Fifth-graders Carol Anne Drescher of Central Elementary School and Carol Ewald of Mayo Elementary School recently received $250 savings bonds from the Maryland State Department of Education for winning second place in the department's "Kids Can Make a Difference" essay contest. Students were asked to write about ways to improve their community or school.

Carol Anne's idea was to build a physical education course for developmentally disabled students who attend Central's special school. Carol's idea was to put up signs to improve the walking trails along Beverley Triton Beach. Their schools will receive $500 to help them implement their ideas.

Six Anne Arundel County schools also received awards from the State Department of Education for their roles in the department's Harvest for the Hungry "Kids Helping Kids" food drive. Crofton Middle School won first place and received $500 for collecting 34,661 pounds of food. South River High School also received $500 for collecting 27,061 pounds. Glen Burnie High School and Severna Park Middle School were given $300 each for collecting 8,000 and 4,980 pounds of food, respectively. Sunset and Davidsonville elementary schools received $200 each for collecting the most food per student. Students at Sunset Elementary collected an average of 12 pounds each, and students at Davidsonville Elementary collected about seven pounds each.

Ellen Kelly of Baltimore was recently selected by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to attend the group's summer "Freedom" seminar at New York University. Kelly, the head of St. Anne's Day School's middle school in Annapolis, was one of a few educators nationwide selected to participate in the seminar.

Del Arnold of Severna Park recently received the 2004 Willson Award from St. Anne's Day School. Arnold, a language arts teacher at St. Anne's Day School's middle school, will use the $5,000 award to attend an international colloquium, "The Way of Compassion -- an Interfaith Journey," at religious centers in China, Tibet and Thailand. Arnold also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and will spend five weeks in Boston participating in an NEH-funded program that examines the cultures and religions of the Himalayan region, led by Harvard University and the College of the Holy Cross.

Daniel Dister of Crofton received the John R. Weitzel Award from Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. Dister, a graduate student majoring in information management, was given the award during a May 8 ceremony at the school. The annual award, named for a former professor in the School of Information Studies, is presented to a graduate student for demonstrating excellence in information systems through course work, research or internships.

Thirteen Archbishop Spalding High School juniors will get a head start with their college applications as participants in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship College Plans Reporting Service. Students were selected based on PSAT scores and had to receive a score of 201 or higher to qualify. Selected students chose two colleges that they were most interested in attending. In turn, Spalding High sent letters of recommendation to the admissions offices of those colleges, alerting them to the students' test scores and recommending that someone from the admissions office contact the students. Selected for the program were:

Matthew Antonelli of Arnold

Evan Beard of Annapolis

Jonathan Besanko of Crofton

Carla DeCastro of Pasadena

Laura Del Collo of Odenton

Kevin Doran of Davidsonville

Peter Estridge of Clarksville

Amanda Eyler of Gambrills

James Love of Severna Park

Kevin Miernicki of Severna Park

Andrew Pappas of Annapolis

Sean Patro of Millersville and

John Scoville of Crofton.

-- Compiled by EILEEN RIVERS

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