Three Prince George's County students who competed in a NAACP-held culinary contest won gold, silver and bronze medals. (Courtesy of PGCPS)
Three Prince George's County students who competed in a NAACP-held culinary contest won gold, silver and bronze medals. (Courtesy of PGCPS)

Christian Randall (Gwynn Park High School), Leslie Montgenegro (Bladensburg High School) and Kalonji Hodges (Crossland High School) were big winners recently in the NAACP Afro-American, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics culinary competition.

Christian, Leslie and Kalonji won gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively. Christian now moves on to the next round of the competition in July in San Antonio.

Scholar of the Week

Jules Alexandra Tsanang Nanfack, a senior at High Point High School in Beltsville, has a 3.92 grade point average and is a dual enrollment student at her school and Prince George’s Community College.

An aspiring physician, Jules’ course load includes Advanced Placement French Language and Culture and Psychology and Seminar. She has also taken honors-level Biology, English and Government.

A member of the World Language National Honor Society, African Diaspora Association, Youth with Purpose, Greenhouse, EYES and Book Clubs, Jules is also the founder of the STEM Club.

In addition to earning more than 100 service learning hours as a volunteer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, she has received numerous awards including High Point’s Junior Mathematics and Technology Award.

Jules, who plans to major in biology and minor in mathematics in college, has already been accepted to several colleges and universities, including George Mason, Howard, North Carolina Central, Pace and Radford.

Salary Concerns

An Accountability and Solutions Caucus comprised of Edward Burroughs (District 8), Rasheela Ahmed (District 5) and David Murry (District 1) recently submitted a letter to County Executive Rushern Baker asking for an explanation of “unauthorized and massive” salary hikes for several PGCPS central office employees.

Many of the employees also serve as cabinet members of Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell, and pay hikes outlined in the Caucus’ letter range from six percent to 36 percent increases, according to the April 11 letter.

Although an internal audit has confirmed the pay raises, the Caucus remains concerned that no one has been held accountable.

PARCC Tests

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessments in ELA and Math for students in third through eighth grade and high school end-of-course tests will be administered through May 25.

Assessments for the spring block schedules will be given from April 23 to June 4.

PARCC tests assess the implementation of Common Core standards with a focus on math and English Language Arts. Overall, the tests which capture complex skills including critical thinking, persuasive writing, and problem-solving, measure whether students are meeting new, higher academic standards and are mastering the knowledge and skills they need to progress in their K-12 education and beyond.

Cardin Makes School Stop

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stopped by Parkdale High in Riverdale on April 13 to hear from students, teachers and administrators surrounding their concerns on school safety.

“School safety shouldn’t just be bipartisan, it should be a nonpartisan effort,” said Cardin, adding that he looks forward to sharing his conversations on school safety with both Republican and Democratic colleagues in the Senate.

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