Spy Spotlight: Shore Exportations with Patrick Rogan

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Most of Patrick Rogan’s professional life is that of a designer of exhibitions for museums. His work, at that of his firm, assemble, works collaboratively with those institutions to tell compelling stories through images and other multimedia tools. The results of which can been seen in such nationally known museums as the , National Building Museum, Carnegie Institution for Science, or the Maryland Science Center, and more locally with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Horn Point Laboratories, the Talbot Historical Society, and Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and Historic Easton.

But through the process of developing these installations, Patrick also saw that these techniques could also apply directly to the learning process of children. The act of gathering material, doing research, and designing presentations of findings fits exceptionally well in a new era for the modern classroom, where students can use the same tools to examine the past, present, and future of the Mid-Shore.

Drawing from the life and legacy of Talbot County’s Frederick Douglass, Rogan is working closely with Talbot County Public Schools, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and the Talbot Historical Society during his Bicentennial year on two week interpretive workshops with local sixth and seventh graders, and TCPS teachers Colin Stibbins and Kyndell Rainer, to lead them through an exploration of our history, ecosystem, and culture to seek a better understanding of their past, present and future on the Mid-Shore.

The Spy talked to Patrick at the Waterfowl Building last week about Shore Explorations one month studio where participants will be using the legacy of Douglass and some of the Talbot Historical Society’s remarkable photographs as essential tools in sharing their hopes for the future for our area.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. We have also added clips of a video that the students created this summer as another example of Shore Explorations special approach. For more information about Shore Explorations please go here.

 

 

 

Kent School to Host Secondary School Fair

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On Monday, October 1, Kent School will host a secondary school fair for students in Grades Seven and Eight and their parents or guardians. The event will be held in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium from 6:30 pm through 8:00 pm. The fair is free and open to the public. Several independent and area public schools, both day schools and boarding schools will participate. A partial list of participating schools includes The Gunston School, Mercersburg Academy, St. Andrew’s School, West Nottingham Academy, Madeira School, Westtown School, Woodberry Forest School, Kent County High School and Queen Anne’s County High School.

According to Tricia Cammerzell, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, “The purpose of the fair is to bring as many secondary schools together in one place at one time so students and parents can get an overview of the wonderful regional options for high school. This is an opportunity for families to speak with admission representatives and decide if they want to delve further into the admission process for a particular school.”

The secondary school process at Kent School is an intentional one that includes an academically rigorous program coupled with faculty support, small class discussions and student accountability. Nancy Mugele, Head of Kent School said, “At Kent School we are proud of the work we do for each student to prepare them for success in their chosen high school. We conduct mock interviews, create classroom situations similar to high school classes and write in-depth recommendations. As stated in our mission, we are invested in ‘helping each student reach their full potential for academic, athletic, artistic and moral excellence’. The secondary school fair is an important tool to help guide students and parents through the discovery, application and enrollment process.” Mugele continued, “I hope families from throughout the Kent County and Queen Anne’s County communities will join us to learn more about some of these exceptional schools.”

Kent School is located at 6788 Wilkins Lane in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit www.kentschool.org. Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River.

Mid-Shore History: William Smith’s Washington College with Colin Dickson

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It is a common mistake to assume that George Washington was the founder of Washington College in 1782. That was not the case, but the future first president of the United States did agree to allow the use his name for an entirely new liberal arts college in Chestertown as well as hard cash as a donation, which was hard to come by after the Revolution.

No, that honor goes to William Smith, a brilliant academic who had helped start the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania) with Ben Franklin and became its first leader. Forced to leave Philly due to his loyalist politics, he came to Chestertown at the request of the town, to start a revolutionary new form of undergraduate education.

In the fall of each year, as Washington College starts its new semester, we like to share an interview with former WC professor Colin Dickson in 2012 about William Smith and how extraordinarily lucky Chestertown was to have such a visionary and innovator in American education start their new school.

This video is approximately ten minutes in length. For more information about Washington College please go here

Alexandra Cox, Juvenile Justice Scholar to Speak at WC Sept. 27

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Is America’s juvenile justice system itself a crime against young offenders? In her recent book, Trapped in A Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People, sociologist Alexandra Cox reveals that a system that claims to promote positive change in the lives of the young people, more often than not, enmeshes them in a cruel web of injustice.

