The late Tanya Washington served three years as principal at Parkdale High School. (Courtesy of PGCPS)
The late Tanya Washington served three years as principal at Parkdale High School. (Courtesy of PGCPS)

The PGCPS community is mourning the sudden death this month of Parkdale High School principal Tanya Washington.

Washington joined Prince George’s County Public Schools in 1997 as a teacher at William Wirt Middle School. She later taught science at Charles H. Flowers High School. She served as assistant principal at Oxon Hill Middle School and Largo High School before moving to Parkdale High School as principal in 2013.

Head Start Audit

Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell has asked the Maryland State Department of Education to conduct a full performance audit of the Head Start program and the incidents related to the $6.4 million grant termination.

“Since the start of the school year, questions and concerns regarding the termination of our Head Start program grant have dominated the public landscape,” Maxwell said. “I have asked the Maryland State Department of Education Early Childhood Division to conduct a full performance audit in an effort to bring clarity to our Head Start program operations and management and the circumstances surrounding the grant termination.”

The audit will also include recommendations for improvement throughout the county’s public school system.

All employees will be required to provide documents and supporting information as needed by MSDE.

The audit timeline and findings will be made public.

Workforce Diversity Task Force

School officials recently launched a Workforce Diversity Task Force to develop a systematic plan to attract, develop, and retain a high quality workforce that represents the cultural diversity of students and the community.

The task force, spearheaded by PGCPS’ Office of Human Resources, will analyze current staffing, student enrollment data and initiatives that address workforce diversity, such as Latino Educator Recruitment and Men of PGCPS.

“As we experience a demographic shift in our community and schools, it is imperative that we have a workforce that reflects that shift,” said schools CEO Kevin Maxwell. “It is important for our students to see teachers and staff members who look like them in the classroom, the school building, and throughout our organization. Diversity makes a difference, as it can greatly impact the academic achievement of our students.”

Geography Teacher Fellow

The American Geographical Society will honor Jessica Stern, as an American Geographical Society Geography Teacher Fellow for 2016.

As part of the recognition, Stern, who teaches advanced placement human geography at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland, will attend and participate in the AGS Fall 2016 Symposium “Envisioning a Sustainable Planet” to be held Nov. 17-18 in New York City.

Stern is one of 50 teachers selected from across the country to participate in this first year of the program.

“We are very pleased to be able to have Jessica among 50 of the best teachers in the country join us in New York City in November,” said John Konarski, CEO of the American Geographical Society. “Geography and geospatial science have an effect on just about every aspect of our daily lives. The collective experience and expertise of these geography teacher fellows will help guide the Society as we lead the discussionabout the future of geography.”

National Merit Scholars

Five students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Abel Banko, Victor Baumann, Stella Hurtt, Shilpa Ray and Christine Zhang will join the national competition for 7,500 awards totaling more than $33 million.

Approximately 16,000 students were selected as semifinalists from a pool of 1.6 million, representing 22,000 high schools across the nation.

Semifinalists were chosen based on their performance on the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The finalists, who will be announced in the spring, will be selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

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