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Work with gifted students earns statewide award for two Washington County teachers

February 28, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

ANNAPOLIS - Springfield Middle School teachers Kevin Bartholomew and Elizabeth Hunt said they were "shocked and honored" when they learned they had been selected to receive a state award for their work with gifted children.

The pair coordinate the middle school's math, science and technology magnet program, now in its first year. Hunt said about 50 students are enrolled, and after receiving an award from the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted Education, they believe they are on the right track.

Bartholomew and Hunt were two of five Washington County Public Schools officials honored Wednesday at a reception in Annapolis attended by Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan received the state leadership award, and was praised for creating increased student, parent and community awareness of rigorous, advanced-level courses and programs. Officials said Morgan also moved forward in offering choices for gifted and talented learners through magnet programs at elementary schools, the International Baccalaureate Program at North Hagerstown High School and the Maryland Summer Gifted and Talented Center Programs at Fairview Outdoor Education Center.

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"I am so proud of the staff," Morgan said.

Hunt said that officials from other counties have visited Springfield Middle School to learn about the magnet program there. She and Bartholomew said students are more engaged and eager to learn when they are challenged in their magnet classes.

Boonsboro Elementary School principal Scott Woods was honored for his leadership and support of the school's magnet program for world languages and global communication. The program serves about 100 gifted and talented students in second through fifth grades. Officials said Woods has led his staff in developing the programs and facilitated the recruitment of highly qualified teachers to teach the magnet courses.

Eastern Elementary School enrichment specialist Ruth Sklencar also was honored for leading the school's enrichment program, which provides gifted and talented services in language arts and math to almost half of the student body.

Sklencar also served on several Maryland State Department of Education committees, leads professional development sessions for other teachers and serves as a mentor teacher for advanced programs at an academy for new teachers.

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