Gunston Competes in Academic Team National Championships

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For the first time in school history, Gunston’s Academic Team competed in the in the National Association of Quiz Tournaments national championship tournament, held in Chicago at the end of April. Drawing many of the strongest academic secondary schools from across the country, the NAQT tournament is the premier academic quiz bowl tournament in the United States. The Herons finished 20th overall in the Charter and Private division. The team initially qualified for nationals at the Johns Hopkins Winter Tournament, and were led by Seniors Abigail Miller (Easton) and Sutter Phillips (Stevensville), Sophomore Phineas Howell (Chestertown) and Freshman Andrew Amygdalos (Dover, DE).

Pictured left to right: Phineas Howell, Headmaster John Lewis, Sutter Phillips, Abigail Miller, Andrew Amygdalos.

Gunston’s academic team coach, Headmaster John Lewis, said, “The team has worked incredibly hard all year, and it was fun to match wits with some of the best students in the country. They worked well as a team, and though we will miss Sutter and Abby, we look forward to heading back to nationals next year.”

The performance of Freshman Andrew Amygdalos was especially impressive. In a field typically dominated by 11th and 12th graders, he ranked as the 35th overall individual tournament scorer, making him one of the strongest 9th grade academic team players in the country.

Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning: “George” Award goes to Judie Oberholtzer

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At the May Annual Meeting of the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning (WC-ALL), Judie Oberholtzer was awarded the George Award, presented annually to an instructor for notable contributions to the organization. Betty Spence, chair of the WC-ALL Advisory Board, and Dick Swanson, WC-ALL curriculum committee chair, made the presentation to Judie with the following citation: “WC-ALL acknowledges with enormous gratitude, the unique and distinctive contributions of Judie Oberholtzer, who in 13 years of service to WC-ALL, taught 21 classes over 15 semesters and introduced the sublime joy of opera to the uninitiated while enhancing the appreciation of those already under its spell.”

Judie Oberholtzer, receives the “George” award from WC-ALL curriculum committee chair Dick Swanson

Judie’s “Magic of the Opera” course is a popular WC-ALL class each fall. Three class sessions are spent studying the libretto and watching DVDs of an opera, preparing class members for a trip to see the opera performed live by the Washington National Opera or Opera Philadelphia. WC-ALL is gearing up for the Fall 2017 semester with course catalogs and registration information due for release in late July. For more information about WC-ALL, please visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/offices/wc-all/

Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning: “George” Award goes to Judie Oberholtzer

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At the May Annual Meeting of the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning (WC-ALL), Judie Oberholtzer was awarded the George Award, presented annually to an instructor for notable contributions to the organization. Betty Spence, chair of the WC-ALL Advisory Board, and Dick Swanson, WC-ALL curriculum committee chair, made the presentation to Judie with the following citation: “WC-ALL acknowledges with enormous gratitude, the unique and distinctive contributions of Judie Oberholtzer, who in 13 years of service to WC-ALL, taught 21 classes over 15 semesters and introduced the sublime joy of opera to the uninitiated while enhancing the appreciation of those already under its spell.”

Judie Oberholtzer, receives the “George” award from WC-ALL curriculum committee chair Dick Swanson

Judie’s “Magic of the Opera” course is a popular WC-ALL class each fall. Three class sessions are spent studying the libretto and watching DVDs of an opera, preparing class members for a trip to see the opera performed live by the Washington National Opera or Opera Philadelphia. WC-ALL is gearing up for the Fall 2017 semester with course catalogs and registration information due for release in late July. For more information about WC-ALL, please visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/offices/wc-all/

Book Folding Art at KCPL

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Whether you describe yourself as an artist or haven’t attempted art since elementary school, Happiness Hour is an invitation for you to explore your powers of creativity. No special talents or previous experience is needed to join us for an hour of dabbling in crafting.

This month, join us to try your hand at Book Folding. We’ll take worn-out paperbacks and give them new life by upcycling their pages into art. Make an adorable hedgehog or attempt a more complex project!

Supplies for coloring will be available, too. As always, you are welcome to bring your own creative project – knitting, drawing, embroidery, and other easily-portable activities all work well at Happiness Hour.

Swap ideas, give encouragement, and leave a little happier than you arrived.

