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Student Recipients 2006-2007


Isaak Baker

Calvert Middle School

Calvert County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Isaak Baker, an eighth grade student at Calvert Middle School, reached the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. this year.  Isaak was one of two Maryland Public School students to advance to the penultimate round of the nation’s most prestigious (and most challenging) Spelling Bee.


Black History Oratory Contest Winners

Nominated by MSDE


- At the Annual Black History Oratory Contest, 23 students from around the state recited their essays based on one of three inspirational quotations by Black Leaders.  The oratory contest was open to all high school students in grades 9-12 who were asked to submit original essays based on quotes by Reginald F. Lewis. The oratory contest was open to all high school students in grades 9-12 who were asked to submit original essays based on quotes by Reginald F. Lewis.  The three winners are:


Top Honors:

Tuesday Barnes

10th grade

Bryn Mawr School for Girls


Second Place:

Jordan Oliver

10th grade

Maryvale Preparatory School


Third Place:

Courtney Cook

11th grade

Fallston High School

Harford County Public Schools 


Kayleigh Bourgeois

Berwyn Heights Elementary School

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE 


- Kayleigh Bourgeois, a second grade student at Berwyn Heights Elementary School, recently placed third out of 2,800 entries in the Prince George’s County 14th Annual ‘Be Kind to Animals Poster Contest’ Awards Ceremony.  The contest was open to all county public and private elementary school students.


Emma Call

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Baltimore City Public Schools

Nominated by Gail V. Tucker, MSDE


- Emma Call, a senior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, placed in the top 10 of the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition. Emma’s project “Self-Assembling Three-Dimensional Microcontainers for Cell Encapsulation” placed 10th and won her a $20,000 college scholarship.  Emma is enrolled in the Ingenuity Project, an accelerated math and science program for public school students in the city. More than 1,700 high school students across the country entered the competition, dubbed the “Junior Nobel Prize.” Emma was one of six female entrants placing in the top 10; a first in the competition.  Emma worked for three years with an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.


Evan Canty

Rosemont Elementary Middle School

Baltimore City Public Schools

Nominated MSDE


- Evan Canty, a seventh grade student at Rosemont Elementary Middle School, is perfecting the Seitz Concerto #2, which he will perform in a recital at the Peabody Conservatory in May. Evan began playing music in the first grade and plays the violin for the morning announcements at his school. Evan composed a song that his Peabody teacher later transcribed and copyrighted for him.  Evan takes lessons at Peabody and was part of the program for gifted and talented youth at the Eubie Blake Jazz Institute.  Not only has Evan’s grades improved, but he is also an active and popular member of the school community, who plans to be a professional violinist.


Carroll County Students

2007 Carson Scholars Fund Award Recipients

Carroll County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Ten Carroll County public schools students were honored at the 2007 Carson Scholars Fund 11th Annual Awards Banquet.  The Carson Scholars Fund Inc. is a nonprofit charity founded in 1994 by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Candy, to recognize students in grades 4-11 for outstanding academic achievement.  Students were presented with a certificate and personalized medal; their school received a trophy listing all of its Carson Scholars.  The winners included:


Brittani Armstrong, Taneytown Elementary School

Leah Blight and Elizabeth Welliver, East Middle School

Samantha Brehm, Northwest Middle School

Alex Fiore and Stacey Heaver, West Middle School

Deborah Mullen, Mount Airy Middle School

Kelsey Stansbury, North Carroll Middle School

Lauren Williams, Oklahoma Road Middle School

Laura Wonilowicz, Cranberry Station Elementary School


Christopher Coard

Annapolis High School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by Gail V. Tucker, MSDE


- Christopher Coard, a senior at Annapolis High School, won the Ed Casey Youth of the Year Award.  Christopher, who has autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, said “It is not about my disability - it is about being prepared to set goals and to have a game plan. There have been so many challenges in my life and life is not easy, but I take school so seriously.” Christopher is an honors student whose destiny is to attend college and major in political science. The Ed Casey Youth of the Year Award is given to teens involved in the Bywater Boys and Girls Club, who make outstanding contributions to their community, school and family, in addition to the Boys and Girls Clubs. For winning, Christopher received an engraved plaque, a scholarship for $1,800 per year for four years of college, and a calculator. In addition, the Loews Annapolis Hotel awarded Christopher and his family an all-expense paid two-night stay at The Madison in Washington.


