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Wicomico Schools, Board of Education Celebrate Outstanding Students & Staff at Jan. 5 Awards & Recognitions Night

Congratulations to the outstanding students, staff members and programs recognized at the Jan. 5, 2023 Awards & Recognitions Night of Wicomico County Public Schools and the Wicomico County Board of Education.


“Great things happen every day in Wicomico Schools, and we’re excited to highlight our amazing students and staff members tonight,” said Dr. Micah Stauffer, Superintendent of Schools, as he opened the ceremony in the Parkside High Auditorium.


Dr. Stauffer, Board Chairman Gene Malone, and Board members Dr. Bonnie Ennis and John Palmer joined the honorees for photos on stage. Photos from this Awards & Recognitions Night are posted in an album (Awards & Recognitions Night Jan. 5, 2023) on the school system’s Facebook page.



Best Color Guard, Maryland Marching Band Association State Championships


Just as athletic teams work throughout the season to prepare for success in the playoffs, city high school marching bands practice and perfect their field shows to be ready for the Maryland Marching Band Association State Championships. The championships were held at Towson University on November 6th, and all three city marching bands made their directors, supporters and schools proud. The Superintendent and Board of Education honored the Parkside High Marching Rams Color Guard, which received the Best Color Guard award for Open-Large Band Competition at the State Championships. Congratulations to the following people from the Parkside High Marching Rams for earning the Best Color Guard award:


Students: Allyson Ayala, Aishlinn Chatterton, Megan Chatterton, Lauren Doyle, Julia Gore, Rebecca Holland, Zoey Pagett, Diego Reyes-Meraz, Aiden Serres, Caitlyn Simpson


Adults: Mikaela Taylor, Color Guard Director; Ellie Cuppett, Color Guard Instructor; Emily Malone, Color Guard Instructor; Mike Ashmead, Show Designer; Spencer Koppenol, Director of Bands


Our school system has the honor of being one of the NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education, and the marching band program at our high schools and middle schools is an important part of that excellence in music education.  



SHAPE Maryland Simon A. McNeely Awards


This school year, Wicomico had five outstanding staff members who received a Simon A. McNeely Award from the Society of Health and Physical Educators of Maryland, or SHAPE Maryland. Recipients of this SHAPE award must demonstrate outstanding teaching and service in their content area, and show innovation. They must be actively engaged in advancing the content area through connections with colleagues and professional organizations, and actively involved in school and community affairs. We thank them for all they do for their students, families and schools.


Certificates of recognition for these award-winning teachers, who received their awards at the SHAPE Maryland Awards Ceremony on Nov. 12:


Mollie Ann Schoenfelder, Health Education teacher, Wicomico Middle last year, Parkside High this year

Colleen Baumann, Physical Education teacher, Northwestern Elementary

Shannon Whittington, Physical Education teacher, Wicomico High

Christopher Brice Bozman, Physical Education teacher, Wicomico High

Juli Bradford, Physical Education teacher, Delmar Elementary



Outstanding Independent Scholarship for the Book “Sixteen with a Passport: Egypt”


Certificate of recognition for Outstanding Independent Scholarship for Alexandria “Allie” Jimmerson, a Parkside High junior and author of the book Sixteen with a Passport: Egypt. The book chronicles Allie's trip to Egypt in July 2021 with her parents. She was able to write, edit, and publish the book one year later on the website, where it can be ordered in hardcover or paperback. It is also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Allie’s school, school system and Board couldn’t be more proud of what she has accomplished already, and can’t wait to see all she does next.


On her author profile page, Allie shares that: “I love to explore, learn, and be creative. I enjoy camping, sailing, flying, playing the string bass, engineering new things, and spending time at the beach. My goal is to go to the Air Force Academy, get an engineering degree, and fly jets when I am older. Eventually, I plan on starting my own airline to serve remote destinations around the world. I care deeply about the environment, and I am a member of an environmental group.”