This program is free, but registration is requested. To register, visit kentcountylibrary.org or call 410.778.3636.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | 6pm
Chestertown Branch

Kent County Public Library: Summer Essay Contest for Rising 5th & 6th Graders

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“A Book That Shaped Me” Summer Essay Contest for Rising 5th & 6th Graders

Kent County Public Library encourages rising 5th and 6th graders to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact on their lives by participating in “A Book That Shaped Me” Letters About Literature Summer Writing Contest, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Nearly 300 public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are registered to participate.  Kent County Public Library is proud to be among them!

Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2017 are eligible to participate by writing a letter to their local librarian about a book that shaped their lives. Prizes will be awarded to five finalists and one winner per state.  Three grand prize winners, selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress, will receive additional prizes and be invited to present their letters during a special program at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in September 2017.

The deadline for entries is Saturday, July 8, 2017.  For full guidelines and entry forms, stop by any of Kent County Public Library’s three locations or visit www.loc.gov/bookfest/kids-teachers/booksthatshape/

Benedictine Elects Fletcher to its Board of Trustees

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The Benedictine Foundation has appointed Thad Fletcher of Millersville, Md., its board of trustees..

“Fletcher is highly qualified professional financial manager devoted to the cause of helping people with disabilities,” said Scott Evans, executive director of Benedictine. “His experience, integrity, and commitment are essential to Benedictine’s success,” Evans added.  Fletcher most recently served as a member of the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

Fletcher is a partner at Cooke & Bieler, L.P., where he is responsible for client service and business development. He joined the firm in 2002. Prior to joining Cooke & Bieler, he was a principal with Columbia Partners in Washington, D.C., focusing on public funds marketing and client service. Mr. Fletcher was also a vice president at ASB Capital Management. He was involved in equity research and economic analysis at DRI/McGraw-Hill and Wharton Econometric Forecasting Association.

Fletcher earned an M.B.A. degree in Finance from The Wharton School of Business. He graduated from the Georgetown University with a B.S. degree in Mathematics. While a student at Georgetown, Mr. Fletcher was a member of Sports International Track Club’s indoor mile relay team.

The Benedictine Foundation board of trustees is composed of family and community members with valuable expertise in educational, political, corporate and legal arenas. The mission of the Foundation is to secure the resources needed to assure the success and future Benedictine.

About Benedictine

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

Chester River Rowing Club Offers “Learn-to-Row” Classes for Teens to Seniors

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Chester River Rowing Club Offers

“Learn-to-Row” classes for adults, teens & seniors

to start May 13 at the Washington College boathouse

If you think you want to learn how to row in those sleek shells you’ve seen on the Chester River and you’re 14 or older (there’s no upper age limit), the Chester River Rowing Club’s four-and-a-half week “Learn-to-Row” classes will run from Saturday, May 13, to Wednesday, June 14, at the Washington College Boathouse.

Most of the adults who take the CRRC novice class want to row for fitness or fun, or because they want to get good enough to compete, though some simply want to try the sport on for size.  The only prerequisite other than good general health is that novices must be able to swim.  There are no strength requirements since rowing naturally builds lower body, core and upper body muscles.

“It surprises most people that rowing is mostly a leg sport,” said Margie Elsberg, who took the CRRC class 14 years ago, a few months before turning 60.  “Spectators see us pull our oars through the water so they assume it’s an upper body sport, but because rowing shell seats slide forward and back with each stroke, most of our power comes from our legs when we push against the footboard.

“In other words, rowing strengthens arms, legs and core in a fun team environment that offers fabulous scenery to boot,” Elsberg said.

While most newcomers want to learn to row, the club doesn’t charge the course fee when a novice joins the class because they want to become a coxswain.  That’s the “extra” crew member in a four- or eight-seat boat who steers, sets the stroke pace and acts as an on-board coach and cheerleader.  Middle and high school students sometime learn to row or coxswain in anticipation of rowing at college.

The first Learn-to-Row class on Saturday, May 13, includes a safety review and a chance to help hoist an eight-person shell overhead and down to shoulders so the novices can learn to carry a boat to the river and practice launches.  Class members also will start learning rowing lingo, the rowing stroke and the correct posture for using an “erg,” also known as a gym rowing machine.

While subsequent Saturday sessions are optional, Monday and Wednesday classes, from 6 to 8 pm, will be spent learning and practicing stroke techniques in the indoor rowing tank at first, then on the river whenever weather allows.  During the optional Saturday sessions through mid-June, novices will have a chance to row with experienced club members as teammates.

