Yakov Drumm

Karen Chongwa
Windsor Mill Middle School, Grade 8

Born in the Republic of Cameroon, Karen Chongwa and her family moved to the United States in 2004 and to Baltimore County in 2011. That year, she entered Windsor Mill Middle School, where she is an honor roll student and has taken gifted and talented classes since Grade 6.

Karen’s teachers and counselor describe her as motivated, introspective, compassionate and inquisitive. In addition to English, Karen speaks Kenyang, a language native to Cameroon, and she is mastering Chinese. Due to her consistently strong academic standing, Karen was selected to be a member of the Principal’s Academy Scholars. Her extra-curricular activities include the Primary Reserve Officers Training Corps (PROTC) and Black Saga. She was an eager volunteer at the Windsor Mill Middle STEM Night, and this spring, she plans to participate in the Windsor Mill Middle School tennis program.

For the 2014-2015 school year, Karen has been accepted at the following magnet programs: Law Related Careers at Eastern Technical High School and the Academy of Finance at Overlea High School.

Yakov Drumm

Fernando Colindres-Rivera
Dundalk High School, Grade 12

Luis Fernando Colindres-Rivera and his family came to the United States in May 2011 from Honduras. Speaking very little English when he arrived at Dundalk High School, Fernando was determined to learn the language quickly. He exited the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program in two years and has clearly mastered the nuances of the English language. Fernando is an honors student who carries an A/B average and will graduate this spring a year ahead of his class.

Described by his teachers as mature, driven and responsible, Fernando has a personal vision for his future that drives him to excel in the classroom, school activities, and the community. His friends says he is honest, trustworthy, and fiable (which is Spanish for “dependable”). In addition to his studies, Fernando has participated in wrestling and has maintained a part-time job at IHOP.

Fernando is always willing to lend a positive helping hand, whether in class or in the community. He understands the role of the citizen and acts as a role model for his peers and especially encourages students new to the United States to get involved. He has earned more than 230 service learning hours - more than three times the 75 hours required for a high school diploma in Maryland - and has represented Dundalk High School proudly at numerous community events.

After graduation, Fernando plans to attend CCBC and then a four-year college to study electrical engineering.

Yakov Drumm

Yakov Drumm
Pikesville Middle School, Grade 8

Yakov Drumm was born in Ottawa, Canada, and came to the United States with his family at the age of 3 ½. His parents are from France and lived in four countries prior to moving to the United States. Yakov speaks English and French, and he is quickly mastering the Spanish language as well. He excels in school, taking gifted and talented classes and regularly achieving honor roll status. His many interests include studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics and history. He also plays tenor saxophone and sings in the Grade 8 concert choir.

One of Yakov’s teachers commented that his questions are always deep and challenging, helping to elevate class conversations to higher levels. Outside of school, Yakov belongs to a leadership group at the Jewish Community Center where he develops his leadership skills through community engagement. Yakov loves mountain biking and playing basketball and football with his friends.

Next year, as he enters Pikesville High School, Yakov is looking forward to continuing the engineering program, Project Lead the Way, which he started in middle school, as well as joining the wind ensemble and jazz band. He is trying to convince his mother to let him join the football team next year, and his arguments are impressive. If he does not become an engineer, he seems well suited for law school!

Yakov Drumm

Aaliyah Powell
Halstead Academy of Art and Science, Grade 5

Aaliyah Powell is a dedicated, honor roll student who loves to read and works hard to problem solve in mathematics. She aspires to be a teacher because of her passion for learning and her desire to help others.

This hardworking young lady is a leader in her school and strengthens her leadership skills through Halstead Academy’s D.I.V.A. (Divinely Inspired to be Victorious in All Things) club. The club is composed of a group of girls who possess the qualities of leadership, motivation, and determination.

In her free time, Aaliyah enjoys reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books. She loves running and dancing to all types of music, but most of all, she loves shopping.

Aaliyah’s teacher describes her as compassionate, diligent, and an all-around great student. She is always eager to help others and is even a mentor for a Grade 1 student. She strives to do her best with everything she tries and is persistent in completing rigorous tasks that challenge her to think.

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Presentation of Colors

Pledge of Allegiance
Blue Ribbon Schools

National Anthem
High School Soloist Group

Greetings from the Board of Education
Lawrence E. Schmidt, Esq.President

Yakov Drumm, Pikesville Middle School

Karen Chongwa, Windsor Mill Middle School


Luis Fernando Colindres-Rivera, Dundalk High School

Aaliyah Powell, Halstead Academy

State of the Schools Address
S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.


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