SECAC-PG 2013-2014 Extraordinary Service Award Recipients

  • Extraordinary Service Awards – Educators

    • Gertrude Ledwell, CRI Vocational Specialist – Northwestern High School

      Known as “Randy” by her students, Ms. Gertrude Ledwell has helped her students participate in the Ready By 21 program since its inception with great success. Her students are always prepared for the assignments required for active participation in the program. Her students also practice interviewing skills and public speaking, which make them leaders among their peers. The words that best describe Randy are “innovative and persistent.”

    • Lisa Belcastro, Teacher – Adaptive Physical Education Program – High Point High School & Buck Lodge Middle School

      In her role as PE teacher, Ms. Lisa Belcastro is highly valued by students, staff and administration alike. She has established a successful adaptive PE program to meet the unique needs of all her students. Ms. Belcastro brings a level energy and enthusiasm that has motivated the entire school community.

    • Megan Burnham, Special Education Resource Teacher – Beltsville Academy

      Ms. Burnham demonstrates many strengths by analyzing, interpreting, and implementing strategies to assure success for all students and team members. She encourages, models, and promotes positive interpersonal relationships in her school community. She understands the importance of follow-through and commitment to children. As described by her nominator, “When I think of Ms. Burnham, I am reminded of a quote from Jim Collin’s Great by Choice: ‘Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.'”

    • Adebisi Babayemi, CRI Special Educator – High Bridge Elementary School

      Mrs. Adebisi Babayemi believes strongly that each child has great potential, regardless of his or her disability. As noted by her nominators, she teaches with the attitude that “the sky is not the limit”. Ms. Babayemi has headed up the Garden Club at High Bridge for the past two years. The rewards of this effort have supplied teachers with beautiful flowers weekly. Additionally, she shares new ideas and motivational quotes for encouragement with staff. Ms. Babayemi is truly a passionate teacher who helps students achieve with academic and functional skills.

    • Stella McLean, Dedicated Aide – Bowie High School

      After retiring from her job as an English teacher, Ms. Stella McLean decided to work as a Dedicated Aide. She approaches her position as a Dedicated Aide with determination and rigor. As noted by her nominator, there have been up and downs, misunderstandings and confusion on the path to success, but Ms. McLean has always gone above and beyond the call of duty. As Ms. McLean’s student prepares for graduation on June 2nd (the biggest team accomplishment), her nominator sums it up best with these words: “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.”

  • Runner Up Educator Recipients For 2014

    • Lynn Ciocon, Special Education Teacher – High Bridge Elementary School

      Ms. Lynne Ciocon is a dedicated, patient teacher who instills the love of learning in her students. She is truly providing an extraordinary gift by volunteering her personal time as an afterschool tutor, teaching students in reading and math. Through her persistence, she is helping her students learn the “joy of reading.”

    • Lystra Richardson, Dedicated Aide – High Point High School

      Ms. Lystra Richardson has an extraordinary work attitude. She provides immeasurable support to her student and family. When needed, she even provides support to other students. Ms. Richardson is caring, admired by her school community and has high expectations for all students that she supports.

    • Doreen Griffin, Occupational Therapist – Rosaryville Elementary School

      Ms. Doreen Griffin is truly a team member, and cares deeply about students we want to recognize her extraordinary service to students. Ms. Griffin takes the extra time to ask about students she previously serviced, and offers suggestions and strategies to help with IEP goals. She is truly an extraordinary team member, and champion for all students with therapeutic needs.

    • Belinda Wiltz, Special Education Teacher – Parkdale High School

      Ms. Belinda Wiltz’s work ethic is driven by a belief that a disability does not define a student. Ms. Wiltz believes in highlighting the strengths, talents, and passions of each student. She believes any hurdle can be surmounted, by jumping over it, or going around, under, or through it. Ms. Wiltz exemplifies the student-centered approach.

  • Honorable Mention Recipients For 2014

    • Maria King, Paraprofessional Educator – Springhill Lake Elementary School

      Maria King is a compassionate and caring teacher who excels in managing challenging behaviors. She is warm and friendly, yet firm. Her approach enables all her students to access their education resulting in academic success.