Healthiest Maryland Businesses Exemplar Award


The Employee Wellness Committee received a certificate of recognition for earning the 2022 Healthiest Maryland Businesses Exemplar Award. Wicomico County Public Schools has a very active Employee Wellness Committee that works throughout the year to promote nutrition, fitness and wellness throughout the school system. This year the committee’s efforts again received top recognition through the Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work recognition program, earning the Exemplar Award for the second consecutive year.


The Exemplar Award recognizes organizations that have well-established worksite wellness practices that promote a culture of health at all levels. Exemplar businesses thoroughly evaluate their workplace wellness initiatives and use evaluation results to inform future planning and implementation. This Exemplar Award recognizes the WCPS Wellness at Work application and current CDC Health ScoreCard score, which compared favorably with other employers of our size nationally. Thanks to the efforts and vision of our Employee Wellness Committee, Wicomico County Public Schools is once again an award-winner in the area of wellness.



College Board National Recognition Programs


In August 2022, the College Board awarded 62,000 students from across the country with academic honors through the College Board National Recognition Programs for excelling in their classrooms and on College Board assessments. More than 180,000 students from all 50 states were eligible to apply for the College Board National Recognition Programs, which grant students academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications. Several Wicomico students received awards through the College Board National Recognition Programs:  


Ali’i Turner, Parkside High, National African American Recognition Award and National Indigenous Award


From James M. Bennett High, receiving the National African American Recognition Award: Andrew Illa, Jordan Price, Lauren Purnell



Next Gen Personal Finance Distinguished Educator


Certificate of recognition for Jennifer Pariseau of Parkside High for being part of the July 2022 inaugural class of Next Gen Personal Finance Distinguished Educator Award recipients. Ms. Pariseau is a math teacher who has taught in Wicomico Schools for 19 years, and she has a passion for financial literacy. She works with her FLEX class to teach students about the stock market and financial literacy, and this spring she will pilot a financial literacy Algebra course. We thank her for being such a committed educator in this important area.


As a teacher who goes above and beyond in her own education to ensure so she will have as much knowledge as possible to enhance learning opportunities for her students, Ms. Pariseau earned the Next Gen Personal Finance Distinguished Educator Award, given to outstanding teachers who have earned six or more NGPF certifications through voluntary coursework. Each in-depth course offered by the organization combines 10 hours of live virtual sessions focused on a core personal finance content area with 80%+ passage on a corresponding certification exam. These courses are free and 33 states including Maryland accept them for continuing education credit, but they are a serious commitment. Getting certified by Next Gen Personal Finance in six or more personal finance topics shows an outstanding and well-rounded dedication to being a personal finance educator.



38th Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition


Salisbury University’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department’s 38th Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition was held on November 16th, with teams from across the shore. The competition, sponsored by The Klein G. and Mary Lee Leister Foundation and Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, tests the math and problem-solving skills of students in team and individual events to encourage the study and practice of mathematics in high school and college. Certificates of achievement to the James M. Bennett High students who were 1st Place winners in the 38th Eastern Shore High School Mathematics Competition:


1st Place team, James M. Bennett High: John Koch, Gourav Korada, Henna Parmar, Michelle Slatcher coach


1st Place Individual: John Koch



Top 10 at 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference


The annual SkillsUSA Maryland State Championships showcase Maryland’s best and brightest Career and Technical Education students as they compete for medals, prizes, scholarships, and the chance to advance to the national competition for 1st Place finishers. Several Wicomico SkillsUSA students from Parkside High did just that in 2022: Isabella Nastasi and Gracie Bounds for Cosmetology-Esthetics; Jonathan Lombardo for CNC Turning Specialist; Grant Rowbottom for CNC Technician; and Andrew King for CNC Milling Specialist.


