Radcliffe Creek School Announces Eighth-Grade Graduation


(CHESTERTOWN, MD) – On Friday, June 7, 2019, Radcliffe Creek School proudly celebrated the graduation of 15 eighth-grade students that will be transitioning to high school next year. The graduation ceremony was held during the school’s annual celebration of the end of the school year in which many students are recognized for their contributions, success, and growth over the course of the year.

The ceremony started with an introduction from Head of School, Meg Bamford who has just completed her first school year with Radcliffe Creek School. She addressed the graduating eighth-graders, saying, “You have experienced one of the most powerful motivators to push yourself to be the best you can be and that is connecting with others by sharing who you are and advocating for your needs. This continues into the next adventure of your life. Bring this important element of the “Radcliffe Way” with you.”

Alumni speaker Colin Eck, class of 2002 and current Food and Beverage Director at Rise Up Coffee, spoke to the attendees about his memories of his eighth-grade graduation and his success that was made possible by Radcliffe Creek School. Colin’s speech gave insight into his time at Radcliffe Creek School, where teachers and staff not only supported him, but helped him to become confident, organized, and successful. He also talked about how the skills he built while at Radcliffe have helped him to persevere through high school, become engaged with people from all over the world in his years after high school, and be successful in his current position which is demanding and busy. He stated, “Radcliffe’s unique approach to education, and it’s dedicated and caring staff opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and changed my life completely.”

At the ceremony, many annual awards were presented to deserving students. The Faculty Award, presented to students for achievement in personal and academic growth, was awarded to Zoe Bramble from Rock Hall and Olivia Murray from Chestertown. The RCS Award is presented each year to a student who is an admirable peer role model and exemplifies the ideals and values of the school. The RCS Award was presented to Josephine Wood from Easton and Eliiyja Taylor from Annapolis. The distinguished Tecumseh Award was presented to Brayden Batchelor from Rock Hall and William Stuart from Oxford in recognition of their perseverance and determination. The Blue Heron Award is presented to one student each year in recognition of exceptional academic courage and notable willingness to take risks. This prestigious award was presented this year to Ben Anthony from Chestertown.

Eighth-grade students were also selected to share their reflection of their time at Radcliffe at the ceremony. Nellie Rhodes, Liam Thomas, and Ben Anthony all presented to the audience and shared how Radcliffe has shaped them as students and teenagers. Nellie Rhodes meaningfully spoke to her many experiences at Radcliffe that led her to step out of her comfort zone, in which she reflected, “I can say with certainty that I would not be the confident, empathetic person I am today, had I not attended Radcliffe.”

Students who graduated Radcliffe Creek School in the class of 2019 are Ben Anthony, Marcus Boyle, Thomas Callahan, Mason Gant, Nasr Matthews, Hunter Morrison, Jack Rhodes, Nellie Rhodes, Kelly Ryon, David Schell, MacKenzie Smith, Ben Spurry, William Stuart, Liam Thomas, and Kaylyn Wilkins. Students from the class of 2019 will be attending a variety of high schools next year, including Gunston, Mount Saint Joseph, St. Andrew’s, St. Michaels High School, Kent County High School, and Wye River Upper School.

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates unique learning. At the heart of The Radcliffe Way is the notion of personalized learning in a caring community that sets high expectations but provides support for all students to excel. 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 www.radcliffecreekschool.org

Sultana & Students Help Conserve Radcliffe Creek


Students from Kent School and Radcliffe Creek School pose at Chestertown Town Hall, where they displayed projects summarizing a year-long course on Radcliffe Creek  –  Photo by Peter Heck

Students at Kent School and Radcliffe Creek School gathered at Town Hall Tuesday, May 28, to show projects created as part of a year-long study of the ecology of Radcliffe Creek.   All were “Action Projects” in which the students first studied the subject then came up with ideas of how they could make a difference for a cleaner, better environment.

The projects are the end results of a class created by Sultana Education Foundation, enlisting some 200 seventh-grade students at county schools. Radcliffe Creek runs along the north and west edges of Chestertown, entering the Chester River just downstream from the armory.

