St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Administrative Appointment Announced

Interim Superintendent of Schools, Mr. J. Scott Smith, announces the administrative appointment made by the Board of Education at its meeting of January 16, 2015.

The Board appointed Ms. Denise Mandis as the Assistant Principal at Park Hall Elementary School. Ms. Mandis joined St. Mary's County Public Schools in August 2002 as a Special Education teacher at Hollywood Elementary and then moved to Leonardtown High School as an English Teacher in August 2003. Prior to joining St. Mary's County Public Schools, she taught Special Education in Virginia. She holds a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree from George Mason University and has also earned National Board Certification.

The effective date of this appointment is to be determined.

Ethics Panel to Meet

The St. Mary's County Public Schools' Ethics Panel will be holding a meeting on Thursday, February 5, 2015, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in the Assistant Superintendent's Conference Room, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

For more information, call 301-475-5511, ext. 32108.

Board of Education to Hold Retreat

The Board of Education of St. Mary's County will hold a retreat on Tuesday, February 2, 2015, in the Administrative Conference Room of the Central Administration Office at 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, MD. The retreat will begin at 9:30 a.m. No official business will be conducted during this time. For more information, call 301-475-5511, extension 32177.

St. Mary's County Science & Engineering Fair To Be Held

The 55th Annual St. Mary's County Science & Engineering Fair will be held on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in the cafeteria at Great Mills High School. The fair will be open to the public from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The awards ceremony, which is also open to the public, will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Mills High School auditorium. The snow date for this event is Saturday, February 14, 2015.

For more information on the Science and Engineering Fair, please contact Mr. Jason Hayes, Supervisor of Science & STEM, at 301-475-5511, ext. 32135.

2015 Drug Summit - "Changing Our Culture" to Prevent Youth Substance Misuse

Ms. Sarita Lee, Student Board member, and Mr. J. Scott Smith, Interim Superintendent of Schools, are pleased to announce that St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) will host a student sponsored summit focusing on youth substance misuse prevention. The summit will be held on March 10, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center (JAFCTC) located at 24005 Point Lookout Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

The purpose of the summit is to increase awareness and educate community students about the risk and dangers associated with substance misuse and to generate discussion about future projects that will serve to bring further understanding to all St. Mary's County school age students about the dangers and risks associated with substance misuse and addiction. 150 middle and high school students representing public and non-public schools in St. Mary's County will attend the summit that will be led and facilitated by fellow students. The summit will feature a keynote speaker from the Baltimore based "Upside Down Organization" and interactive student learning sessions. The summit is co-sponsored and supported through several community partnerships. Supporting partners include the Commissioners of St. Mary's County, St. Mary's County Health Department, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, St. Mary's County Department of Aging and Human Services, Walden Behavioral Health of Southern Maryland, and the Behavioral Health Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary's Partnership.

The Board of Education of St. Mary's County has continually supported the education of students, parents, guardians, and the community at large as a key strategy in substance misuse prevention and increasing awareness about the resources available in our community to help prevent this high risk behavior.

Exhibitors representing community resources available for families and youth seeking assistance with substance misuse concerns will be represented and available during the summit. Exhibitor space for the summit is available, but limited, and will be filled as requests for space are received. If you would like to apply to sponsor an exhibit, please submit the exhibitor registration form available via the SMCPS home page by following the link to 2015 Drug Summit. Exhibitors will be notified when their application has been approved. If you would like additional information about the summit, contact the Department of Safety and Security at 301-475-4256 extension 34150.

Forrest Center Hosting Annual Tech Expo

The Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center (Forrest Center) will host its fifteenth annual Forrest Center Tech Expo on Thursday, February 5, 2015, 5:30-8:00 p.m., at the school site located at 24005 Point Lookout Road, directly across from the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown, Maryland.

The purpose of the Forrest Center Tech Expo is to familiarize students and parents with Career and Technology Education (CTE) career options offered by the St. Mary's County Public Schools. This is an opportunity to meet the staff at the Forrest Center and to learn about the 23 completer programs and four elective classes currently offered. Middle school and high school counselors will be available to answer questions about career clusters and to assist students in planning their academic program. The Forrest Center will provide special presentations for parents to explain the registration process and how to incorporate Forrest Center programs into their student's schedule.

A new completer program being offered next school year is CASE - Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education. This three-year program allows students to study and experience agricultural science, animal biotechnology or food science and safety with a capstone project in agricultural business, research and development. A new elective class being offered next year is Radio/Audio Production. Students in this class learn about and produce podcasts, Internet radio, radio theater/audio plays, and sound effects.

For more details, contact the Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center at 301-475-0242. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date for the Forrest Center Tech Expo will be Thursday, February 12, 2015 from 5:30-8:00.

The event may be recorded and presented on SMCPS Channel 96, the school system's educational cable channel, and the Internet.

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