SECAC-PG 2014-2015 Extraordinary Service Award Recipients

11th Annual 2015 Award Winners with the SECAC Board

  • Extraordinary Service Awards – Educators

    • Sheryl Browner, Resource Teacher – Bond Mill Elementary

      Ms. Sheryl Browner is a Resource Teacher at Bond Mill Elementary School. Her career has spanned three decades, with the last nine years dedicated to her current position. She is an extraordinary teacher in a school with an extraordinary culture. One of Ms. Browners’ main responsibilities is to provide accommodations for students with IEPs. She provides these services in a way that empowers students to be dynamic learners, thinkers, and problem solvers. Her work both compliments and enhances the culture at Bond Mill of collaboration and teamwork. Ms. Browner embodies every aspect of what this award stands for and is deserving of recognition for her extraordinary service.

    • Delissa Job, CSEP Teacher – James Harrison Elementary

      Ms. Delissa Job is a Comprehensive Special Education Program Teacher at James Harrison Elementary School. Although she is not new to teaching, she is new to PGCPS. Ms. Job displays passion in teaching and formulates lessons with students in mind. Her lessons are differentiated and tailored to push students to the next level. Ms. Job is highly effective in working with students and families; she advocates for her students, and willingly assists colleagues where needed. She also has a strong personal commitment to education—she received her Master’s Degree in Special Education in January 2015 and just completed her student teaching. We congratulate and applaud her on her recent graduation and extraordinary service.

    • Anthony Wright, Nonpublic Instructional Specialist – Special Education Nonpublic Office

      Mr. Anthony Wright is a Special Education Instructional Specialist for nonpublic students. He has a deep passion for students with special needs, and a strong belief in high expectations and endless possibilities for all students. Mr. Wright is an effective, dynamic, and respectful instructional specialist, who seeks ways to push beyond traditional boundaries. He exhibits great leadership style, effective mediation skills, and possesses a wealth of knowledge of policies and procedures. He is greatly valued by parents, colleagues and the Special Education Department for his positive attitude towards creating an enriching educational experience for every student.

    • Dr. Eric Vaughan, CRI Coordinator – Fairmont Heights High School

      Eric Vaughan, Ed.D. is a Special Educator in a Community Referenced Instruction program and an ESY Coordinator for Fairmont Heights High School. He has served PGCPS for the past 19 years. His extraordinary leadership, effective collaboration and dedication to all students are truly remarkable. Dr. Vaughan tirelessly provides educational support, while simultaneously providing community support and services for students and families with a need. Dr. Vaughan is valued greatly by students, parents and colleagues, and is considered a true hero in our community.

    • Nicole Powell, Resource Teacher – Eleanor Roosevelt High School

      Ms. Nicole Powell is a Resource Teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. One of her many duties is helping students transition to high school, and making sure they receive the appropriate accommodations to be successful students. She is a great listener, takes a student-centered approach towards challenges, and is a great collaborator with staff and families. Ms. Powell recently organized the First Annual Career Readiness Workshop for PGCPS students with disabilities or who are English Language Learners. This workshop worked with students to help them think about career options, showed them how to prepare resumes, and provided coaching opportunities to help them think about how to interview with prospective employers. Her willingness to assist transitioning students with resources such as educational workshops, or in smaller ways such as helping students navigate the lunch room on a challenging school day is unprecedented and greatly valued.

  • Runner Up Educator Recipients For 2015

    • Susan Brooks, Secretary – Special Education Central Office

      Ms. Susan Brooks has worked for PGCPS since 1987, and we applaud her for many years of service. She is currently a secretary extraordinaire for the Special Education Department and has provided 17 years of dedicated service in this position. Ms. Brooks’ core responsibilities include keeping track of grant programs, including SECAC’s financial records, budgeted items, and other required paperwork. She worked for 10 of these years in the Central IEP Office arranging IEP meetings and helping parents understand IEP policies and procedures. Ms. Brooks was temporarily assigned to Kenmore Middle School where she assisted many students and parents with a broad range of inquiries, and was particularly valued by both the Autism and Emotionally Impaired program teams. In their nomination, the Department of Special Education stated that Ms. Brooks represents the epitome of extraordinary service, and they felt lucky that she was able to return to their office after one year. On behalf of PGCPS, the Department of Special Education and SECAC Executive Board, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for many years of service and dedication.

