Kent County Public Library Out and About – Dec 16

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Kent County Public Library provides regular service at its three locations in Chestertown, Rock Hall, and the North County Branch in Galena, but we also like to offer library experiences outside of our buildings! KCPL will be participating in these upcoming community events:

Millington Winter Fest & Cookie Walk

Saturday, December 16th  |  9am-1pm

Pick up FREE children’s books and learn about library programs and services during the Millington Winter Fest at the Millington Volunteer Fire Company.

Gather ‘Round at the Garfield

Saturday, December 16th  |  3:30 pm

Join us at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre for a special storytime full of seasonal stories for children of all ages.

For more information, visit the library’s website  or call 410.778.3636.

 

Children & Books — They Go
Together — Kent County Public Library

WRUS Masquerade Gala Honors its First “Great Blue Heron” Award Recipients

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Wye River Upper School (WRUS) presented its newly minted Great Blue Heron Award and WRUS Alumni Achievement Award to two individuals at the School’s “Masquerade Gala: Unmasking Achievers with Learning Differences,” hosted at its Centreville location and attended by 150 guests.

The School, which is celebrating its 15th year of educating bright high school students with learning differences, hosted the gala to highlight the accomplishments of Alumna Chloe Tong, of Easton, Maryland and Parker Seip, of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Great Blue Heron Award is designed to honor individuals who have used their strengths and passions to achieve personal and professional goals, and provide leadership and service to their communities.

Students at Wye River present the Great Blue Heron awards to Chloe Tong and Parker Seip.

The School’s Great Hall was festively decorated in a black and gold masquerade theme with an impressive art-installation of a mask (created by WRUS students) suspended from the ceiling. The Gala brought together parents, WRUS alumni, Board members, Town Council, donors, and faculty and staff. Guests enjoyed live music, a silent auction and other fundraisers, cocktails and heavy hors-d’oeuvres donated and served by local restaurants and caterers, including Magnolia Caterers, The Narrows Restaurant, Smokehouse Grill, Doc’s Riverside Grille, Fisherman’s Inn & Crab Deck, Krave Courtyard, Austin and Guy Spurry, and the Chesapeake Culinary Center.

“Almost as soon as we had established the award concept and criteria we knew we had two very strong candidates, Chloe Tong and Parker Seip,” says Chrissy Aull, Executive Director of WRUS, who conducted the award presentations. “With support and opportunities to pursue their goals, both Chloe and Parker learned to use tools and strategies to get around their learning differences. They are both shining examples that students facing challenges do not need to miss out on pursuing their passions.”

Chloe graduated from WRUS in 2010 and went on to attend Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she graduated in 2014 with a degree in dance. After a few months of traveling in Europe, she moved to Australia to work as a nanny while pursuing her love of dance and rowing. Now employed by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Chloe is an integral member of the CBMM staff. She has worked in a variety of roles and more recently has become certified as a backhoe operator, training others in this operation. Chloe has also worked to found the Eastern Shore Community Rowers, a nonprofit organization. She continues to dance and choreograph productions for area dance companies. Together with fellow dancers Tong has created another 501c3, Continuum, a dance company for which she serves as artistic director, choreographer, and dancer

Chloe has one more major undertaking in progress: She is taking lessons to become a licensed as a helicopter pilot. A love of flying is something Chloe shares with fellow Great Blue Heron Award recipient, Parker Seip.

Guests enjoy the Masquerade Gala in the School’s School Great Hall.

Parker, the son of Easton residents and longtime friends of WRUS – Tom and Alexa Seip, attended the Winston School in Del Mar, California, a school like WRUS which is designed to support the strengths and needs of students with learning differences. As his parents are quick to note, “All Parker ever wanted to do was fly airplanes.” Upon graduation from Winston, Parker earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Flight Operations from Daniel Webster College. He later became an instructor for the college, and he earned his Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) status from the Federal Aviation Administration. Now with years of commercial flight experience, Parker is employed by a major commercial airline as First Officer on the Airbus 320 and 321, a craft which accommodates 220 passengers. He and his wife Amy and their two young children reside in North Carolina.

The School’s financial aid program will benefit from the Gala proceeds which include generous sponsorships by Alan and Penny Griffith, CS/2 LLC, Don and Debbie Pusey, Miles & Stockbridge, Richard K. White, Jr., 1880 Bank, Harry and Virginia Duffey, Tom and Alexa Seip, Town of Centreville, and Shore United/Wye Financial & Trust.

Wye River Upper School enrolls bright high school students with learning challenges including ADHD, dyslexia, and anxiety. For more information, contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922, katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org.

