Summer Silent Retreat at Camp Pecometh

Join Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries in Centreville MD July 9-14 for their Summer Silent Retreat at the Riverview Retreat Center. Facilitated by Rev. Karen Covey Moore and Anita Woods, this retreat offers an opportunity for you to experience a daily rhythm of prayer, simple meals, communing with God in nature, and spiritual direction.
You have the option of staying with them for the whole time or just a few days.
If you register for the silent retreat you can attend for their Yoga Retreat on July 9 for free!
For details and to register, call Retreat Program Coordinator Megan Shitama Weston at 410-556-6900 ext 104, email, or visit them online at the Pecometh website.

Lit House Presents Second in Summer Salon Series June 27


For the sixth consecutive year, the Rose O’Neill Literary House is hosting its community-centric Summer Literary Salon series. Formerly called the Summer Poetry Salons, these readings have been expanded to include prose writers, as well as poets.

The second salon will be held at 4:30 p.m. June 27, featuring writers Laura Swearingen-Steadwell and Jen Michalski and music from local performers Harp and Soul. The community is encouraged to attend this free event.

Laura Swearingen-Steadwell is a poet and editor living in Brooklyn. She won the 20th Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize, and her second book, All Blue So Late, will be published by Northwestern University Press in November. She is a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow, and a graduate of the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Jen Michalski is the author of the novels The Summer She Was Under Water and The Tide King, a couplet of novellas, Could You Be with Her Now, and two collections of fiction, From Here and Close Encounters. Her work has appeared in more than 80 publications. She was named “One of 50 Women to Watch” in 2013 by the Baltimore Sun and :”Best Writer” by Baltimore Magazine. She is the host of the reading series Starts Here! and editor of the journal jmww.

Harp and Soul performs traditional music from the British Isles – as well as some original tunes – in a blend of unusual and improvisatory arrangements. The group includes Meredith Hadaway on Celtic harp and concertina, Ben Bennington on guitar and vocals, Rebekah Hock on oboe and saxophone, and Bob Ortiz on percussion. The group’s annual holiday concert has been a sell-out favorite at the Mainstay for the past six years.


Jesse Nunn Hushion – New Teacher at Radcliffe Creek School


Radcliffe Creek School is pleased to announce the hiring of Jesse Nunn Hushion, who will serve as a teacher in the kindergarten through eighth grade starting in September 2017.

Jesse Nunn Hushion

Hushion is a native of Chestertown and received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her master’s degree in education with a focus on Childhood and Special Education from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.

Since August 2013, Hushion has served as a special education teacher at Vail Farm Elementary School in LaGrangeville, New York.

“Radcliffe is so fortunate to welcome Jesse and her family into the Radcliffe community,” Molly Judge, Radcliffe Creek School’s Director, said. “Her experience with differentiated instruction and multi-sensory teaching will lend itself well here on the Creek. It is evident that Jesse is committed to empowering children who learn in unique ways.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the Radcliffe Creek community,” Hushion said. “As an educator, I have always valued vibrant learning communities that promote curiosity and creativity. Radcliffe clearly embraces and lives by these values. With great anticipation and excitement, I look forward to the coming 2017-2018 school year.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school whose mission it is to empower children in a dynamic environment that celebrates unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for children from infancy through pre- kindergarten, please call 410-778-8150 or visit their website.



Support Our Schools (SOS) “Random Acts of Kindness” Campaign a Big Success


Support Our Schools, a grassroots organization started by a group of local parents, recently completed its first “Random Acts of Kindness” campaign for Kent County Public Schools. The group set an ambitious goal of $5,000 and thanks to the generosity of the community, surpassed that goal by almost $1,000 for a total of $5,921.58. This amount was divided among the seven local public schools to offset unexpected year-end expenses. Each school received a check for $845.94 at the June 12 Board of Education meeting.

Donations ranged from $2 to $1,000 and were received from individuals as well as local businesses. Business sponsors are being promoted through the SOS website and Facebook page, which currently has a membership of more than 700 people. Those businesses can be identified by the SOS decal in their window. Friendship Montessori School, Johnson’s Concrete, both in Worton, and Welcome Home in Chestertown all became top-level “Golden Apple” sponsors.

The first Random Acts of Kindness campaign kicked-off on May 1, 2017, and ran for 31 days. It was a direct response to help funding needs expressed by KCPS principals to meet the needs of their students. This annual campaign will return on February 17, 2018, also known as “Random Acts of Kindness Day.”