Cox will discuss her research and findings at Washington College on Thursday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center. Cosponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Department of Sociology, and the Justice, Law & Society Program at Washington College, the program is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.

Spending many years working with incarcerated teenagers, Cox researched and witnessed firsthand the lives of the young people and adults in New York’s justice system. Her talk will focus on the ways that the system, rather than the crimes themselves, acts as a vise in the lives of young people, pushing them to change through the use of intensive interventions and services, but also pulling them away from meaningful opportunities for growth and development.

“Alexandra Cox is the epitome of an engaged scholar: a superb researcher and analyst who also describes powerful firsthand experiences,” said Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director. “Through her vivid writing and persuasive arguments, Cox emerges as an eloquent advocate for some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Her work is an exemplar for students in many different fields.”

Cox is a lecturer at the University of Essex (UK) in the Department of Sociology. She previously was an assistant professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz in the Department of Sociology. Prior to getting her Ph.D., she worked in the fields of criminal justice and drug policy reform at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Drug Law Reform project, the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Legal Affairs (in California) and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. A research fellow at Yale Law School, she was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and served as a Soros Justice Advocacy fellow.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

S.O.S. Comes to Rescue Kent County Public Schools with Jodi Bortz

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While there has always been a history of community activism and concern about the Kent County Public Schools including such groups as the PTA and those trying to fight off school consolidation a few years ago, the recent emergence of S.O.S., a.k.a. Support Our Schools is entirely different in many ways.

This small, informal friends group that grew out of parental concern about the financial capacity of the KCPS system has now emerged as a real force in holding elected officials accountable for the votes they cast, or don’t, to subsidize Kent County public schools beyond the mandatory “maintenance of effort” budget requirements set by the State of Maryland.

S.O.S. also represents a new era of local leadership. A new generation of young parents, well-versed in business management, social media, and marketing, have come to the fold to fight these battles.

One of those new leaders is Jodi Bortz, the owner of Blue Canary Letterpress, the mother of two KCPS children, and a graduate of Kent County High School. The Spy talked to her at Spy HQ last week to talk about the S.O.S.mission and its concern of the long-term sustainability of its public school system.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about S.O.S. please go here

Mid-Shore Education: Meg Bamford Takes the Helm of Radcliffe Creek School

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When the Radcliffe Creek School started the process to fill its director’s position after its founder Molly Judge stepped down after twenty-two years, the board, staff, and parents knew these would be tough shoes to fill.

Judge, part gifted educator, part entrepreneur,  single-handedly built a school in Chestertown that would offer a real choice for children who learned differently and at a different pace than their contemporaries in traditional public and private schools. The results of that hard work were the creation of an institution that attracts over a hundred students from both the Eastern and Western Shores of Maryland.

That remarkable record of achievement was the reason that the school launched a national search almost two years ago but that strategy was no guarantee that the right successor would be identified.

Luckily for Radcliffe Creek School and for the Mid-Shore, those ambitions did indeed find that needle in the proverbial haystack with the selection of Meghan “Meg” Bamford as the second Head of School.

A product of the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Meg Bamford not only has a distinguished academic background in special education, but struggled with her own learning challenges at an early age which led to earning two master’s degrees in education, with appointments to the highly regarded Landmark College in New England, and more recently as the head of student services with the Hopkinton School District in New Hampshire.

The Spy sat down with Meg a few weeks ago as she began her new job to reflect on her views of education, Radcliffe Creek, and the honor she feels by being selected to lead this exceptional school.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School please go here

Kent School Adds Three New Board Members

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The Kent School Board of Trustees has elected three new members for multi-year terms beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year. The Board of Trustees at Kent School is comprised of parents, alumni, parents of alumni and community leaders. Joining the Board are Karl Adler, Jamie Kirkpatrick and Kurt M. Landgraf. Kent School is an independent, not-for-profit school and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is charged with keeping the school “in trust” and securing the school’s future. Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School said, “I am deeply grateful to Karl, Jamie, and Kurt for sharing their expertise with Kent School. Each of them has significant experience specific to the governance and life of independent schools. I am confident each will bring additional thoughtful and creative leadership to our school community and I cannot wait to work with them.”