    • Anne-Marie Casanova, Speech Therapist – High Bridge Elementary School

      Ms. Anne-Marie Casanova is a Speech Language Pathologist who works with students in the High Bridge Elementary School’s Community Referenced Instruction program. She is a caring, thoughtful, hardworking and devoted therapist who collaborates well with staff. Ms. Casanova provides flexible strategies, extra support, and resources to the classroom when needed. She has a student-centered approach to her work, and is dedicated to making learning fun as she guides her students. Ms. Casanova gives her students praise and incentives, but most importantly, her time. She is committed to effectively serving our special needs students.

    • Veronica Jefferson, Paraprofessional – Fairmont Heights High School

      Ms. Veronica Jefferson is a Paraeducator at Fairmont Heights High School, and works side by side with Dr. Vaughan in the Community Referenced Instruction program. Collaboration and teamwork is truly at the heart of this dynamic working partnership. Ms. Jefferson is exemplary at providing educational assistance, helps with inclusive opportunities, and identifies community support and resources for all students.

    • Anthony Montgomery, Dedicated Aide – Surrattsville High School

      Mr. Anthony Montgomery is a Dedicated Aide at Surrattsville High School. In his position, he wears many hats, which include teacher, coach, mentor, and cheerleader. Mr. Montgomery looks out for the best interest of students and is a positive “straight talker.” He assists with academic lessons, identifies quiet work environments when needed, and provides social and emotional support for students. Mr. Montgomery truly goes the extra mile and is an extraordinary support for students with disabilities.

    • Melissa Ford, Dedicated Aide – High Bridge Elementary School

      Ms. Melissa Ford is a Dedicated Aide at High Bridge Elementary School. She is a selfless, caring, pleasant, reliable, and generous helper to both students and staff. Ms. Ford graciously provides resources such as books for the classroom, snacks, and pizza parties for the students. She is so generous with her support, which has fostered an environment of giving; now students often bring gifts to school that they want to share with her. Although she has endured some difficulties with students struggling with challenging behaviors, she never gives up and looks beyond the daily challenges while setting her sights on the possibilities.

  • 2015 Extraordinary Effort Award Winners from the Department of Transportation

    • Sylvia Douglas, Bus Aide

      Ms. Sylvia Douglas is a Dedicated Bus Aide to a vibrant, energetic, and humorous student attending a nonpublic school in Baltimore. She greets him each day with enthusiasm, and an interest in his health and safety. In addition to monitoring his multiple medical conditions, she provides sound social and emotional support for him. She encourages positive interaction, tells him how smart he is, and encourages him to have a great day in school every day. Ms. Douglas is a great communicator, advocates for the student, and provides important feedback to staff and his parents concerning his needs and health related matters. When the student boards the bus each morning, his parents breathe a little easier knowing Ms. Douglas provides capable support and guidance on his journey to Baltimore and back each school day.

    • Mary Siddons, Bus Driver

      Mrs. Mary Siddons is a PGCPS Bus Driver who transports extraordinary students to a nonpublic school in Washington, DC. The safety and well being of students is her main goal. Ms. Siddons displays great interest in all students, communicates well with parents, and graciously allows extra time for pick-up and delivery when needed. The transportation service that Ms. Siddons provides allows parents to feel comfortable knowing their children are in caring and reliable hands. Ms. Siddons is valued for her dedication and extraordinary service to students.

    • Taunya Fitzpatrick, Transportation Attendant

      Ms. Taunya Fitzpatrick is a PGCPS Bus Attendant assisting students attending a nonpublic school in Washington, DC. She invests boundless energy providing service and guidance to her students. Ms. Fitzpatrick effectively communicates with parents, and informs them of adjustments in bus schedules. In the winter, she provides blankets for extra warmth to students who may be cold. When students have challenges with self-regulating due to the long ride, she provides an iPod to help entertain and relax them. Ms. Fitzpatrick displays passion and interest in students, and is truly an extraordinary bus attendant.

  • 2015 Extraordinary Effort Award Winner

    • Joan Rothgeb, Ed.S., Director, Department of Special Education

      Ms. Rothgeb has been a tremendous support to families of children receiving special education. Her creativity, proactive problem-solving, and ability to listen (even when the message is hard to hear) has served PGCPS families well during her time as a teacher and an administrator. The SECAC-PG Board is incredibly grateful for her collaborative spirit and can-do attitude.

Special Thanks to:

The Department of Special Education, Prince George’s County Public Schools

The Prince George’s County Board of Education

Best Catering Company – 202-430-5414 –