The national championships event in Atlanta was a massive undertaking with more than 6,500 students competing in more than 100 skill areas. Just being one of the competitors at this event is a major achievement. Two Parkside CTE students placed in the Top 10 nationwide and are among the best in the nation in their skill area:


Jonathan Lombardo, Parkside High, 5th Place, CNC Turning Specialist

Andrew King Jr., 2022 Parkside High graduate, 8th Place, CNC Milling Specialist



Calcott Award of Excellence from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore


The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore saw an unprecedented number of requests from area schools for grants through its 2022 Education Grants Program, and the Community Foundation responded by providing grants to support 45 school-based initiatives. Schools in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties received $147,373 in grant funding, with Wicomico schools receiving more than $56,000 for 21 different initiatives in Wicomico schools. We thank the Community Foundation for investing this grant money in the education and development of our students, to help young people grow to be future leaders of the community.


Just one of these projects was selected to receive a bonus grant as the recipient of the Calcott Award of Excellence. This award is named for the late Mary Gay Calcott, a professor of English at Salisbury University whose life embodied her ideals of teaching students to think, to express themselves with clarity and to care about the world they live in. This year’s Calcott Award of Excellence honoree was teacher John Wixted’s grant request for Mardela Middle and High School’s traveling children’s theater, which brings high school performers to local elementary schools to perform for and interact with young students.



National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students


The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.5 million students who take the test in a given year, only 34,000 are honored as Commended Students. Certificates of recognition to Wicomico County’s 2022 National Merit Scholarship Commended Students:


James M. Bennett High: John Koch, Henna Parmar


Parkside High: Daphne Min, Jeffrey Mueller



ORISE STEM Phenomena Lesson Plan Competition


The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) presents an opportunity just about every month for educators to enter innovative activity plans, songs, lesson plans and other educational materials in competition. They can win materials or money to use in their classroom. In October, teachers responded to the challenge of the STEM Phenomena Lesson Plan Competition: Create a math or science lesson plan that incorporates any STEM phenomena – such as the Fibonacci sequence or tessellations – for the opportunity to win a mini-grant.


Certificate of recognition for Nicole Hanson, a 5th Grade teacher at North Salisbury Elementary, for placing 2nd in this contest and earning a $1,000 mini-grant for her classroom. She also recently won another grant award from Hertrich Cash for Class to support her students in sharing their space knowledge through a Full Moon Festival.



AP Scholar Awards


The 2022 AP Scholars, as determined by the 2022 administration of the AP (Advanced Placement) tests, were recognized for their success on these challenging college-level, year-end exams that may earn them college credit. The Superintendent and Board of Education congratulate all of Wicomico’s AP Scholars, many of whom graduated in 2022. (Those listed for this recognition night are current Wicomico County students.)


AP Scholars with Distinction were recognized with a certificate of achievement for receiving an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken AND grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Current AP Scholars with Distinction:


James M. Bennett High: Levi Cavaleri, Gourav Korada, Henna Parmar, Lauren Purnell


Parkside High: Daphne Min



AP Scholars with Honor were recognized with a certificate of achievement for receiving an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, AND grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Current AP Scholars with Honor:


James M. Bennett High: John Koch, Sara Noojin


Mardela High: Charles Bradshaw, Shania Matthews


Parkside High: Jeffrey Mueller


Wicomico High: Mahrukh Rizwan, Aiden Snyder



These current Wicomico County students were presented with certificates of recognition as AP Scholars for receiving grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams:


James M. Bennett High: Emmanuel Arung Bate, Ezekiel Brush, Siddharth Ghosh, Kadan Knapp, Kara Lewis, Aarna Lulla, Laura Puente, Rebecca Swift, Maya Thompsen, Caroline Wright


Mardela High: Logan Bails, Shayla Staten


Parkside High: Mary Hsia, Jack Maier, Willow Nyland, John Schmuff


Wicomico High: Bethany Hester, Teajun Son


Wicomico is particularly proud to note that one 2022 graduate earned top AP Scholar honors. Rosy Gao of James M. Bennett High was not only an AP Scholar of Distinction, she was a National AP Scholar. This means she had an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken AND scores of 4 or higher on at least eight of these exams. Rosy more than met that mark, taking 13 exams and finishing with an average score of 4.69. This included the highest possible score of 5 on ten of the 13 of the exams she took. Congratulations Rosy!