    • Jonathan Scott, Dedicated Assistant – High Bridge Elementary School and Andrew Jackson Middle School

      We want to recognize Mr. Jonathan Scott for his extraordinary service to students in his class. Mr. Scott has persevered through many challenging situations this year, with a great attitude. He is always learning new strategies, and his persistence has produced positive results. His persistent willingness to learn and support all students in the classroom is an invaluable asset to his school community. Mr. Scott approaches new assignments willingly with great determination, and provides one-on-one assistance to his student with diverse needs.

    • Patricia Kelly, Resource Teacher – Port Towns Elementary School

      Ms. Patricia Kelly retired last year, but her colleagues wanted to recognize her contributions. Ms. Kelly was hardworking, helpful, and collaborative in her job. She worked tirelessly and patiently with her students to obtain academic progress. She provided many ideas and strategies to assist many students on different instructional levels. Ms. Kelly was a great team player focused on academic growth for all students.

    • Karen Jenkins, Special Education Teacher – High Bridge Elementary School

      Ms. Karen Jenkins is a gentle, hardworking, respectful team member. She arrives promptly at school when the building opens, starting her day off playing the guitar for her students, which the students and school staff enjoy immensely. She engages her class in many enriching class projects, including a new garden club, that are shared with the school community.

Extraordinary Effort Award Winners

2014 Extraordinary Effort Award Winners from the Department of Transportation!

  • Lori Carter-Evans, Director, Department of Transportation

    Ms. Lori Carter-Evans is the Director of Transportation for Prince George’s County Public Schools. She has been with our school system for only one year, yet she has made a significant impact on the transportation of students with disabilities. Ms. Carter-Evans participates in monthly transportation meetings with the Department of Special Education. She has accepted two invitations to meet with SECAC members, and invited SECAC members to present at a transportation training session. Additionally, she responds to all emails, phone calls and requests with promptness and displays a “we will solve this together” attitude.

  • Tammi Morris, Scheduler, Department of Transportation

    Ms. Tammi Morris has worked for Prince George’s County School Department of Transportation for several years and under several directors. Her expertise and heart has always been with children with special needs. She works behind the scenes to ensure buses are routed on time and with the shortest traveling time. Ms. Morris is always willing to work out difficulties, and solve problems. She begins her day prior to sunrise and is ready and willing to work with all to ensure safe travel for our students.

  • Randolph King, Bus Attendant

    Mr. Randolph King assists with transporting students to a non-public school in Montgomery County. He approaches his day with a smile on his face and always has something positive to say. Mr. King dealt graciously with a very challenging situation on his bus for two years. With a calm demeanor, persistence and determination, he continued helping other students, while strategizing for a positive outcome for all students on his bus. All students are in wonderful hands when they board his bus.

  • Howard Wellington, Bus Driver

    Mr. Wellington transports students to a pre-K program in the county. He is a resourceful driver who is willing to help parents facing challenges. Mr. Wellington is focused on the safety of all students, and is willing to make any changes towards that objective. He has a friendly, warm smile, great attitude and goes the extra mile for all students and their families.

  • Tena Johnson, Bus Driver (not pictured)

    Ms. Tena Johnson is a bus driver for Prince George’s County Public Schools who safely transports students to school every day. Ms. Johnson is caring, nurturing and flexible with students. She understands how to relate to children with disabilities. As noted by her nominator, Ms. Johnson is one of the unsung heroes who play a critical role in making sure our children receive the quality education they need.

  • Susan Atchison, Bus Driver (not pictured)

    Ms. Susan Atchison transports students to a non-public school in Washington, DC, with safety as the most important priority. She displays passion and energy in insuring the well being of all students riding her bus. She is accommodating in waiting for parents to get their child onto the bus. Ms. Atchison is a dedicated, committed bus driver who goes the extra mile in all her duties. Ms. Elizabeth Fowler is a bus attendant for Prince George’s County Public Schools. She invests her energies in making the ride to school comfortable and enjoyable for all students on her bus.

  • Elizabeth Fowler, Bus Driver (not pictured)

    Ms. Fowler is great at communicating with parents, provides comfort to students and goes beyond the call of duty for children. She has provided a blanket for a student to keep her warm and provides the use of an I-Pod for entertainment on the long trip to school. Ms. Fowler displays a great attitude towards her duties and is an extended support system for her students and families.