THE HUB - Feature Article

  • Glen Burnie HS Students Earn Emergency Response Certification

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 11/30/2017

    Glen Burnie High School’s Signature Program, Public Service, supported by Assistance Principal, Doris Woodruff, and U.S. Government and Criminal Justice teacher, Rick Runner, has teamed with Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) to educate students in emergency preparedness and response. This 20½-hour training program included modules in emergency preparedness, basic first aid, light search and rescue, and small fire suppression and was taught by AAACERT certified volunteer instructors.

    “This was a great opportunity for Glen Burnie High School students to learn practical skills that they can use to protect their families and neighbors in the spirit of public service,” Woodruff said.

    The students received the same instruction as adult CERT volunteers. At the end of instruction, they participated in a full-scale disaster scenario held at the Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy in Millersville. The students interacted with volunteer disaster victims who acted the part and had simulated wounds. Completion of the course resulted in a nationally recognized certification for nine GBHS students and teacher.

    “We are excited to bring our Basic CERT training to Glen Burnie High School this semester,” said John Schirrippa, AAACERT Training Chair. “We relaunched our teen training last spring with the Anne Arundel County Police Explorers, and have now expanded our community support to the public high schools.”

    AAACERT is a volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that, when activated by the county Office of Emergency Management, supports first responders in the event of a widespread emergency.  At other times, they provide traffic management services for city and county events, act as parade marshals, provide call center support, and, as noted above, provide emergency preparedness and response training to interested community members. For more information, visit

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  • Community-Building Circles: Living Up to Their Name!

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 11/27/2017

    As part of its latest efforts to implement restorative practices in schools, 28 elementary schools have been trained in the restorative practice of Community-Building Circles.

    Community-Building Circles create regular student-to-student and student-to-staff connecting opportunities.

    Community-building circles  

    These regular, structured Circles build community to strengthen school safety and enhance the school’s climate to support learning. Some examples:

    At Hillsmere ES, Ms. Buck’s second grade students conducted their own impromptu Circle as they waited for their bus.

     Hillsmere ES

    • Lindale MS and Bates MS joined Brooklyn Park MS and MacArthur MS this year by training their entire staff to use Community-Building Circles. Students are enthusiastic about Circles because they get a chance to be heard. They also appreciate the built-in lack of pressure to participate with, “We can always pass.”
    • At Bates MS, Mr. Bielski’s Circle includes ‘talking pieces’ that are passed to each student. Bielski asks first fun, then thought-provoking, questions, from “What is your favorite color?” to “What color is peace?” The 20-minute session allows the students’ responses to lead the conversation.

     Bates MS

    • Ms. Turk, a teacher at Lindale MS, leads a large, daily Circle of active sixth grade boys that is particularly special. Turk’s Circle includes Mo (nicknamed “Mobot” by his friends), who is too sick to attend school, participates via robot.  “Mobot” wheels right up, takes his place in Circle, and participates fully!

    Restorative Practices are building community and creating connections that benefit us all!

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  • AACPS District Art Award Winners

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 11/16/2017

    District Art Awards

    Sharon Littig – South River High School

    Award: Maryland Art Education – AACPS District Recognition for Career High School Teacher

    Sharon Littig has taught Visual Arts in AACPS middle and high schools for over 20 years. Since 1998, she has served as the art department chairperson at South River High School, and is truly an instructional leader and master teacher. Littig is a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art. In her commitment to help AACPS Visual Arts students thrive, she formed the SRHS National Arts Honor Society, which currently has 60 members, started the annual high school plein air event, established the South River feeder system exhibition/arts festival, and has worked to ensure the success of our STE(A)M program at South River. Littig is recognized as an accomplished artist, and has exhibited in museum shows, juried exhibitions, and most recently was awarded second place by the Annapolis Art Alliance, Maritime Museum. She is the founder and inaugural president of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association where she worked in tandem with National Gallery of Art’s Chief of Conservation, Ross Merrill, to establish this group. Littig is constantly finding ways to enhance students’ lives through art. Littig is a model for superiority in teaching. 

    Dana Henstrand – Oak Hill Elementary School

    Award: Maryland Art Education – AACPS District Recognition for Career Elementary School Teacher

    Dana Henstrand, visual arts educator with AACPS, has taught since 1990 beginning her career at Mayo Elementary and now at Oak Hill Elementary School. Henstrand’s work ethic and enthusiasm have enabled her to build an outstanding art program. Oak Hill Elementary School houses the county's ECI - Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. She recently took a Sign Language Course at AACC so she could better communicate with some of her students. She earned her degree in Art Education at Towson University, and her Master’s Degree at The Johns Hopkins University. Henstrand has offered her talents and expertise with our new teacher Right Start program, and has mentored students who have now joined the AACPS Visual Arts Team!

    Gillian Conner – Central Special

    Award: Maryland Art Education – AACPS District Recognition for Career Elementary School Teacher

    As a dedicated art educator, Gillian Conner develops creative, cultural, and meaningful lessons to raise her students’ artistic success. An art teacher at Central Special School, Conner has fostered a love of art throughout all levels, and creates lessons inspired by art and artists around the world. She earned her BFA in Art Education at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is an advocate for her young artists by ensuring that their artwork is exhibited throughout the county. At Central Special, Conner is the Exhibit chair for Youth Art Month, Harvest for the Hungry food drive coordinator, and volunteer for “Life Rolls On” adaptive surf organization. Before coming to AACPS in 2009, Conner created and implemented art curriculum for learning disabled and emotionally disturbed students at The Lab School, and youth inmates at The Charles Hickey School. Ms. Conner is committed to instilling a lifelong love of art in her students, and is a “go to” as a UDL consultant. She has built a rich art program for the students at Central Special School.

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  • NCHS Raises Money for Assistant Principal's Humanitarian Efforts

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 11/9/2017

    North County High School Assistant Principal Ryan Sackett is an Army veteran of the Iraq War. Through Habitat for Humanity, he plans to travel to Charleston, S.C., on November 11 to build homes and communities for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    This season, the North County High School boys’ soccer team decided to contribute toward this worthy cause. The team raised $1,726 to support Mr. Sackett and others in their efforts. 

    AACPS wants to take this time to thank all families, friends, players, and veterans who contributed donations. More importantly, everyone thanks Mr. Sackett and countless other veterans who served, and those currently serving, to protect our country each and every day. 

     Ryan Sackett

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  • BOE Approves 2018-19 School Year Calendar

    Posted by Melvin Edwards on 11/1/2017

    The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County approved a calendar for the 2018-2019 school year that calls for school to begin on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, and end on Friday, June 14, 2019.

    The calendar maintains adjustments made in the 2017-2018 school year that reduced Easter/Spring Break to three days. To ensure compliance with state law regarding the start and end of the school year, it also eliminates the second marking period Parent-Teacher Conference day; opens schools for students on the day of the Maryland State Education Association convention; and reduces the number of inclement weather days from three to two; and designating the third inclement weather day as the day following Easter provided a waiver is obtained from the Maryland State Department of Education.

    The Board also approved a change that provides teachers with two additional days of professional development prior to the return of students. Teachers will work six days prior to the start of the school year and end their work year one day after students leave.

    The Board also gave tentative approval to a 2019-2020 school year calendar. It will take up formal adoption of that calendar next fall.

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