Beth Lenker of Sultana Education Foundation  – Photo by Peter Heck

A wood duck nesting box built by Kent School students for installation along Radcliffe Creek

Sultana’s Holt Education Director, Beth Lenker, said the students’ work was their response to the question, “What can we do?” at the end of the course, which included classroom work along with field trips along the creek. Each of the projects has the overall goal of helping to clean up the creek, the Chester River, and the Chesapeake Bay, Lenker said.

Projects covered a range from building nesting boxes for wood ducks, which will be installed along the course of the stream; trying to persuade local restaurants to discontinue using plastic straws; and erecting a sign in Gateway Park, which borders the stream where it crosses High Street, to make visitors aware of the need to protect the environment. One group of students created stencils to paint signs at storm drains, to remind everyone that they empty into the river, while others created a game to make younger students aware of some of the wildlife that inhabits the creek. And still another group created a plan to completely eliminate plastic bags from the local community.

Radcliffe Creek School Storm Drain Stencils project (kneeling in front) Hunter Morrison, Nasr Matthews, Kentie Smith; (standing middle row) Nellie Rhodes, David, Schell; (back row) Jack Rhodes, Benjamin Anthony  – Photo by Jane Jewell

Sultana instructors worked with teachers Hannah Richardson of Kent School, Heidi Usilton of Radcliffe Creek School, and Karen Carty and Katie Hughs of Kent County Middle School. The project came together about two years ago after Sultana received a grant for it, and the teachers put together an outline for the course. Lessons learned this year will be applied to refining and adjusting the course for next year, Lenker said.

Students from Radcliffe Creek School who worked on a storm drain project said that there are three drains on their campus plus many more around town that drain directly into Radcliffe Creek.  Their project will stencil messages on or near the drains that will inform people and hopefully reduce the amount of pollutants that end up in the river and from there into the bay.  One stencil design states “No Waste — Drains to River”.

Kent School Project to persuade restaurants to use more ecological alternatives to plastic straws. (kneeling in front) Shawn Barry, Bob Hollis; (standing) Allie Butler, Sophia Kent, Eddie Gillespie, – Photo by Jane Jewell

Students in Kent School’s ExStrawdinary Project went to restaurants and other businesses that sell beverages and gave them information on the problems caused by plastics in general and plastic straws specifically.  They then presented the advantages of the four main alternative materials that straws can be made from–paper, metal, corn, and bamboo.  They asked the business to make a pledge to investigate these alternatives to plastic straws and then to seriously consider switching to one of them.  They displayed a long list of local businesses that made the pledge. (See the list below in the Photo Gallery .)

Rain Garden project: Parker Severs & Asher Bowman  – Photo by Jane Jewell

Students in a Rain Garden project did some research and found that planting vegetation with deeper roots can help a nearby river by absorbing more water and holding more soil. That helps reduce both erosion and pollution. The students then selected ten such plants—including black-eyed Susans and Echinacea–that can grow well in our area to plant along the creek. Seventh-grader Parker Severs said that she intends to plant some this summer in her own yard at home near low-lying spots that tend to collect water. Reducing small stagnant pools of water will also help reduce the number of mosquitoes—a real bonus!

It’s cool how engaged the students are in putting together the actions projects,” Lenker said. She said the projects could make a tangible difference in the health of Radcliffe Creek with ripple effects for both the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay.  But it’s most important that the students are learning that they can–as individuals or as a group–make a real difference in real problems.

Students from Kent County Middle School are scheduled to show their projects at the school this Thursday, June 6.  Those projects will be featured in a future Spy article.


**  Photo Gallery **

Save the Bay project students from the Kent School – Page Starky, Issie Leach, Lucas LaFleur, Maya Whyte, Hayden McKensie – Photo by Jane Jewell

All projects were presented on poster boards, a standard practice used in academia and the scientific and business worlds.  – Photo by Peter Heck

Radcliffe Creek School project group  – Photo by Jane Jewell

List of businesses pledging to consider switching away from plastic straws. – Photo by Jane Jewell

Save the Bay project displayed a hand-painted recycled bag with the slogan “There is no Planet B.” – Photo by Jane Jewell

Save the Bay project poster from Kent School – Photo by Jane Jewell





Radcliffe Creek School Receives $75,000 Gift for Financial Aid


Radcliffe Creek School is pleased to announce that it has received a generous $75,000 gift from Barbara Thomas and family members of her deceased brother, John Lane. The gift was used to help students who might otherwise have not been able to attend Radcliffe Creek School and as seed money to generate additional donations and revenue to help supplement the 2018-2019 operating budget, including a challenge to Radcliffe Creek’s donors to double the donation for the school’s Annual Fund.

