WELCOME to the 2020 Virtual Community Partner Recognition! Opening Remarks: Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools

To say that this school year has presented unique challenges for our school district would be an understatement.  In light of all that has taken place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the support of our community partners is more important than ever.  

A TCPS Community Partner is an individual, organization or business that shares time, talent or resources to support one or more of our schools.   We are truly astounded by the many dimensions of support that our staff and students receive from our community, as evidenced by the recipients of our 2020 Community Partner of the Year Awards. We also are more aware than ever that we cannot deliver the education that ALL Talbot County Public School students are entitled to without this support.  From scholarships, to educational programming, grant writing, after school opportunities, mentorship, classroom sponsorship and other financial support, there literally is no end to the ways that Talbot County helps us achieve this most important mission.

We are very pleased with the continued expansion of our Internship and Apprenticeship programs.   Student internships are an essential part of our vision that every child graduates ready for college or a career. The Apprenticeship Maryland Program, in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation enables us to develop highly skilled workers to meet the present and future needs of Maryland businesses while allowing students to explore career options.

Our theme for this year is “Engagement Builds Connection.” On behalf of the students and staff of Talbot County Public Schools, I extend our heartfelt thanks for your continued engagement and your investment in our most important resource, our children.


The work being done by Suzanne Sullivan and the team at ShoreRivers has been instrumental in the ability of Talbot County Public Schools to provide a top rate Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for students in third and tenth grades.  ShoreRivers assists the school system in many ways, from providing teacher professional development to delivering lessons to the students to financially.   Students look forward to the visits where educators from ShoreRivers come into the schools to provide lessons as well as leading the field experiences and environmental action projects.  The lessons delivered are a result of collaboration between ShoreRivers, teachers and the science supervisor to ensure that they are truly meaningful for the students involved.  Teachers are also provided with professional development opportunities throughout the school year and during the summer.  In order to support the expenses related to the program ShoreRivers secured a BWET grant and when that does not cover the costs they use funds from their annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival fundraiser to make up the difference.

Also this year, the 7th Grade Gifted & Talented Program worked with ShoreRivers to create a Plastics Podcast as part of ShoreRivers plastics education initiative. With their help, students researched, wrote, interviewed, recorded, and edited group based podcasts that help inform the public of the pros and cons of plastic. These podcasts were then shared through ShoreRivers media outreach the world over. The podcasts were also entered in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge.  As one last bonus, because the podcasts were part of an educational outreach, the students were able to earn 60 service learning hours toward graduation.

ShoreRivers has made extensive contributions to teaching and learning for Talbot County students, so we are very pleased to recognize this great organization as the 2019-2020 TCPS District Community Partner of the Year.


Chapel District Elementary: Mike Hiner with Willow Construction

Chapel District Elementary School would like to recognize Mike Hiner with Willow Construction for his outstanding dedication and commitment to our school community.  Mr. Hiner has helped the Grandparents Club to spearhead the electronic sign project, by serving as the general contractor for the project at no cost for Chapel District Elementary School over the past few years.  With Mr. Hiner’s leadership and expertise, he was able to assist with filing permits, drawing up blueprints, coordinating electric, and countless other tasks, in order to make the electronic sign installation at Chapel District Elementary School a reality. Mr. Hiner also assists the school in many other capacities.  Mr. Hiner  and Willow Construction have generously donated to adopt classrooms for needed supplies, and have also donated toward the 5th grade class. He has dedicated his time during the week to coach one of the PTO Basketball teams here at school, participates in our Junior Achievement program, has made generous donations to our Breakfast with Santa event, and has donated in the past to the CDES playground project.  In addition, he is very involved in many community organizations, including his church, who built a blessing box for the community at the Cordova Fire House. Mr. Hiner continues to give back to his community, thus improving the lives of youth here at Chapel District Elementary School and within the entire Cordova community.  Chapel District Elementary School is thankful for Mr. Mike Hiner!

Easton Elementary Dobson: Dominic Powell with Educational Systems Federal Credit Union

Easton Elementary Dobson would like to recognize Dominic Powell  with Educational Systems Federal Credit Union for his amazing support of the students and staff and Easton Elementary School Dobson. Throughout this school year, Mr. Powell has reached out to offer support in any way we needed. He generously supported educational projects by attending the Mission Possible fundraiser for Talbot County Public Schools. Mr. Powell reached out in early September to see how he could help the families at our school. I explained many of our families could not afford to buy winter coats for their children. Mr. Powell came through with a donation of four hundred dollars. We were able to purchase and give away twenty-five brand new coats, hats and gloves to needy students. His kind donation brought many smiles to the faces of our students!  Mr. Powell also provided lunch for our professional development sessions. We are so thankful to have the support of Mr. Dominic Powell and Educational Systems Federal Credit Union! We look forward to continuing our partnership.

Easton Elementary School-Moton: Amy Cool’s Ice Cream Express

We are so fortunate to have Amy Carroll as an outstanding community partner at Easton Elementary School-Moton.  Amy continues to support school-wide initiatives at Easton Elementary through generous donations and partnership.  This year Amy approached Mrs. Bowen and wanted to know how she could directly support the students at the school with our PBIS program.  Amy Cool's Ice Cream Express would come to school and give free ice cream as an incentive for students who demonstrated excellence with the school wide PAWS.  She would pull up out front and the kids would visit the truck.  She worked to make connections with the students and even spoil the staff.  Every time Amy visits she says, “call if you need anything” and she means it. During the recent pandemic, Amy has reached out to offer support in feeding our children.  She continues to go above and beyond for our school community.  We are so grateful for her generosity and dynamic partnership!

