Washington County students, staff and groups win awards

May 08, 2006

Two groups and two individuals representing Washington County Public Schools received awards April 28 at the annual Achievement Initiatives for Maryland's Minority Students Awards Ceremony. The event honors educators, community leaders and groups, and students for outstanding contributions in education.

Local award winners were:

  • Minority Achievement Task Force - The group is made up of educators and community members and was formed in the fall of 2005 to address concerns about achievement gaps.

  • Patricia Abernethy - Deputy superintendent for instruction since 2002, her career has been highlighted by her leadership and vision in working to increase academic success and equity for minority students and diverse student groups.

  • Daniel Henderson - An elementary teacher in Washington County for 10 years, he has worked in the fifth-grade magnet program at Emma K. Doub Elementary School for the last three years. He has been actively involved in system committees and activities to improve and highlight student achievement. He also has worked with the Minority Achievement Task Force.

  • South Hagerstown High School Diversity Achievement Council - Formed under the guidance of adviser Carl Brindley in 2005, the group includes 14 junior and senior students who have volunteered to mentor new freshmen and struggling upperclassmen at the school.

The Outstanding Secondary Career Technology Education Program Award was presented to Washington County Technical High School teacher Martin Nikirk April 25 at the annual Career and Technology Education Awards of Excellence in Baltimore.


Nikirk was honored for his advanced computer application program. His advanced computer applications class is in the second year of computer game design and animation pilot, as students learn the components of computer game design, including concept development, business planning, design, graphics, audio/video, marketing and publishing.

Erin Artz, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School, won second place in the Maryland History Day junior category competition held April 22.

Erin presented her paper, "Amelia Earhart: A Woman with Wings," to win second place and advanced to the National History Day competition to be held in June at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Also at the state competition, the Washington County Technical High School team of Kiana Denlinger, Anastacia Hanshaw, Thomas Wallech, Christopher Watkins and Tim Young reached the final round in the group documentary category with their film "To Live is to Die, to Die is to Live: John Brown the Freedom Fighter." The film was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities "We the People" award for American history and culture.

Gene Ebersole received the Washington County National History Day Teacher of the Year Award from last year's winner, Rossana Larrick.

Charlotte Baker, a staff development specialist in Washington County Public Schools Center for Peak Performance and Productivity, recently was honored by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services/Family Support Services.

Baker was given a certificate of appreciation for 17 years of family support services for her role as co-founder and educator coordinator of the Partners for Success Family Support Center.

The certificate acknowledged Baker's teamwork and leadership on behalf of families of children receiving support through the school system.

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