“The gift from Barbara Thomas and the Lane Family will have an immediate impact on Radcliffe families as it enabled several families to send their children for the 2018-2019 school year,” said Radcliffe Creek’s Head of School, Meg Bamford, who began the position on July 1. “The ability to tell these families that their children would be able to come because of this gift was truly an honor. Our desire is to help as many students as we can. However, our difficulty lies in providing a small student to teacher ratio to provide targeted instruction and our families’ ability to pay our tuition. Often, parents come to Radcliffe not because they intended to enroll their children in private school, but because they are looking for an environment that can celebrate their child’s strengths while actively remediating their areas of weakness. Radcliffe embraces the whole child. Radcliffe Creek School believes that everyone learns differently and can thrive with structured, multisensory, personalized programming. Students with learning disabilities, apraxia, high functioning autism, and ADHD continue to blossom in this setting alongside their peers who do not have a disability.”

Radcliffe Creek School continues to thrive and the need for the program is greater now than ever before, which is why the support of Barbara Thomas and the Lane Family is so vital. For the 2018-2019 school year alone, the school committed more than $400,000 in financial aid to its 84 kindergarten through eighth grade students.

“Over the last three years, and guided by our Strategic Plan, Radcliffe Creek School has focused on developing relationships toward advancing financial aid for Radcliffe students, which remains a critical need for the school. Currently, more than 60 percent of the students at Radcliffe Creek receive financial aid and the school is unable to meet the demands from many other families seeking to address their child’s needs,” said Radcliffe’s Board President, Susan Newton-Rhodes. “Financial resources are critical to reaching these children and families which require specialized support for their learning differences. This very generous and timely gift to Radcliffe will enable the school to offer opportunities to many families to attend this special school. We are deeply grateful to their generosity and acknowledge their understanding of the needs of these children to receive the type of support that Radcliffe offers.”

“My wife Gay and I were motivated to make this gift because of Barbara Thomas (my aunt) and John Lane (my late father and her brother). They both cared greatly about education and believed that a good education for someone was a benefit for everyone. Along with my three siblings, Bob, Judy, and Ginger, and their spouses, we share this belief,” said Doug Lane.

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates unique learning. At the heart of The Radcliffe Way is the notion of personalized learning in a caring community that sets high expectations, but provides support for all students to excel. 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 www.radcliffecreekschool.org.

Radcliffe Creek School Announces New Head of School


After an extensive search and interview process, the Radcliffe Creek School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce its selection of Meghan “Meg” Bamford as the new Head of School. This announcement follows the decision of Molly Brogan Judge, founding Director and the innovator behind such an extraordinary educational environment, to retire on June 30, 2018 after 22 years of dedicated service to the community.

Meghan “Meg” Bamford

Bamford will join Radcliffe Creek School from the Hopkinton School District in New Hampshire, where she currently holds the position of the Director of Student Services.

Bamford’s career started in the classroom first within an inner-city school in Chicago and then at the Landmark School in Massachusetts, a private school for children with language-based differences, where she taught students in grades two through eight. After moving to New Hampshire, she worked as a Reading and Writing Specialist for more than nine years. She co- created an innovative model for reading and writing instruction at the elementary level and then was asked to design and teach graduate courses and create summer programming at Rivier University based on this model. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Educational Psychology (University of Nottingham, England) and another in Education (Simmons College).

Bamford will be joined in this move by her husband, Eliot and three children, Annie, Lucy, and Owen. Her role as Head of School will begin June 30, 2018.