The Support Our Schools (SOS) Initiative is a grassroots advocacy effort devoted to increasing awareness of and support for the needs, challenges, and untapped potential of our public school system—both for the sake of the current student population and for its opportunity to serve as a catalyst for economic development. For more information on the Support Our Schools initiative please visit our website.

Renovations at Custom House


Chestertown visitors and residents will see some changes happening at the Custom House at 101 South Water Street this summer, as the 18th-century building on the banks of the Chester River—the home of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience—undergoes renovation.

The Custom House

The renovations to the interior and façade mark the culmination of a six-month planning process that involved the College, town, and state. The College has been working hard to eliminate deferred maintenance in all of its buildings, and work at the Custom House will include HVAC upgrades, recarpeting, repainting, gutter repairs, mold elimination, and repointing sections of the brick façade.

“We look forward to developing new spaces for oral history, public history, student internships, and community collaboration,” Starr Center Deputy Director Pat Nugent said. “The renovation work has been planned for quite some time now, and I’m very excited for the opportunities it provides us to re-imagine the role that this historic landmark can play in academic, student, and community life here in Chestertown.”

The restoration work will ensure the Starr Center’s continued place as an innovative leader in public humanities research and programming, allowing the center to grow its professional staff and student interns, while also configuring spaces to allow for an oral history recording studio and flexible student workspaces.

While Friday and Saturday Custom House audio tours will be postponed for the summer, the historic site will reopen to students, staff, and the general public in mid-August, just in time for the Starr Center’s exciting Fall 2017 line-up of public humanities programming open and free to the public. Keep an eye on the Starr Center’s website for more news about the renovation work and forthcoming public programs.

Fifteen Graduate from Kent School


On Friday, June 9, Kent School celebrated its 48th graduation ceremony and honored the accomplishments of the Class of 2017. The fifteen members of the Class of 2017 were recognized for their academic, athletic, artistic and moral excellence.

Standing left to right: Tylante Wilson, Campbell Parkhurst, Christian Walker, Evan LaPointe, Brennan O’Connor, James Fordi, Kylee Rushton, Charlie Shifrin, Henry Shifrin, Severin Schut, Dylan Conner; seated left to right: Kayla Flood, Ellie Wilson, Emma McClary, Audrey Betley

The ceremony began with a welcome and remarks by Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School. In her remarks, Mugele praised the Class of 2017 for their strong sense of community, their Kent School spirit and their willingness to embrace new challenges. She said, “Recent studies claim that two-thirds of you will most likely hold jobs which have not yet been invented. There is a whole new world waiting for you and I know you will be ready. Kent School has given you an extraordinary foundation and instilled in you a love of learning – a love I hope will last you a lifetime. We have taught you how to think for yourself and how to ask questions. You have learned many lessons outside of the classroom as well and have grown into empathetic, honorable and responsible citizens for our diverse world. I could not be more proud.”

Awards presented to students on graduation day include the Brian B. Kane Scholarship which is presented to a seventh-grade student who maintains a determined effort to produce quality school work. The person has an attitude that is helpful, cooperative and responsible. The seventh-grade student recognized for embodying those characteristics was Danielle Simmons.

Eighth Grade student Evan LaPointe was presented with The American Legion Americanism Award. The Americanism Award is presented by Rock Hall Post 228 Legion to the student who exhibits courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship, and service.

The Joan C. Merriken Award for Literature is named for Kent School’s founding Headmistress and was presented by Ms. Merriken’s daughter Susan Haggerty. This award is presented to the eighth-grade student who demonstrates a love of reading, an appreciation of and sensitivity to the writer’s art and ability to respond to literature on an intellectual as well as an emotional level. In addition, the 2017 recipient used the reading experience to inspire her own writing with clarity, depth, and style far beyond her years. Audrey Betley was the recipient of this award.

The Osprey Award is given in recognition of the student who best represents the most positive qualities of leadership and excellence to the Kent School Community. This contribution can take many forms: athletic, artistic, academic or personal. In presenting the Osprey Award, Eighth Grade Teacher and Director of Technology Jim Landskroener said, “This year’s recipient has been extremely compassionate and supportive of his peers. In addition, he has become an outstanding leader. In his athletic endeavors, he leads by example and encourages his teammates to strive for greatness. It is our pleasure to present the 2017 Osprey Award to Campbell Parkhurst.”

The Kent School Faculty Award is given to a student who demonstrated outstanding personal growth and showed constant and genuine support of his or her classmates. Through consistent, positive contributions to the school community, the recipient of this award makes Kent School a better place, and the faculty is always grateful to have such a student among our graduates. Considering these exceptional personal traits, this year it was most appropriate to recognize two extraordinary graduates for this award: Kayla Flood and James Fordi.