Karl Adler is an experienced educator and school administrator who currently works as the Head of the Middle School at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth summer program (currently Hong Kong, previously Chestertown). He has served as the middle school head of The Calverton School (Huntingtown) and the head of St. James Academy (Monkton). He served on the Vestry of St. James (Monkton), the Board of Directors for Scientists Cliffs Association (Port Republic) and the Board of Directors of Flag Harbor Condo Association (St. Leonard). Karl earned a BA in English from Muhlenberg College, an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Goucher College and Post-Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University where Nancy had the pleasure to teach him.

Jamie Kirkpatrick graduated from The Choate School and Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and served for six years in the Peace Corps before obtaining a Master of Arts Degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in Massachusetts. He was Director of International Programs at Special Olympics from 1984-1989 and served as Director of College Counseling at the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland from 1993-2015. In 2008, he spent four months on a Teaching Fellowship at St. Andrews University in Scotland. After retiring from Landon, Jamie has worked as a consultant to the college counseling offices of St. Andrews Episcopal School, Georgetown Day School, Gunston School, and Severn School. Jamie is currently a freelance writer and photographer. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, and Philadelphia Inquirer; recent magazine articles have appeared in The Washington College Alumni Magazine and American Cowboy Magazine. His first book of photography, A Place to Stand, was published by The Chester River Press in 2015. Jamie writes and illustrates a weekly column called Musings for The Chestertown Spy. His second book, Musing Right Along, was published in May, 2017. A sequel—I’ll Be Right Back—was released this summer.

Kurt M. Landgraf, a former corporate executive with deep experience in financial accountability, information technology, and integrated business strategies, was named President of Washington College in July 2017. Kurt was a senior executive with DuPont and held a 13-year tenure as President and CEO of Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization and a leader in educational research. He also served as vice chairman of New Jersey’s Higher Education Commission, the state’s governing board for colleges and universities, and president of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Kurt earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Wagner College, and then launched his business career in the pharmaceuticals industry. He went on to earn three master’s degrees: an M.A. in economics from Pennsylvania State University, an M.Ed. in educational administration from Rutgers University, and an M.S. in sociology from Western Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and serves on the boards of Corning Incorporated and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation.

In addition to electing these new trustees, the Board also elected Harry ‘Stoney’ Duffey and Thomas Gale to the role of Trustee Emeritus. This designation recognizes a long serving former Trustee who has made an extraordinary contribution to the School. Mugele continued, “Both Stoney and Tom have served the school in vital ways over the School’s fifty year history. I am certain we would not be where we are today nor poised for future successes without their wisdom and dedication.”

Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, is an independent school serving boys and girls from Preschool through Grade Eight. For more information about Kent School visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110

Steve Golding Named as Chair of Washington College Board of Visitors and Governors

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Steve Golding a 1972 graduate and a member of Washington College’s Board of Governors since 2003, has been elected to the position of Board Chair. H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., a 1985 graduate, Board member since 2003 and Board Chair since 2014, recently was named General Electric’s new lead independent director.

Recognized as one of the country’s leading CEO’s, Culp became Board Chair shortly after his retirement from the Danaher Corporation, after serving as its CEO for 15 years. “Serving as Board Chair has been as rewarding as any experience in my career. Washington College, its town and its future are near and dear to my heart. I am thrilled to take on this new opportunity at GE, and I am delighted to pass the Board gavel to Steve Golding, who will bring his immense talent and leadership abilities at an exciting time for the college. I am pleased to remain on the Board. I remain committed to supporting our outstanding college, albeit with less time due to my new commitment at GE.”

Washington College President Kurt Landgraf noted, “It has been a great honor to work with Larry, one of our country’s finest CEO’s and one of Washington College’s most significant benefactors. Along with his wife Wendy, he has made generosity to the college and to Chestertown’s top priorities. It is a tribute to his leadership, and a testament to the formative education he received at Washington College, to know that he is serving one of our country’s most iconic companies. This is truly a capstone for Washington College, and I am grateful that Larry will remain on the board and continue to co-chair our Forge a Legacy campaign.”

Steve Golding brings 25 years of higher education leadership experience to his new role, having served as CFO, Budget Director or Chief Administrative Officer at four different public and private national universities. Prior to entering higher education financial management, Steve was the State of Delaware’s Secretary of Finance and Budget Director. Golding offered, “I am humbled to assume the responsibilities of Board Chair at this historic institution that I have loved since I came to Chestertown as a student in 1968. There are few things more important than helping to lay the proper foundation for Washington College to grow and prosper in its third century, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members, the college’s senior staff, faculty and students to help guide its vibrant future.”