Beekeeping 101 Classes Set

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Starting in January 2018, Michael Embrey will be offering beginning beekeeping classes in both Chestertown and Easton. Beekeeping 101 consists of a total of 7 classes. The first five classes will be held every other week until the end of April. The last two classes, focusing on winterizing your hives and keeping your bees healthy, will take place in September. Attendants will learn about the lives of bees, how to take care of hives, pest and diseases, swarm management, honey extraction and much more. Mr. Embrey is a retired apiculturalist with the University of Maryland Extension and has been teaching beekeeping classes for decades.The recommended textbook Is, “The Beekeeper’s Handbook, Fourth Edition” by Diana Sammataro. Registration fee for the entire series is $125.

Classes in Chestertown will start on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library at Washington College. To register for this class, please contact Mike Wham, .MLWham@gmail.com or 302-354-3150.

Classes in Easton will start on Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Talbot County Extension Office, Marvel Court (off of Glebe Road). To register for this class, please contact Mike Embrey, mecharjew@yahoo.com410-924-0028.

In addition to the classes, anyone interested in bees or beekeeping is invited to attend the monthly lectures and meetings of the following Beekeepers Associations:

  • Upper Eastern Shore Beekeepers Association, 2nd Wednesday of the month in the yellow building at the Kent County Public Library in Chestertown.
  • Lower Eastern Shore Beekeepers Association, 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Wicomico Extension Office on Nanticoke Road in Salisbury.
  • Wye River Beekeepers Association, 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Adult Education Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.

More information is available online or on Facebook Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association

KCHS Seasonal Sensations Dinner and Concert Dec. 13

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Members of the KCHS Jazz Band in concert

Kent County High School Music presents the 10th annual Seasonal Sensations Dinner, Jazz Concert and Silent Auction,  6 p.m Dec. 13 at Kent County High School Cafeteria

Enjoy a meal prepared by skilled Kent County High School Culinary Arts students while seasonal music selections are performed by our talented Kent County High School Jazz Band and Chorus students. Purchase your tickets early, seating is limited!

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 12.  Tickets can be picked up at the door the evening of the event. Please R.S.V.P. to Marlayn at marlayn@atlanticbb.net to reserve your tickets.

 

Wye River Upper School Explores the Benefits of Mindfulness in Education

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The work and mission of Wye River Upper School will be strengthened as the school partners with the WRUS Parent’s Association to provide training for faculty and staff in the Neurobiology of Stress Management, Mindfulness and Meditation Tools for Resilience.

Monica Jordan of Annapolis, is leading the on-site training.  Jordan holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.), and a Master’s Certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching (MCMBT) from Johns Hopkins University.  Jordan’s research focuses on the consequences of stress overload on the nervous system, mood, learning, behavior, executive function, and overall wellbeing. Her research also encompasses the effectiveness of Mindfulness as an intervention to ameliorate, and as a way to transform our reaction to stressors.

Jordan is providing every member of the staff and faculty with fifteen hours of intensive training as well as guidance and instruction for independent work to be done between training sessions.  After the course is complete, teachers and staff will share what they have learned with the Wye River students.

The WRUS faculty and staff gather in front of the school before one of their Mindfulness Trainings.

“Like most teenagers, our students must manage much more than we of the Baby Boomer or Millennial generation,” notes WRUS Head of School Chrissy Aull.  “Social media being the biggest add-on to an existing list of stressors that include academics, friends, college, and job readiness.  Often students and adults simply miss the joy of the moment or, worse, their stress can be an obstacle to learning.  We think Monica’s research-based approach is an ideal fit for our students and the adults who guide them. The entire staff will better support our students, athletes, and artists by showing them how mindfulness techniques and strategies can be used in their daily lives.”

Research supports the positive impact that Mindfulness has on academics and happiness.  In 2015, researchers at the University of British Columbia found that fourth and fifth grade students that participated in a 12-week mindfulness program had higher levels of attention, better retention, and 15 percent higher math grades than their peers. This was on top of psychological benefits such as lower levels of depression and increased feelings of optimism. (Terada, Y. 2017, Feb. Edutopia.org).

The WRUS faculty expresses enthusiasm at this opportunity.  Veteran teacher Kimberleigh Nichols adds, “Teaching is inherently a demanding job, and when you add stressors from home, it can feel overwhelming sometimes.  This training will give me the tools to manage stress more effectively and allow us to model those strategies for our students and families, paving the way for more creativity and learning.”

Rounding out the partnership amongst WRUS stakeholders, Parent’s Association Kathy Stisted offers, “The WRUS Parents Association is pleased to provide support for the Mindfulness program.  The generous donations of the WRUS parent community during the 2016-17 school year, allowed this seminar to be brought in-house.  We look forward to seeing the results of the training as the lessons learned are put into practice at our school.”