From time to time, the Board of Trustees presents the Navigator Award to a member or members of the school community. According to the Trustee by-laws “The Navigator Award is presented to an individual who has made a special contribution of time, talent or treasure to Kent School over a sustained period of time, made a difference in the educational experience of a range of Kent School students and supports the school mission to help each student reach their full promise.” This year, The Board presented the Navigator Award to Tricia Cammerzell and Jim Landskroener.

For more information about Kent School visit or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110. Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, is an independent day school serving girls and boys from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. The school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.

Maryland 3.0: WC “Dream Team” Creates Apps in NASA Competition


A group of Washington College students and faculty sat down at the beginning of May to work on “You Are My Sunshine.”

No, they weren’t rehearsing old folk songs. Instead, they were working on a NASA space challenge – an international effort to find ways to educate the public about solar power and its possible benefits both for ordinary people and for a possible exploring party on Mars.

Washington College Associate Professor Shaun Ramsey of the “Dream Team” writes data on the wall of the Hot Desks center as other team mebers watch. From left, Joseph Erlandson,, Luis Machado, Katie Walker and Ian Egland.

Taking part in the project were Ian Egland, a 2016 WC graduate in Computer Science; Joseph Erlandson, a senior Computer Science major; Katie Walker, a Senior majoring in Environmental Studies; Luis Machado, a 2013 graduate now working as a project manager at the college’s Geographic Information Systems laboratory; and Associate Professor Shaun Ramsey, of the Computer Science and Mathematics departments at Washington College.

The group began work at the “Hot Desks” co-working center  at 903 Washington Ave. Michael Thielke of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center and Jamie Williams, Kent County Economic Development Coordinator, arranged for them to use the facility before the official opening

The “Dream Team,” as they named themselves, went to work  at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 29, for a 48-hour “hackathon.” Williams and Thielke were on hand to assemble furniture for the hot desk center and to provide breakfast and other meals during the project. The team set up computers in the large main room, using the facility’s high-speed wifi connection. They even took advantage of the dry-erase walls to jot down computations, web links,  and other information for handy reference.

Ramsey said the project was related to one that NASA is conducting in Hawaii right now, simulating conditions on Mars. “In space, power usage is variable, and mission critical, and essential to life,” so understanding power consumption is essential, he said. “The app that we’re developing is for everyday people to better understand their power consumption,” he said. Since solar power is freely available in space, the project focuses on that form of energy.

The Dream Team compiled a list of several typical home appliances – refrigerator, microwave, TV, air conditioner, etc. – and listed their typical power usage. In each case, the power draw listed is an average. Older, less efficient appliances will use more than new ones designed to minimize power consumption.

They also looked at the amount of sunlight available in Kent County over different seasons, so as to get a practical estimate of what kinds of equipment could be run on solar alone.

Ramsey said the group was one of 74 different teams from all over the world that worked on their particular problem. Presumably they’d all come up with different solutions, though the teams were allowed to share ideas, and NASA might well choose to combine results from several different teams once the project was completed.

Overall, the competition had five different categories, each of which included several different projects. Ramsey said it would be several weeks before NASA announces the results.

Ramsey updated the status of the project in an email, June 1. He wrote, “In the end, we created two applications that are useful, intuitive and that showcase solar power.” He said he had three goals for the competition: “To contribute to the overall community. To make an application of which I’d be happy to claim ownership. And the last was to have something that could inspire and grow. Something that could spawn other ideas and be developed into something larger if someone were inspired or interested. I definitely feel we accomplished all three of those.”

As of the date of writing, he said, “The awards have not yet been announced. We’re not in the finalists for people’s choice, but that’s to expected with such a smaller network compared to, say, a big school in a big city. It is possible we “win” one of the other awards, but there have been no posted results yet. (…) I do feel like we will be in the running,” he said. He said he would let the Spy know when results were announced.

Ramsey said the Dream Team had posted a brief video telling about their work. They also posted an update with more details. He also provided a like to an overview of the NASA challenge.

Click here for information on the “Hot Desks” facility.

Thirty Two Students Graduate from St. Anne’s Episcopal School


Photo: St. Anne’s Episcopal School proudly presents the Class of 2017: Back row, left to right Adrian Reed, Hunter (Tayg) Murray, Alexander Kenney, Matthew Mitchell, Robert (Stewart) Zurbach, Caden Wood, Tyler Wood, Noah Hollander, Slater Phillips, Zachary Bovelsky, Nicholas Relova, Zachary Kinnamon, William (Billy) Nunn, and Andrew Mitchell. Front Row, left to right, Zoe Eckenrode, Lauren Hudson, Sailor Wiggins, Samantha Young, Clare Slinkard, Hope Kenney, Adia Vega, Nicolette Pate, Grace Travis, Margaret (Maggy) Ross, Jada Jackson, Heidi Cobb, Hope Slapcinsky, Ashlyn Lorentz, Eleanor Alban, Hannah Beckman, Mia Stryker, and Bryer Wood.

