Spotlights
Congratulations to our STAR Award winners for the month of November!
11/19/2015

Spotlight

The STAR Awards program recognizes support employees who go above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities.

Nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Made significant contributions improving job efficiency, quality of services, safety or conserving resources
  • Performed a humanitarian or heroic act
  • Responded proactively by anticipating needs and solving problems without specific direction

Hawthorne Elementary: Jennifer Brocato, Administrative Secretary

Ms. Brocato’s contributions to the Hawthorne team are immeasurable. She works closely with the office staff to develop and implement structures and procedures that ensure the daily work is completed quickly and efficiently. Parents and community members are always welcomed with a smile and a kind word.  In addition to managing the Hawthorne office and setting a welcoming tone, Ms. Brocato goes above and beyond for the students at Hawthorne. For the past several years, Ms. Brocato has served as a mentor for specific students in need. In this capacity, she has met with one or more students consistently each morning and afternoon. She helps her mentees to focus on their learning and gives them a shoulder to lean on. Ms. Brocato is always available to assist one of her mentees throughout the school day, and goes out of her way to make connections with their parents and siblings. Ms. Brocato also frequently takes on the role of mentee for the siblings and extended family members of her mentee. Ms. Brocato’s genuine care and concern for the students and families of Hawthorne is commendable!

Kenwood High School: Max Metheny, Building Operations

Mr. Metheny has been dedicated and loyal to Kenwood High School and the entire Kenwood community for 32 years.  He has persevered through numerous back surgeries and works hard for the students and staff of Kenwood High School.  Mr. Metheny is knowledgeable of the campus and the building. He quickly resolves problems and has a “get it done” attitude no matter the task. 

Mr. Metheny has served as a great advocate for students with special needs. He was instrumental in ensuring that two needed wheelchair lifts were properly installed and those utilizing the lifts were properly trained. He helped ensure that students, staff, and the community were provided the necessary access and accommodations in our school building. With an aging building, Mr. Metheny is always working above and beyond to make sure Kenwood is operating in a manner that best facilitates learning. Mr. Methany is deserving of this award based on his dedication, advocacy, tenancy, and willingness to serve Kenwood students and the Kenwood community.

Loch Raven High School: Linda Oliver, Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Oliver is the heart and soul of Loch Raven High School.  She ensures that each person who enters the building is given the same level of respect. From the Superintendent to the visiting bus driver, Mrs. Oliver is welcoming and compassionate. Mrs. Oliver knows that each person who comes into her life is special and has challenges. She is dedicated to finding the strength of each person, and  to sending the message of care and compassion. The students are always of primary importance to Mrs. Oliver, and she knows no limits in finding the support that each student might need. This year a mother called at the last minute to ask if her child would be graduating. The principal was out of the building so Mrs. Oliver took charge of the situation. In investigating this request, Mrs. Oliver discovered that there was a lack of communication among teachers, counselors, and administrators.  It was only due to Mrs. Oliver's last-minute intervention that this very special young man, who was homeless, was able to walk across the stage and receive his diploma, and this story is not an isolated one.  From the principal, to the staff, and most importantly, to every student, Mrs. Oliver is the center of strength and inspiration.

Pikesville High School: Paul Levin, Para Educator

Mr. Levin is extremely knowledgeable and conscientious when it comes to supporting the science department at Pikesville HS. He ensures that all science teachers and students are safe in their laboratory work because he stores and distributes chemicals and other sensitive equipment according to county and industry guidelines. His expertise in chemical safety, the BCPS Chemical Hygiene Plan, and high school science curriculum is extraordinary. Mr. Levin understands the big picture regarding what science content students are implored to master through their lab work and can simultaneously address the details required to prepare each lab.

Mr. Levin went totally above and beyond his job description when Pikesville HS began construction last year and the entire science department had to be moved into learning cottages. Without waiting for specific directions from his administrative team, Mr. Levin anticipated the needs of moving these chemicals and equipment and began acting. He employed the services of the Office of Science and even purchased moving materials himself to complete the herculean task of moving a large amount of science chemicals and equipment in an extremely short period of time. He assisted teachers in packing their classrooms, all the while prepping and cleaning labs for all science teachers. He then unpacked all the chemicals and equipment in the learning cottages to re-establish a working lab prep area and then had to repeat the entire process again when construction of the science wing was complete and the teachers moved back into the main building. Students (and teachers) never experienced a gap in quality science instruction, including the implementation of lab work, largely thanks to Mr. Levin.

Stemmers Run Middle School: Ruth Malick, Substitute Teacher

Mrs. Malick is the fabric that holds Stemmers Run together by coming to the rescue whenever, wherever, and however she is needed. She has been substituting for a number of years, and teachers vie to have her in their classrooms when they know they will be out. Not only does she diligently follow teachers’ instructions, but she plans lessons herself at times, and attends many optional professional development opportunities (including a book study) to continue learning to provide the best educational experience for our children, frequently giving of her time after school hours and even during the summer. Mrs. Malick has consistently gone above and beyond her call of duty. She is not just a substitute; she will lend a hand wherever needed. It is to the point that our students consider her another teacher in the building. She makes phone calls, attends meetings, and participates in teacher duties such as cafeteria monitoring and activity monitoring. She is the most requested substitute in the building because of her relationship with the kids and their families and because of what an integral part of the SRMS community she is.

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