Bamford remarked, “It is such an honor to be selected to be Head of School. To be able to work with such a caring, innovative staff that works so hard to personalize each student’s learning and optimize his or her growth, is truly a gift. I look forward to working closely with Molly to ensure a smooth transition so that the school continues to flourish. I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from the Board and the staff. When one walks into the school, it is clear that the Radcliffe Creek School is a child-centered, nurturing place where students flourish and teachers are passionate about learning. I am excited to begin our work together.”

Radcliffe’s Board President, Susan Newton-Rhodes, noted, “Finding a successor for Molly Judge presented no easy task for the Selection Committee, as they balanced a very strong pool of candidates, each with their own distinctive qualities and experiences. Change for any institution can prove challenging, especially in a small community and following a dynamic Founder. Recognizing Meg’s ability to expand on the foundation that Molly and her staff have built, the Board of Trustees support her in her new role as Head of Radcliffe and they welcome her to this community with her family.”

“Radcliffe’s community,” as stated by Judge, “Looks forward to the opportunities that a new Head of School will present. Meg’s easy going nature will lend itself well to the Radcliffe way of life. Her experience with children who thrive when learning in a different way and the management role that she presently holds will guide her well as she takes the lead of such a dynamic and engaging staff, supportive parent group, and enthusiastic student population. I look forward to assisting Meg and her family in this time of transition.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for children from infancy through pre-kindergarten.

please call for 410-778-8150 or the School’s website at www.radcliffecreekschool.org for more information

Radcliffe Creek School Launches Founders’ Fund with $1 Million Goal


Radcliffe Creek School Students

In front of an enthusiastic audience attending its Fall Soirée on Friday, October 20, Radcliffe Creek School  announced the establishment of The Founders’ Fund and its goal of raising $1 million to create an endowed scholarship for students  needing financial assistance.

The Founders’ Fund honors the final year of Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge, as well as the other dedicated original  advisors and investors of the school. Opening its doors 22 years ago with 13 students in grades one through seven, Radcliffe’s goal has  always been to create a learning environment where bright children, who learn differently, could succeed. The school today thrives under  Judge’s visionary, dedicated leadership and with the support from a committed group of staff, parents, grandparents, and friends the  vision continues. The kindergarten through eighth grade program currently enrolls 82 students, while Little Creek, Radcliffe’s preschool,  serves 52 students from infancy through pre-kindergarten.

Radcliffe’s Founding Director, Molly Brogan Judge (right) with Radcliffe Creek friend and supporter Barbara Thomas

Radcliffe Creek has truly changed the educational landscape of the Eastern Shore, and beyond, with students traveling from seven  different counties in Maryland and Delaware to attend the school. Many students come to Radcliffe unsure of themselves not just as  students, but as individuals. Because of the small class sizes, compassionate teachers, and hands-on learning, these students leave  Radcliffe Creek with an understanding about what it takes to succeed. And succeed they do.  Radcliffe alumni go on to college, the  military, graduate school, and beyond. Many alumni point to their Radcliffe Creek School education as the turning point in their  academic career.

“This is the most significant fundraising effort ever undertaken by the School,” said Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees President, Susan  Newton-Rhodes. “The Board of Trustees knows the goal is high, but believes it is only fitting. This new fund will address the Board’s  highest priority – financial aid for worthy students – by creating a lasting fund for those families and children who need Radcliffe the  most.”

For the last 22 years, Radcliffe’s Board of Trustees has allocated as many financial resources as possible to families who cannot afford a  Radcliffe education without assistance. This year alone, $350,000 has been distributed in financial aid to kindergarten through eighth  grade students. As the school continues to grow, so will this need.

“This effort will be a big challenge, but I’m passionate, as well as confident, that we can accomplish this goal to establish a $1 million  legacy in honor of the many creative minds that united together to build Radcliffe Creek School,” said Judge. “My hope is that others will  learn more about our past, embrace the goal of the fund, and continue to develop this endowment for years to come.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering children in a dynamic environment that celebrates  unique learning. For more information about Radcliffe Creek School or Little Creek, the school’s preschool, which includes programs for  children from infancy through pre-kindergarten, please call 410-778-8150 or click here.



Nice! $75,000 Gift to Radcliffe Creek School


Radcliffe Creek School is pleased to announce that it has received a $75,000 gift from the Middendorf Foundation, Inc. for the School’s scholarship endowment.