Thirty two young men and women graduated from St. Anne’s Episcopal School on Thursday, June 08, 2017.  They will attend sixteen high schools, among them Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, The Charter School of Wilmington, Groton School, The Gunston School, Mercersburg Academy, MOT Charter High School, Sanford School, St. Andrew’s School, Saint Thomas More Academy, Sussex Central High School, Tatnall School, Tower Hill, Tri-State Christian Academy, and Ursuline Academy.

Located in Middletown, DE, St. Anne’s Episcopal School ( focuses on academic excellence and spiritual growth in a small, family-oriented and diverse community. St. Anne’s is a co-ed independent day school for children in Preschool (age 3) through Grade 8. Founded by visionary educators from St. Andrew’s School in 2002, our academic program prepares students for honors course work in the finest area high schools through its commitment to intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, and artistic growth and character development.

Research-Based Singapore Math at St. Anne’s Episcopal School


In an age when many questions can be answered with the aid of an electronic device, what do our children need to learn in school?

Singapore Math Consultant Sarah Schaefer engages first graders in talking about different ways they can solve the same problem.


In 2016 St. Anne’s Episcopal School adopted the research-based Singapore Math approach to prepare its students for a rapidly changing world.  Solving math problems is just one of the benefits; students, parents, and teachers are energized by this innovative approach, which asks students to understand the “why” before the “how.”

“Finding the answer is just one small piece of the puzzle,” Lower School Head Valerie White said. “What is more important is the ability to think critically and understand the “why” behind the solution. When we press kids to think more deeply and demonstrate understanding of the concept or skill we are extending their learning to create true mastery.”

St. Anne’s Episcopal School introduced Singapore Math in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade in the fall of 2016 and will expand the program through 4th Grade next year.

Singapore math is a teaching method and curriculum developed and used in Singapore, a nation that consistently ranks at the top of international assessments of student achievement in math.  One of the defining features of Singapore math is visualization. The concrete, pictorial, and abstract method underscores real-world application of math.

The Singapore Math approach emphasizes depth and process over memorization and drill work. It reinforces the life lesson that there is more than one way to solve a problem.  Because children work collaboratively with others to problem solve, Singapore Math also teaches children to communicate, to listen, and to respect their peers.  These are all skills that will help children navigate and build positive relationships in life.

St. Anne’s invested in Singapore Math resources and teacher training for faculty in Preschool through Fourth Grade and formally initiated the program in Kindergarten through Second Grade last year with the help of a grant from the Longwood Foundation.  Teachers, parents, and students tell us what a difference they see this year as a result of adopting Singapore Math:

“What has been happening in the classroom this year is really exciting!  Because we used the Singapore Math approach to teach place value, our students have a deeper understanding of numbers and how they relate to each other,” said first grade teacher Melissa Meier.  “My first graders this year have a stronger number sense, which is the foundation of all mathematics.”

John Burk, Director of Academic Innovation, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science at St. Andrew’s School observed how the Singapore Math approach lays the foundation for success in high school.  “As a high school math and science teacher, I see daily that the most successful students are the ones who develop a flexible approach to problem-solving, are willing to seek out more than one way to solve a problem, and embrace the creative exploration that is integral to math and science,” Burk said.  “As a kindergarten parent, I am thrilled that my daughter is learning to approach math in a playful and creative way that is helping her develop a joyful approach to learning math, grounded in deep understanding that will serve throughout her education.”

St. Anne’s second graders shared the following reflections about math this year:

“I have learned that there are different ways to solve problems and arrive at answers.”

“I am not as worried about taking risks or making mistakes. I know it helps my brain to grow.”

“I like seeing how math can be USED, like in measuring length and mass.”

“I am better at math and more confident.”

“I have learned to not give up so quickly.”

Located in Middletown, Del., St. Anne’s Episcopal School focuses on academic excellence and spiritual growth in a small, family-oriented and diverse community. St. Anne’s is a co-ed independent day school for children in Preschool (age 3) through Grade 8. Founded by visionary educators from St. Andrew’s School in 2002, our academic program prepares students for honors course work in the finest area high schools through its commitment to intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, and artistic growth and character development.