montgomery County Commission for Women’s (CFW) seventh annual “Girl Power Contest.” The annual contest is sponsored in celebration of Women’s History Month. 

Winners were selected in four categories: adult, high school, middle school and elementary school. All contest winners will be featured on the CFW’s website and social media platforms. They also will be recognized at a celebration on Thursday, June 13. 

The contestants were asked to address the question: “What business would you create in Montgomery County, and what impact would it have on the girls and women in our community?”

CFW commissioners and representatives from Montgomery County Public Libraries and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, served as judges. Entries could be submitted as short stories, drawings, songs or poems. The entries were evaluated on creativity and content. 

The 2024 winners and honorable mention recipients are: 

Elementary School

First place: Summer Zhong, Beverly Farms Elementary School

Honorable mention: Alexandra Eum, Bayard Rustin Elementary School

Middle School 

First place: Umu-Hawa Barrie, White Oak Middle School

Honorable mention: Charlotte Danzis, Westland Middle School

High School 

First place: Victoria Martine Nicholas, Clarksburg High School

Honorable mention: Rochelle Bremmer, Montgomery Blair High School

The contest was sponsored by the Montgomery County Commission for Women, Montgomery County Public Libraries and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County. 

MCPS In The News

Uncovering history: Montgomery Co. students help preserve site of Black cemetery

Watkins Mill High School Alumna and Her Former Teacher To Be Featured in Saturday’s Gaithersburg Book Festival

Blair High School Alum Goes Down to the Wire on Jeopardy!