The Reality of Inadequate State Funding for Worcester County Public Schools
Worcester County Public Schools receives the second lowest state funding per student, despite the fact that 44% of our students come from households of poverty
Students eligible for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS): 44% of our students live in households at or below poverty and are eligible for FARMS. The state average is 38%.
BERLIN – The Worcester County Education Foundation (WCEF) is proud to welcome twelve Teacher Champions (TC), one selected from each school in the county. The teachers will represent and become the eyes, ears and voice of their school administration and educators. Defining and meeting the goals of the WCEF would not be possible without studying the immediate and long term needs of teachers, students and school administration. As board member Patti Miller explains, “We have asked this body of 14 teachers to become the conduit between the county schools and the Foundation. For instance, our goal to provide equal access to the tools necessary for a first class education wouldn’t be possible without the invaluable input from teachers. They will provide continuous guidance as technology and their classroom needs evolve. This will help the WCEF respond quickly and modify its goals according to the changing needs of the classroom. Each TC will also update the administration, staff and parents in their school about the activities and progress of the WCEF.”
The WCEF would like to introduce one of its Teacher Champions, Melissa Huntsberry. This year will be her 4th year with the Worcester County School system. She is currently teaching all subject areas to outstanding middle school students at Cedar Chapel Special School. Ms. Huntsberry is a member of her School Improvement Team, the Tier I Intervention team for WCPS Special Education Strategic Planning, and is adapting curriculum for the Special Education Department of the Maryland State Department of Education. She earned her Bachelors degree from Tulane University and her Masters of Science in Education for Elementary and Special Education from Dowling College.
POCOMOKE – The Worcester County Education Foundation is proud to recognize Staci Stonnell, Pocomoke Elementary Teacher Champion. Stonnell is currently the Pocomoke Elementary School Teacher of the Year 2016-2017. She earned Bachelor degrees from Salisbury University in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and is certified in Special Education. She also earned a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from Wilmington University.
Stonnell will begin her seventh year of teaching in the Worcester County Public School system (WCPS). Her experience includes teaching at the high school level, second grade, and currently teaches Kindergarten at Pocomoke Elementary School. She has enjoyed teaching an after school program called the “Coding Club” which teaches children pre-computer programming skills.
Stonnell is an active member of numerous school and county committees, leadership teams and mentor programs, including a parent workshop on social emotional development.
An early childhood advocate, Stonnell’s passion for teaching extends beyond content. She strongly believes that by “building relationships and guiding young children to believe in themselves, every child has the ability to grow, learn, and care”.
As a Teacher Champion, Stonnell will act as a liaison between Pocomoke Elementary School and the Worcester County Education Foundation (WCEF). The mission of the WCEF is to create equal access to a first class education. By bridging community resources with the needs of our schools, every child can have access to the learning tools necessary, in order to succeed. Working on the front lines, teachers like Stonnell have a unique perspective of current and evolving needs of students, teachers and staff, which allows the WCEF to more accurately define priorities and offer additional support where it’s most needed.
Caitlin M. Evans
NEWARK-The Worcester County Education Foundation (WCEF) is proud to introduce Caitlin M. Evans, Teacher Champion representing the students and staff of Worcester Technical High School as a Hospitality and Tourism Management Teacher. Evans has been teaching in the county for four years. Prior to her embarking on a teaching career, she was Director of Sales for the Courtyard by Marriott in Ocean City, Maryland. She had the pleasure of bringing the Hospitality and Tourism program to the technical high school as she saw a need for students to gain customer service skills in our county. She has developed wonderful partnerships with hotels in the Ocean City area, as she feels it is important for students to build strong relationships with local businesses. The relationships between students and businesses can open golden opportunities for students who wish to pursue careers in the tourism and hospitality industry, and benefit businesses that are interested in grooming enthusiastic employees.
Evans was chosen by the WCEF to represent the Worcester Technical High School and to become a conduit between the WCEF and her school. With Evan’s assistance, the WCEF can more accurately access and respond to the present and future needs of the students.
The Worcester County Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3, established by a group of parents and business leaders who support great education and believe that by tapping into community resources, we can help assure that every student in Worcester County has equal access to a first class education. Currently the WCEF is raising money to accelerate the purchase of the necessary digital tools, which provides every child K-12 with equal access to technology and will increase their ability to compete for jobs of the future.
Berlin – The Worcester County Education Foundation celebrates Christy Powell, Teacher Champion of Stephen Decatur High School. Powell has been a teacher in Worcester County Public Schools for the past 32 years. She began her career at Snow Hill Middle School teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade art.
In 1991, Powell represented Snow Hill Middle School in the Teacher-of-the-Year program, and receiving the Outstanding Visual Art Educator Award from the Maryland Art Education Association.
In the fall 1998, she transferred to Stephen Decatur High School where she currently teaches Design and Photography I & II, Advanced Art and AP Studio Art. In 2001, Powell was nominated Stephen Decatur High School’s (SDHS) Teacher-of-the-Year. She served as the Department Chair for the Visual Arts Department as well as the Junior Class Advisor for 15 years, which involved fundraising and organizing the Junior/Senior Prom. In addition to teaching, Powell has also coached Girls Indoor Track for the past two years.
Christy Powell is one of 14 Teacher Champions and will act as a liaison between the staff and students of Stephen Decatur High School and the Worcester County Education Foundation (WCEF). She will help the WCEF identify and focus directly on the current, underfinanced needs of the teachers and students.
SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Education Foundation is proud to recognize Pamela Lauer, Snow Hill High School’s Teacher Champion. Lauer grew up in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from Central High School. She earned her Bachelor in Science from Salisbury University, a Masters in Science (Microbiology Concentration) from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (Biology) from Salisbury University.
While attending Salisbury University she substituted in Worcester County. Upon graduation, she taught for 3 years at Washington High School in Somerset County, and another three years at Parkside High School in Wicomico County. Lauer is especially pleased to be teaching at Snow Hill High School because her oldest child just started Pre-K at nearby Snow Hill Elementary School. Lauer explained that she is grateful that, “Worcester County (has) such a great school system” and she has a strong personal interest in maintaining that excellence now that her own child has entered the Worcester County school system.
As a Teacher Champion, Lauer will act as a liaison between Snow Hill High School and the Worcester County Education Foundation (WCEF). The mission of the WCEF is to create equal access to a world class education. By bridging community resources with the needs of the schools, foundation members believe that every child in Worcester County can have access to the learning tools necessary, in order to succeed. Working on the front lines, teachers like Lauer have a unique perspective of current and evolving needs of students, teachers and staff, which allows the WCEF to constantly evaluate, define and quickly respond with financial or other support where it’s most needed.