A free Mindfulness Workshop will be offered to the public on December 13, from 7:00pm-8:15 pm at the WRUS campus: 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. Visit www.wyeriverupperschool.org for more details. WRUS enrolls bright high school students with learning differences, including ADHD, dyslexia, and anxiety.  For more information, contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922.

December 2017 Sky-Watch:  Xmas Program and Meteor Shower by Dennis Herrmann

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Thirty years ago, December 1987, I led my astronomy students at Kent County High School in writing and producing a Christmas Program in the planetarium.  Along with the help of the radio station at school, WKHS-FM, the program was presented to the public and to classroom students from our county schools.  Each year since 1987, we have done the same thing.

This year we present the 31st annual Xmas Program on December 15, 18, 19, 21, and 22 at 7 p.m. at the KCHS planetarium.  We never charge admission and always provide holiday refreshments.  We hope many of you and your families and friends will join us for this year’s program, “The Magic of Xmas; the Magic of the Planetarium.”  It remains, as always, our gift to the community and is a unique way to help celebrate this wonderful time of year.

The year’s richest and most reliable meteor shower, the Geminids, will peak on the night of December 13/14, without any Moon interference.  The Moon’s phase is slim crescent; and it does not rise until 3:30 p.m.  The Geminids appear to come from the area of the sky where we see the constellation Gemini.  Gemini rises around sunset time, nearly due east, and is nearly overhead by 2 a.m.  The best meteor views will come then on the morning of December 14th, between midnight and 4 am.  Under clear, dark sky conditions we may expect to see upwards to 120 meteors per hour!

Geminids Meteor Shower

Mars rises in the southeast sky at magnitude +1.7 around 3:30 a.m. in early December, where it will be very close to Spica; brightest star in Virgo.  Mars is only half as bright as Spica this month, but bright enough so that its ruddy color will make a nice contrast of color with the blue-white star Spica.

Jupiter also rises in the east about 75 minutes after Mars.  Jupiter is much brighter at –1.7 magnitude and is found among the stars of Libra the Scales.

Last month a close conjunction of the two brightest planets as seen from Earth, Venus and Jupiter, occurred behind cloudy skies for us; so we missed it.  But we will have another chance to see a good planetary conjunction on December 31st.  One hour before sunrise, looking southeast, Mars may be seen just 3 degrees to the right of Jupiter, with the bright star of Libra, Zubenelgeneubi, right between them.  During the first week of January 2018, they will be even closer (just 0.2 degrees) apart!  By the way, Zubenelgenubi is my favorite star name.  Pronounced:  Zoo Ben L gen Oo Bee.

Size comparison – Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mercury, etc.

During the month of December, we can watch Mars draw closer to Jupiter, from 16 degrees apart on the 1st, down to 3 degrees on the 31st.  In between on the 13th, the waning crescent Moon may be seen above Mars, with Jupiter 11 degrees below the red planet.  On December 14th, an even slimmer crescent Moon will be 5 degrees to Jupiter’s upper left.

This month’s Full Moon on December 3 will gather a lot of attention and receive media hype because full phase happens only 17 hours before the Moon makes its closest approach to Earth (perigee) during its monthly orbit.  This coincidence makes this the largest full moon of 2017 – some 7% more than average.  If we observe this Full Moon low above the eastern horizon we will be surprised by its size.  But this is mostly an illusion caused when viewing the Moon near familiar objects in the foreground.  Our minds are “tricked” into perceiving the Moon as larger.  The media will refer to it as a “Super Moon.”

The Moon will also Occult the brightest star in Taurus, Aldebaran, on December 30 between 6 and 7 p.m. EST.  The dark side of the waxing gibbous Moon will cover the star for about one hour, with it coming back to view as the brightly lit side moves past it.  This event is an occultation and is fun to observe with binoculars.

Merry Christmas; keep looking up and watching God’s glorious night sky – and come to the Xmas program!!!

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Kent County Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee to Hold Special Meeting, Monday, Nov. 27

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The Kent County Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee of the Kent County Board of Education is holding a special meeting for the purpose of discussing long-term facilities planning.  The meeting will be held on Monday, November 27, 2017, at 4:30 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Kent County High School Media Center, 25301 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, Maryland  21678

Members of the Kent County Board of Education are Trish McGee, president; A. Bryan Williams, vice president; Jeff Reed, member; Dr. Wendy Costa, member; and Joseph Goetz, member. Karen Couch is superintendent of schools.

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Leadership, Character, Service, and Scholarship: NHS Induction

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On Thursday, November 16, thirty-two students were inducted into the National Honor Society at The Gunston School. The National Honor Society (NHS) is a prestigious organization for juniors and seniors, which requires them to hold a grade point average of at least 88 and to meet the society’s rigorous non-academic criteria.