Ryan Cunningham

Benjamin Moy

Long Reach High School

Howard County Public Schools

Nominated MSDE


- Ryan Cunningham and Benjamin Moy, sophomores who study engineering design at Long Reach High School, are trying to teach the robot they built to think, avoid objects, and recognize others, without benefit of a remote control, while preparing for the Mars Rover Challenge, sponsored by the Technology Education Association of Maryland. The competition is open for all Maryland students in grades seven through 10. The engineer design students became the only Maryland team to get to the semifinals.


Sean Quigley Dzierzanowski

Sage Tivona Snider

Nominated by Members of the Maryland State Board of Education


- Sean Dzierzanowski, a senior at Paint Branch High School in Montgomery County and President of the Student Government Association, and Sage Snider, a junior at Severna Park High School in Anne Arundel County and Second Vice President of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, received special recognition for representing Maryland at the United States Senate Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C. The USSYP is a nationwide youth program that brings students to Washington, D.C. for a brief introduction to the functions of the federal government and, in particular, the United States Senate.


Kriti Gandhi

Centennial High School

Howard County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Kriti Gandhi, a senior at Centennial High School, was chosen from among 7,000 online applicants to appear on the July 2007 episode of Jeopardy game show.  Following a trip to New York for an audition, Kriti was chosen as one of 15 teens from across the country to compete in the Jeopardy! Summer Games Teen Tournament hosted by Alex Trebek. Kriti is the only teen from Maryland who will be on the televised show. Kriti’s other academic accolades include - science fair and geography championships, 2nd place status in the Stein Roe Young Investor Essay contest, and she is a member of her high school’s ‘It’s Academic!’ team.


Olivia Goldberg

Severna Park Middle School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Olivia Goldberg, a seventh grade student at Severna Park Middle School, won the National InvestWrite essay competition, earning a new laptop computer and a trip with her parents to Disney World.  Olivia competed in the Invest Write essay contest division of the Maryland Stock Market Game, a competition and education program in which hundreds of students participate throughout the nation for middle school students, and discussed the perfect stock to complement the money she is saving for college.


Maia Gottlieb

Baltimore City High School

Baltimore City Public Schools

Nominated by Phil Stevenson

- Maia Gottlieb, a sophomore at Baltimore City High School, won the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award, a nationwide essay contest for high school students, for her essay on Shirley Chisolm, the first African American woman elected to Congress.  Maia will travel to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston to receive a monetary award of $3,000, a trip to New York, and lunch with the Kennedy family.  In addition, Baltimore City High School received a monetary award of $500.

Linus Hamilton

Hyattsville Middle School

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Linus Hamilton, a seventh-grader at Hyattsville Middle School, was one of 25 middle school contestants in the county, 12 of which represented Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) at the 7th annual Prince George’s County Spelling Bee event. Linus received a trophy, an all-expense paid trip to Disney World for his family, and a $1,000 award for his school from Educational Systems Federal Credit Union.   Linus is an avid reader, who reads four to five books per week.   


Kids Helping Kids Campaign

Maryland Students Raise Food for Maryland's Hungry

Nominated by MSDE


- In its 17th year, the Kids Helping Kids Campaign is a three-week service learning project, which provides students with the opportunity to learn about hunger while collecting food for their local food bank.  The food banks then distribute the food to children in need across the state of Maryland. The 2007 Kids Helping Kids campaign raised close to one million pounds of food for Maryland’s hungry.