Newcomers will take turns rowing in eight-, four- and two-seat shells, as well as in singles.  They will learn to “sweep” (to handle one large oar with two hands) and to “scull” (to row with two smaller oars, one in each hand).  They’ll learn to start and stop rowing according to the coxswain’s commands:  “Ready all, row!” and “Way ’nuf!” and they’ll do their best to stay in synch with the other rowers in their boat.

Chestertown native Kendall Ruffatto, former CRRC president and the current treasurer, said she started rowing at 56 because she wanted to get in shape, then found that she liked rowing so much that she spent nearly a dozen years racing in local, regional and national regattas.

“It can be challenging to learn, but it’s also fun and it’s a great way to meet new people,” Ruffatto said.  “I was never a very athletic person, but since I started rowing, I’ve been in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I’m doing something I really love.  You can’t beat that!”

Dr. Deborah Davis, Director of Emergency Medicine at UM Shore Regional Medical Center at Chestertown, has rowed since high school and competes at an elite level in national and international contests.  She contends that there’s no better workout than rowing but adds another motivation.

“For me, there’s nothing like being on the Chester River at sunrise or sunset, when the water’s perfectly flat, with Canada geese, great blue herons and an occasional bald eagle for company.  There’s no gym in the world that can offer that.”

Chester River Rowing Club “Learn to Row” brochures are in Chestertown at Evergrain Bakery, Play It Again Sam’s, and the Kent Athletic and Wellness Center.  A brochure also is posted on the club’s website:  http://www.chesterriverrowingclub.com.  If you have questions, contact Margie Elsberg at maelsberg@aol.com.

The novice class will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Acclaimed Novelist Roxana Robinson Visits Kent County Public Library

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Kent County Public Library is delighted to announce an evening with acclaimed novelist Roxana Robinson whose writing is known for explorations of the complexity of familiar bonds.

Roxana Robinson is the author of nine books: five novels, including Cost; three collections of short stories; and the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Book Forum, Best American Short Stories, Tin House and elsewhere. She teaches in the Hunter MFA Program and divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and Maine. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation and is the President of the Authors Guild.

Beginning at 5:30 on Friday, May 19, the general public is invited to meet the author during a catered reception and book signing. A limited number of Ms. Robinson’s books will be available for purchase.

Due to limited seating, tickets are required to attend Ms. Robinson’s talk at 6:45.  Tickets are FREE OF CHARGE and available on a first come, first served basis.

For tickets or more information, call 410.778.3636.

This event is made possible due to the generosity of the Friends of Kent County Public Library.  For more information about the Friends, visit friendsofthekcpl.org.

May 19, 2017 | 5:30pm
Chestertown Branch

Williamson Receives Benedictine’s 2017 Sister Jeannette Award

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Debbi Williamson (center), Scott Evans (right), executive director of Benedictine, and Patrick “Ben” Denihan, president of the Benedictine board of directors.

Greensboro resident Debbi Williamson was honored with the coveted Sister Jeannette award during the Benedictine Foundation’s annual Spring Benefit weekend, April 28-30, at the Tidewater Inn, Easton.

Williamson, a special education teacher at the Benedictine School, joined the Ridgely-based organization in 1985.

“Debbi is an excellent example of the best of Sister Jeannette and exemplifies the Benedictine values. She truly cares for our students and her coworkers. It shows in every aspect of her work,” noted Scott Evans, Benedictine’s executive director, during the April 29 awards presentation.The award is named for the former director of the Benedictine School, Sister Jeannette Murray, OSB.

“Debbi’s greatest demonstration of her compassionate caring can be seen in her efforts to continue religious education for our students. She volunteers her time, unsolicited, to come in on weekends to lead prayer service for students who want to participate. She has done this for years but has taken more of a lead with it recently as the Sisters of Saint Benedict no longer have a regular priest on campus. Debbi does this quietly without any expectation of reward other than to share her beliefs and our legacy with others,” Evans added.

Williamson was also lauded for her work with campus horticulture. “She helped obtain a grant for the planting of 100 new trees on campus in October 2015 through the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, organizing volunteers, students and the Benedictine Sisters to help plant the trees throughout campus. Over the past couple of months she’s mulched and weeded the trees on her own time.”

“Debbi has touched the lives of many students over her 32 years with Benedictine. She knows many of the adult individuals in our program and their families and reaches out to students who aren’t in her class just to be an added friendly face. She truly embodies the spirit of the Sister Jeannette Award and is a shining example of the core values of Benedictine,” Evans concluded.

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.