Joan Titus, a Chopticon High School business teacher, and Bernadette Lewis, of the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, were among 36 winners of the first annual Excellence for Minority Achievement Award from the Maryland State Department of Education. They were the honorees in St. Mary's County.
Awards were given in two categories -- to educators and to community groups -- to recognize efforts to enhance minority achievement. One award in each category will be given each year in each of the state's school districts, although not all districts receive awards, and in some districts only one category is recognized.
The winners in Charles County were Denise Barnes, a guidance counselor at Milton M. Somers Middle School, as well as the school system's Minority Achievement Advisory Committee, a group of parents, educators, clergy and business leaders who developed requirements for schools to increase minority achievement.
In Calvert County, the winners were Charles Dorsey, a special education teacher at the Calvert Career Center, and the Advocates for Student Scholastic Enrichment Team, which helps students prepare for college.
Scholarships for Seniors
Seven Southern Maryland students will receive the Robert C. Byrd scholarship award, an honors program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education that grants up to $1,500 a year to graduating high school seniors for their first four years of college. A total of 116 Maryland students received the award.
The winners in Charles County were Corae L. Briscoe, of Lackey High School; Jasmine Yoon, of Westlake High School; and Lucas Allen Overbey, of Maurice J. McDonough High School.
In Calvert County, the winners were Jennifer L. Clarke, of Calvert High School, and James Finley, of Northern High School.
Elizabeth Cauthen Yerkes, of Chopticon High School, and Chad Ackerson Rivera, of Leonardtown High School, were the St. Mary's County honorees.
Hospital's Top Employee
St. Mary's Hospital recently named Pamela Bowles, of Chaptico, its employee of the year.
Bowles, secretary for diagnostic services in the radiology department, has worked at the hospital since 1982. The award, known formally as the Peabody Award of Excellence after former hospital auxiliary member Elinor Peabody, recognizes the employee each year who exemplifies the hospital's "CARE" values: customer service, action, respect and excellence.
Readers Were Resolute
Green Holly School in St. Mary's County was recently named the regional winner of the Reading Across Maryland competition sponsored by Gov. Parris N. Glendening's office.
Green Holly, where each student read an average of 58 books during the competition, led the pack of 38 Southern Maryland schools in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.
Top readers from the elementary school were honored during a news conference with the governor at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Reading Across Maryland seeks to encourage students to read for fun and involve their families. Overall, students in 135 schools throughout the state participated in this year's event, reading 637,411 books.
9 Win Nursing Scholarships
Nine Charles County students have been awarded scholarships totaling $8,000 from the county's Nursing Scholarship Program.
The awards, ranging from $500 to $1,000 each, go to students in nursing, radiography, nuclear medicine or physical therapy. Recipients agree to work at least two years after graduation in Charles County.
The winners were Kimberly Jameson and Julie Peters, both of Hughesville; Shellee Stine and Noreen Zuiderhof, of La Plata; Mary Hannah, of Marbury; Robert Hayes, of Nanjemoy; and William Hannah, Jeffrey O'Neil and Kimberly Queen, all of Waldorf.
Garden Book Recognized
Deborah J. St. John, of Huntingtown, was recently honored by the National Council of State Garden Clubs Inc. for the publicity book she assembled as publicity chair of the Chesapeake Garden Club of Calvert County.
Her work received the second-highest score in the national judging. St. John was recently elected president of the Calvert club and has served as publicity chair since 1988.
St. Mary's Honors Nurses
The nursing department at St. Mary's Hospital recently honored eight nurses. Pamela Shaw, of the hospital's perinatal unit, was named the hospital's 1999 nurse of the year.
Shaw, who lives in Leonardtown, has been in nursing 25 years, the last three of them in the perinatal unit.
Other nurses recognized were Amy Abrams, A-unit; Barbara Allen, critical care unit; John Boyles, behavioral health; Barbara LaRue, nursing resources; Catherine Maidl, B-unit; and Renese Wagy, emergency services.
Charles in Competition
Charles County has received three 1999 Achievement Awards and a Best of Category award from the National Association of Counties.
The Best of Category award went to the Department of Social Services program Senior Services of Charles County Inc., which was judged best in the human services category.
The three achievement honorees were the Senior Services program, Section 8 seminars presented by the Social Services Department and the Planning Department's Historic Preservation program.
Charles PLANT Honorees
Six Charles County communities, schools, churches and organizations were honored recently for their participation in the state PLANT program, which encourages tree planting.
PLANT (People Loving and Nurturing Trees) is a joint effort of the state Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Community Forest Council. The awards recognize participation in community tree planting and maintenance, Arbor Day activities and educational activities that encourage the planting of native trees and shrubs.
The Charles County honorees are the Indian Head Naval Surface Weapons Center, Archbishop Neale School, the Town of Indian Head, the Town of La Plata, Dr. James Craik Elementary School and Barnhart Elementary School.
Animal Shelter Contest
Winners of the Tri-County Animal Shelter essay contest were announced recently by county commissioners in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.
Entrants, students in the third, fourth and fifth grades, were asked to describe how they would encourage citizens to call and visit the animal shelter as soon as possible to search for their lost pets. There were 270 entries.
Tom Bateman, 8, of Indian Head, won first place. He recommended that the message "Call the animal shelter if your pet is lost" be printed on pet food bags. His prize was a bicycle.
Other winners were Steven Wood, 9, of Prince Frederick, second prize of a $75 savings bond; Lauren Belskie, 9, of St. Leonard, third prize of a $50 savings bond.
Honorable mention and a $10 PetsMart gift certificate went to David Rodriguez, 8, of Lexington Park; Kathleen Stutts, 9, and Tiffany Trefry, 9, both of Calvert County; Cassidi Randall, 9, of Indian Head; and Lindsay Myerburg, 9, of Drayden.