Most Pounds Per Student   (5)

Crofton Middle School (Anne Arundel)    


Leonardtown High School (St. Mary’s County)     


Davidsonville Elementary School (Anne Arundel)


Swan Meadow School (Garrett)


South River High School (Anne Arundel)


Most Pounds Collected   (10)

Leonardtown High School   (St. Mary’s County)


Crofton Middle School (Anne Arundel)


Davidsonville Elementary School (Anne Arundel)


South River High School (Anne Arundel)


Broadneck High School (Anne Arundel)




Indian Creek School (Anne Arundel)        


Youth’s Benefit Elementary School (Harford County)


New Market Elementary School (Frederick County)


Richard Montgomery High School (Montgomery County)


Severna Park High School (Anne Arundel)



Top Winners in Each County


Westernport Elementary School  


Anne Arundel

Crofton Middle School   


Baltimore City

Roland Park Elementary/Middle School 


Baltimore County

Cockeysville Middle School          



Calvert High School                                                        



Lockerman Middle School            



Shiloh Middle School                                     



Mary H. Matula Elementary School



New Market Elementary School                  



Swan Meadow School                                    



Youth’s Benefit Elementary School            



Lime Kiln Middle School                                               



Worton Elementary School                                           



Richard Montgomery High School             


Prince George’s County

Woodmoore Elementary School                  


Queen Anne

Centreville Elementary School                     



Washington High School                                              


St. Mary’s

Leonardtown High School                                            



White Marsh Elementary School                 



E. Russell Hicks Middle School                   



Fruitland Primary School                              



Pocomoke High School                  



Photos of the event can be viewed at www.mdfoodbank.org. 


Camden LaMarsh

Lake Shore Elementary School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Camden LaMarsh, a student at Lake Shore Elementary School, was recently honored for placing first in the state in the Stock Market Game during an event held at Towson State University in May 2007. The program, sponsored by the Maryland Council on Economic Education, gives students a virtual account of $100,000 to invest over a ten-week period.  Camden invested mostly in Rosetta Resources, and earned an 11.9% return on his investment.


Maryland Students Earn Top Honors in Statewide Culinary Competition

Howard Community College, Howard County

Nominated by MSDE


- Fifteen Maryland high schools participated in the career-training program Maryland ProStart Student Invitational, created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Applications and Research Lab School, in Howard County, took 1st place this year during the statewide culinary competition in February 2007. The following Montgomery County Public Schools - Quince Orchard High School netted 2nd place; the Watkins Mill High School team placed 3rd; Sherwood High School took 4th place; and the student chefs from the Gaithersburg High School team earned 10th place – also displayed their culinary finesse to 62 certified master chefs in the nation, some noting the performance was so smooth it looked choreographed. A cookbook featuring recipes from all the Montgomery County teams is in the works.


Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) Choose 2 Finalists for State Board

Nominated by MSDE


- The MASC selected two students from Prince George’s County as finalists for the position of student member of the Maryland State Board of Education for the 2007-2008 school year. Haywood Perry - Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, and Renford Freemantle – High Point High School in Beltsville, are the nominees. The nominations, made at the annual MASC legislative session, now go to the Governor, who will make the final selection this spring. The new student member of the Maryland State Board of Education will replace current Student Board member Brian Frazee of Waldorf.


Kimmie Meissner

Fallston High School

Harford County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Kimmie Meissner is a graduate of Fallston High School in Harford County.  Kimmie is recognized for maintaining academic excellence in advanced courses like microbiology and French, while simultaneously achieving her athletic accomplishments, such as a 2007 Four Continents Champion, 2007 U.S. National Champion, 2006 World Champion, and 2006 Winter Olympics 6th Place Finisher.


Montgomery County Students

Maryland History Day Award Recipients

Montgomery County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Students from eastern Montgomery County earned awards at Maryland History Day.  Winners from four different categories – research paper, museum-type exhibits, performances, and multimedia documentaries – will represent Maryland in June 2007 at the National History Day competition in College Park.  In addition, several students received special prizes.  The recipients included:


Riva Fairhall, Eastern Middle School – first place, Junior Individual Performance

Catherine Liu and Alekhya Reddy, Eastern Middle School – second place, Junior

          Group Documentary

Rosanna Kim, Richmond Montgomery High School – first place, Senior Paper

Caitlin Perdue, Perdue Academy – second place, Senior Individual Performance


Special Prize Recipients included:


Kellie Chafin, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School – Junior Individual Exhibit,