Easton High: Konsyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

It is with great pleasure that Easton High School nominates the Konsyl Pharmaceuticals as our Community Partner for the school year 2019-20. This school year, Konsyl supported our CTE Biomedical and Science programs with required supplies and materials. 

Konsyl's generosity includes donations of personal protective equipment, incubators, lab materials and other products that supplemented all the scientific lab programs and our biomedical science career completer.  The donations were far more than we could have expected and were invaluable to Easton High School and were so generous we were able to assist and support programs at SMMHS as well! We are very fortunate to have Konsyl Laboratories as a Community Partner at Easton High! Our staff, students and families are all extremely grateful for their kindness and generosity! 


Easton Middle: NOAA Environmental Science Training Center

Krysta Hougen and Bart Merrick, from NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, led 6th grade Easton Middle School students on an amazing real life research project that was not only a learning experience for them but a benefit for the town of Easton.   Just behind Easton Middle School is a stream; a stream in desperate need of restoration.  Ms. Hougen and Mr. Merrick led our students on a mission to begin the restoration of the Papermill Branch stream.  They planned thoughtful lessons, gathered all of the resources, and began carrying out the extensive restoration project behind the school. They carefully took into consideration the needs of teachers and students while coordinating with the town and the school district so that we could take part in this awesome opportunity. 

Down at the stream the 6th graders at Easton Middle tested the physical, biological, and chemical aspects of the stream habitat. Ms. Hougen and Mr. Merrick helped our students think like scientists and taught them how to do thorough observations and precisely record their findings. After collecting data, students compared findings between all 6th grade classes and calculated averages to report the overall health of the stream.  This important data will be given to the Town of Easton to make decisions as we monitor the progress throughout the years.

This will be a project that our students will remember from their middle school careers.  We are so appreciative to Krysta Hougen and Bart Merrick, from NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, for providing this opportunity to our students.

St. Michaels Campus: Perkins Family YMCA

The St. Michaels community has benefited greatly from the opening of the new Perkins Family YMCA last spring. It is for this reason that St. Michaels Elementary School and St. Michaels Middle High School have joined forces to nominate one organization as our Community Partner of the Year for 2019-20.  This community partner impacted our families and staff members year-round in many ways. For example, the Perkins Family YMCA staff are welcoming and accommodate our sixth-grade students as they benefit from a free student membership throughout the school-year.  In addition, all middle school students may participate in safe and healthy after school programs.  Secondary students have a place to go where they have a positive social and physical environment between school and afternoon/evening activities.  Our elementary students continue to benefit from our partnership each year when we plan for our summer learning program.  Select students in grades 1st through 4th have participated in school-based enrichment activities in the morning, and games and swimming in the afternoon.  Staff members were surveyed and offered group exercise classes geared toward their health needs and schedules.  Finally, during the closure due to the COVID19 crisis, the YMCA has served as a day care facility for the children of our most essential workers- our health and emergency professionals in the community.  All of these examples are in just the first year of partnership!  A huge thank you from the entire St. Michaels campus to this amazing partner!  THANK YOU PERKINS FAMILY YMCA!

Tilghman Elementary: American/Holiday

Tim Law from American/Holiday has created a design plan for the Common Room at TES. It is a wonderful nod to all things Tilghman and the special culture we have here on the eastern shore. He is planning to donate both his time and products to rejuvenate this space into a warm, welcoming multi-purpose room for TES students and staff. They will be able to engage in rigorous instructional activities and teaching while being comfortable and mindful in this area. Mr. Law’s goal is “to create a fun, interactive, functional, and modular space that celebrates and honors Tilghman Island and encourages children to feel great about themselves and their community.”  Every detail and special touch has been included from the handcrafted pillows to the beautiful indoor/outdoor rugs.  We are immensely grateful for and humbled by Mr. Law’s amazing heart, vision, talent, and generosity!

White Marsh Elementary: American Legion Post 70

It is with great pleasure that White Marsh Elementary School nominates the American Legion Talbot Post 70, located at 29511Canvasback Drive in Easton Maryland, as our Community Partner for the school year 2019-20. This school year, under the directorship of Commander Danny Adams, the American Legion Talbot Post 70 donated to the three largest events held for our White Marsh families. 

The American Legion’s generosity includes donations made to our Annual Family Fun Fair, our Thanksgiving Gift Baskets and our Christmas/Holiday Gift Baskets for WMES families in need. For our Family Fun Fair, Post 70 donated bicycles, bike helmets and several sports balls to be raffled. For Thanksgiving, a cash donation of $750 was received and for Christmas, a cash donation of $1,000 was provided by Post 70 to purchase food for baskets which were contributed to and organized by our Grandparents’ Club. We are very fortunate to have the American Legion Post 70 and Mr. Adams as a Community Partner at White Marsh Elementary! Our staff, students and families are all extremely grateful for their kindness and generosity!


Internship Partner of the Year: Easton Utilities

I am excited to select Melissa Book and the amazing team at Easton Utilities for the Internship Community Partnership Award! Each year, Talbot County Public Schools relies heavily on their partnerships with community stakeholders to assure meaningful opportunities for our students. Easton Utilities has exemplified this by not only providing a number of careers to explore, but also genuinely preparing them for the working world. Melissa and the staff at Easton Utilities have gone above and beyond to help students with the interview process, soft-skill development and sharpen their public speaking skills. Thanks to the high expectations that are set, students who complete an internship with Easton Utilities have a better understanding of the real world and deeper appreciation for their community. Thank you Easton Utilities!


Closing Remarks: Juanita Hopkins, President Talbot County Board of Education