The inductees, their parents, and current NHS members gathered in the Susie Konkel Atrium for breakfast, pictures and celebration before the induction ceremony that was held in the Field House. Welcoming remarks were made by Headmaster John Lewis, who spoke about the importance of pursuing the four key National Honor Society values: leadership, character, service, and scholarship.

Photo: NHS Inductees: front row (l-r): Ellie Merton, Becky DeFino, Shiloh Clark, Camy Kelly, Leah Hellwege, Nellie Stup, Megan Prochaska, Elena Sherman, Anneliese Clair, Caroline Roser, Hope Murphy; middle row (l-r): Si-tong (Vicky) Zhou, Marisa Pisapia, Phin Howell, Nick Lee, Jack Morrison, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Katie Easter, Cora Duncan, Kejing (Karen) Chen; back row (l-r): Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Nick Basham, Mitchel Naumann, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Haorui (Davy) Song, Drew Seaman, James Pratt. Missing: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Paige Murphy, and Claire Johnson.

Following Mr. Lewis’ remarks, the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County (and NHS member). Mr. Richardson spoke to the student body and guests about goal setting, “not only do you have to set goals, but you also need to map out a plan on how you will achieve your goals.”

To highlight the core values of NHS, four candles were lit by current members, as senior and NHS president Henry Parkhurst spoke about the meaning of each value. NHS Secretary Alli Webb read each inductee’s accomplishments as they were called up one-by-one, to receive a certificate, pin, and rose, and to sign their names into the NHS registry. To make them official members of the society, current members pinned the inductees with a pin bearing the NHS logo and the pledge was recited, led by Henry Parkhurst. To conclude the ceremony, Mr. Michael Kaylor, the NHS advisor, shared words of wisdom and high praises to the students for their accomplishments.

We congratulate this year’s NHS Chapter Officers and Inductees.

Officers
President: Henry Parkhurst, Vice President: Susie Fordi, Secretary: Alli Webb, Treasurer: Neel Patel, Historian: Gillian Felton, Parliamentarian: Chris Newberg, Public Relations: Lila Ingersoll

Members
Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjie (Rose) Fan, Steven Goss, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps, Joey Smith, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou

Inductees
Grade 12: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Jack Morrison, Hope Murphy, Mitchell Naumann, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu. Grade 11: Nick Basham, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Anneliese Clair, Shiloh Clark, Becky DeFino, Cora Duncan, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Leah Hellwege, Phin Howell, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Ellie Merton, Paige Murphy, Marisa Pisapia, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Drew Seaman, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Vicky Zhou.

The Gunston School Announces First Quarter Academic Honors

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Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 academic year. To earn a place on the High Honors list, a student must have an A average and effort grades of “S” or above. To earn Honors, a student must achieve a B+/A- average and effort grades of “S” or above.

High Honors: Grade 12—Simon Cawley, Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Susie Fordi, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Chris Newberg, Alex Papadopolous, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps; Grade 11—Brooks Armstrong, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Will Gibson, Phin Howell, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schizy, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Yong (George) Yan; Grade 10—Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Emily Gray, Grace Holmes, Wyatt Howell, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Yaxuan (Joey) Zhuo; Grade 9—Avy Aubin, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Arianna Campi, Julie Ireland, Toni McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Adie Parish, Lydia Periconi, Severin Schut, Hannah Worth.

Honors: Grade 12—Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjiee (Rose) Fan, Gillian Felton, Yohanes Gray, Wenyuan (Nick) Li, Robert Messier, Jack Morrison, Mitchell Naumann, Dutch Nickerson, Neel Patel, Garrett Rudolfs, Charlotte Sheets, Joey Smith, Alli Webb, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou; Grade 11—Dolan Carella, Shiloh Clark, Malachi Graham, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Ellie Merton, Marisa Pisapia, Drew Seaman, Katie Staley, Sam Umidi, Anna Wolf, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou; Grade 10—Andrew Amygdalos, MacCallum Borghardt, Mark Bourdin, Cotter Buckley, Natalie Cockey, Nina De Angelo, Frankie Fisher, Cedar Foster, Lynsey Hildebrand, Lily Judd, Nick Kellogg, Martina Kreienbuehl, Payton Lord, Hunter Mansfield, Michael Nickerson, Mason Rudolfs, Isabella Santobani, Max Scott, Peter Sharpless, Abby Silva, Owen White; Grade 9—Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Lily Bernsten, Maxmillian Brady, Tiger Christman, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Olivia Hershey, Campbell Parkhurst, Connor Reichardt, Emily Ryon, Joshua Sanford, Owen Santora, Charlie Shifron, Henry Shifron, Christian Walker, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Colin Ward.