President Landgraf added, “I have had the pleasure to work with Steve on numerous issues during my presidency. His significant experience in higher education working with college administrations and faculty, his institutional knowledge of Washington College, and his work on board committees will prove invaluable as Washington College forges its path to the future. I am excited to work with him in to strengthen Washington College as a transformational learning institution.”

 

Hogan Establishes Statewide Schools Investigator General

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order Tuesday forming an Office of Education Accountability, an independently appointed investigator general, to look into allegations of corruption, abuse and other improprieties in the public education systems across the state.

The governor’s announcement comes on the heels of several high-profile scandals in Maryland school systems.

In Prince George’s County, school board members last year accused county school system leadership of artificially inflating graduation rates by altering students’ grades, and in March cited unapproved pay raises for some school system staff.

Hogan highlighted former Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance’s recent jail sentence after he pleaded guilty in March to perjury as an example of the need for more oversight. Dance failed to disclose income he received from a company that he helped to obtain a no-bid contract with the school system.

“After repeated allegations of wrongdoing, mismanagement and corruption, citizens have lost confidence in the leadership of their local school systems,” Hogan said at a State House news conference. “Our children cannot and should not have to wait until the Legislature returns in January,” the governor said. “They deserve action beginning right now.”

The newly formed office “will act as a liaison between local boards of education, the state Board of Education and Maryland’s concerned citizens,” Hogan said. “This new unit will be responsible for analyzing, coordinating and providing recommendations on matters including procurement improprieties, abuse, neglect, safety, grade fixing, graduation requirements, assessments, educational facilities and budgetary issues.”

A bill Hogan, a Republican running for re-election, spearheaded earlier this year to establish an investigative oversight office for schools failed in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

The governor’s executive order will be followed by the introduction of the Accountability in Education Act of 2019 to the General Assembly after the legislative session begins Jan. 9, Hogan said. The act would establish the Office of State Education Investigator General, an independent part of the Maryland State Department of Education, and would be appointed by Hogan, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George’s, Charles and Calvert and House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel.

“This new office will be charged with investigating complaints of unethical, unprofessional, improper or illegal conduct in our schools,” Hogan said, and “will be able to make inquiries, have the ability to obtain information by subpoena and hold hearings in order to get to the truth.”

John Woolums, the director of governmental relations for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, said his office has previously opposed similar legislation to create a statewide inspector general, and their position would not change with the governor’s announcement.

“It’s not reflective of any reluctance to be subject to accountability but in fact it’s because there is ample authority residing with the state’s superintendent of schools and the state Board of Education to provide oversight and enforce state laws and regulations that they determine are not being followed or adhered to by local school systems,” Woolums said. “There have been bills in the past introduced to create an inspector general and we’ve traditionally and consistently opposed those.”

Hogan appointed Valerie Radomsky to be the director of the newly formed office. Radomsky, a former Baltimore County school teacher, is a Board of Public Works coordinator in the Maryland comptroller’s office.

The new office would be responsible for responding to complaints and referring them to the State Board of Education or other public school agencies. The complaints, and their resolutions, would be maintained in a database, Hogan said. An annual report of the findings and recommendations would be submitted to the General Assembly, he added.

Hogan’s gubernatorial opponent, Democratic candidate Ben Jealous, criticized Hogan’s announcement.

“A political investigator run out of the governor’s office won’t change the fact that our schools are underfunded by billions of dollars and our teachers are underpaid. As governor, I will fully fund our schools, not blame our hardworking teachers and support staff.”

Hogan maintains he has spent record amounts of money on education in Maryland, in excess of the Legislature’s mandated funding formulas.

Jealous announced a piece of his own education agenda Tuesday, promising the creation of a Teacher School Supply Fund. The money would come from other Marylanders choosing to donate a portion of their tax returns.

Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost voiced her disappointment at Hogan’s decision to sign the executive order.

“On what should be an exciting first day (of school), to hear Gov. Hogan highlight failures when he, for the past three years has underfunded our schools…” Bost said. “The governor’s office already has agencies available to look into claims of fraud. This is a diversion of resources, and campaign rhetoric.”

By Brooks DuBose