Historic Preservation

Melissa Mergner, Montgomery Blair High School – Senior Individual Documentary,

Legal and Constitutional History

Rosanna Kim, Richmond Montgomery High School – Best Senior Paper, The March

First Movement


Sikandar Porter-Gill

Gaithersburg High School

Montgomery County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Sikandar Porter-Gill, a 15 year old student at Gaithersburg High School amazed a room full of engineers as he explained his latest work on a formula for converting sewage to electric power. Sikandar presented, in detail, the results of his latest experiments using graphite granules and a hydrophobic coating in a single-chamber microbial fuel cell he designed.  The device, which measures only a couple inches, was presented to chemical engineers at the Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant in Germantown. The process generates electricity by utilizing the bacteria in sewage. After presenting, Sikandar stated the importance of coming closer to a more feasible alternative fuel and by researching these different materials, we come closer to finding a cheaper and better way to produce more power.


Maroulla Plangetis

Annapolis High School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Maroulla Plangetis, a student at Anne Arundel High School, was recognized by the Sandy Spring Bank as part of its Community Champions Program. Maroulla received acclaim for her involvement at school and volunteer work with the conflict-resolution group ‘Kids as Problems Solvers’.


Kyle Reandeau

Lake Shore Elementary School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Kyle Reandeau, a student at Lake Shore Elementary School, was recently honored for placing first in the state in the Stock Market Game during an event held at Towson State University in May 2007. The program, sponsored by the Maryland Council on Economic Education, gives students each a virtual account of $100,000 to invest over a ten-week period.  Kyle invested mostly in Rosetta Resources, and earned an 11.9% return on his investment.


Selena Roper

Severn River Middle School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Selena Roper, spelling champion and an eighth grade student at Severn River Middle School, competed for 90 minutes at Anne Arundel Community College to overcome 21 other spellers in the county spelling bee. Selena is an avid reader who likes guitar, computers, and foreign languages. Selena now progresses to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Sliwoski

Towson High School

Baltimore County Public Schools

Nominated by Greg Albertson, Unilever North America


- Andrew Sliwoski, a senior at Towson High School, has been selected to represent Unilever North America in an art exhibition at the Tate Museum in London, in March 2007.  Andrew will accompany his work to London for the exhibition that will include works from young artists from Pakistan, China, Russia, USA, and various regions of the world that Unilever operates businesses. Andrew will receive a $1000 savings bond and the school will receive $2,500 that can be used either for a field trip to an art museum, or for art supplies.  The exhibition is the culmination of the Unilever International Schools Art Project, an education project in its 6th year, which invites schools and colleges around the world to create works of art using The Unilever Series Commission each year as a source of inspiration.


Amy Smith

Stephen Decatur High School

Worcester County Public Schools

Nominated by Barbara Witherow, WCPS


- Amy Smith, a senior at Stephen Decatur High School, has been selected as one of the 6 female national finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.  A national female winner and male winner will be named at a banquet in New York City. The Wendy’s High School Award is given to students who excel in academics, athletics, and in community service. Amy Smith certainly shines in all three!


Bria Smith

Easton High School

Talbot County Public Schools

Nominated by Marquita Friday, MSDE


- Bria Smith is a graduate of Easton High School in Talbot County, which was one of the first schools in Maryland to offer the career and technology education pre-engineering program, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), to students.  Bria was the valedictorian of her senior class and now attends the University of Maryland College Park where she received a full scholarship and majors in Computer Science.  Bria continues to present at statewide counselors’ conferences in order to help encourage future women and minorities in the PLTW engineering program.


Caroline Smith

Folger McKinsey Elementary School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by Gail V. Tucker, MSDE


- Caroline Smith, a fourth grade student at Folger McKinsey Elementary School, is the first ever Folger McKinsey entry and winner in the Annual Carson Scholars Fund Essay Contest.  There were approximately 1,200 entries from grades 4 through 12 nationwide. Caroline received a $1,000 college scholarship for her essays.  The Carson Scholars Fund, founded in 1994 by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon

Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, recognizes students who have achieved the highest level of academic achievement and have a grade point average of at least 3.75.


6th Grade Students of Central Middle School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- The 6th Grade Students of Central Middle School donated 100 quilts to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Anne Arundel Medical Center. The students were motivated to help ailing babies and, with the help of the school’s sewing lab, have been able to brighten up the rooms of the intensive care unit.


Students of Montgomery Blair High School

Montgomery Blair High School

Science League Team

Montgomery County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- The Montgomery Blair High School Science Team competed in the American Computer Science League All-Star Competition and earned second place in the Senior Division, third place in the Intermediate Division, and second place in the Junior Division.  The participants on the Senior Team were Jordan Turner, Christina Zou, Benjamin Lee, Edward Gan, and Sneha Kannan; on the Intermediate Team were Joseph Lynch, Jacob Hurwitz, Li Ma, Janice Lan, and Jennifer Wang; and on the Junior Team were Benjamin Shaya, Devin Zhang, Lindsey Fernandez, Julia Huynh, and Victoria Lai.


Students of Swan Meadow School

Garrett County Public Schools

Nominated by Patricia Mullinix, Garrett County Public Schools


- Thanks to the students of Swan Meadow School, Garrett County has officially adopted a county bird and wildflower.  After their research and perseverance, the Eastern Bluebird and Wild Columbine were officially accepted as the Garrett County Bird and Wildflower.


Students of Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Montgomery County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Competing in the High School Multimedia⁄3D category of the ‘‘Our Earth is a Gift, Give it a Lift, Recycle” poster contest sponsored by Montgomery County Waste Management, Camilo Caffi won first place, Bryan Karmel took second place, Daniel Jenkins took third place, and Chris Kaczmarek and Bora Ersoy both received honorable mentions.  Camilo Caffi’s first-place poster will be featured around the county on the new MCPS Waste Management and Montgomery County Solid Waste Services publications.


Students of Walkersville Elementary School

Frederick County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Five fourth-grade students at Walkersville Elementary School will travel to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and NASA headquarters after winning high marks for most creative approach in the Annual Space Day National Design Challenges competition, founded in 1997 by Lockheed Martin. Dylan Briske, Matete Kaunda, Naveed Khandaria, Hanna McWilliams, and Sarah Thomas, under the team name the “Callisto Ice Breakers” created and developed stories chronicling an imagined journey to Callisto, one of Jupiter’s four largest moons. The team will spend four days and three nights in Washington, D.C. Walkersville Elementary School was one of nine elementary school teams selected from 178 entries from around the country to take part in the recognition ceremonies.  Lockheed Martin will present the team with a $1,000 award.


Fahmida Sulatana

Northwestern High School

Baltimore City Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- A young playwright, Fahmida Sulatana, and sophomore at Northwestern High School, moved to Baltimore from Bangladesh two years ago.  At the time, she spoke Bengali and very little English.  On April 16, 2007, her play (written in English), “Growing Up in the West,” will be performed at Centerstage as part of the Young Playwrights Festival.


Lance Wallace

Bowie High School

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Nominated by MSDE


- Lance Wallace, in May 2007, graduated having never missed a day of school.  Beginning with day one of Kindergarten, Lance was ever-present in the classrooms of Brandywine Elementary, Benjamin Tasker Middle School, and Bowie High School.  Lance credits family support, well-timed illnesses, and self-determination for keeping the streak alive.


Brennan Willard

Broadneck High School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by Barbara Armour, Broadneck High School


- Brennan Willard, a freshman at Broadneck High School and a 2006 graduate of Severn River Middle School, was the winner of the Maryland Outstanding State Junior Entry at National History Day 2006 for his documentary “The Typewriter Heard Around the World”. Brennan also received commendations during sessions of the Maryland House and Senate, and recognition from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Board of Education. Brennan was able to successfully connect the work of Ernie Pyle and its effect on history; Brennan exemplifies the characteristics of a historical scholar.


Christopher Ryan Wyatt

Glen Burnie High School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Nominated by Sam Salamy, Principal


- Christopher Wyatt, a senior at Glen Burnie High School, has attained perfect attendance for his entire school career – grades Kindergarten through 12.


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Gail V. Tucker, Community Outreach Specialist
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0482
Fax:  410-333-2275
Email:  gtucker@msde.state.md.us
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