“Middendorf Foundation is one of the original founding supporters of the work at Radcliffe Creek School, and as the Board of Trustees continues to evaluate ways of securing the future of the school, this generous contribution aligns perfectly with these discussions and establishes the cornerstone for future development opportunities,” said Radcliffe Creek’s Board President, Susan Newton-Rhodes. “The school is incredibly grateful for this contribution and its long-term partnership with the Middendorf Foundation.”

Radcliffe Creek School Students

Radcliffe Creek’s endowment is currently managed by Mid-Shore Community Foundation in Easton, MD

“With Radcliffe’s Strategic Plan in its final stages and as we continue to move our thoughts to securing the future of the school, I am excited to once again partner with the Middendorf Foundation for the benefit of the school’s scholarship endowment, which is critical to the support of children who otherwise would be unable to utilize our services,” Radcliffe Creek’s Director, Molly Judge, said. “The Radcliffe Way certainly embraces the understanding that learning differences do not discriminate due to socio-economic status and therefore focusing on endowment funding is essential to the long-term sustainability of the school and its mission.”

The Middendorf Foundation is based in Baltimore, MD. Guided by the philanthropic ideals of its founders, J. William, Jr. and Alice Carter Middendorf, the foundation has long supported institutions and projects within the following areas of interest to Maryland citizens: culture, education, the environment, health care, historic preservation, and social services. The Trustees today continue to focus on these objectives.

“The Middendorf Foundation was pleased to present this gift to Radcliffe Creek School as an investment in its future,” Laura Holter, Middendorf’s Executive Director, said. “Radcliffe Creek is an incredibly unique school that truly believes in the success of each student. The impact of a school like Radcliffe is invaluable to the Eastern Shore community and beyond, and we are proud to support its mission.”

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering 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 the school’s website.

Horizons Welcomes 160 Students to 2017 Summer Program


Horizons Students

Chestertown, MD (June 27, 2017)—Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s—a summer academic and enrichment program for local underprivileged students—welcomed 160 students to its three campuses yesterday—at Gunston, Radcliffe Creek, and Washington College—for the beginning of its 2017 #SixWeeksofHappiness. This summer’s program centers on a water-related theme, with both academic lessons and enrichment opportunities that build upon the learning-rich environment of the Chesapeake Bay. Through this coveted summer opportunity, Horizons students gain not only academic achievements but return to school with confidence, preparedness, and a desire to learn. They also receive breakfast and lunch each day.

“Today, we begin a six-week summer transformational journey for 160 low-income students from Kent and Queen Anne’s counties,” explains Executive Director Bob Parks. “Over the summer, disadvantaged children tread water at best, or even fall behind. But through the Horizons summer academic and cultural enrichment program, these children will instead make academic gains—and return to school in the fall armed with confidence and preparedness that will allow them to achieve academic success during the school year and beyond.”

About Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s

Since 1995, the Horizons summer learning program has served hundreds of Kent and Queen Anne’s County children at or below the poverty level, as part of a growing national initiative to reduce the summer slide. The six-week program headquartered at Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown and The Gunston School in Centreville serves kids from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s is one of 51 affiliates of the Horizons National summer learning program. The six-week summer program employs an experiential model of teaching that focuses on reading, writing, and math. Students not only improve academically, but learn to swim and participate in activities that foster creativity, confidence, citizenship, and good health.

To keep up with all the Horizons news, please visit our website and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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.



The 2017 Tea Party Distance Classic and Run for Radcliffe


Radcliffe Creek School is happy to announce the return of the popular 10-mile race for the 2017 Tea Party Distance Classic and Run for Radcliffe, which will be held on Saturday, May 27 at Wilmer Park.

The Chestertown Tea Party Distance Classic has been a part of the Chestertown Tea Party for more than 40 years. Eleven years ago, Radcliffe Creek School took over the management of these runs, with the proceeds benefiting the School’s scholarship fund. The Run is the largest source of funding for this fund.

The School is also pleased to announce the launch of a website dedicated to the Run: chestertownteapartyrun.org. The site features registration and race day information, as well as fundraising information and photos from past races. Registration can be done online via active.com (search for Chestertown Tea Party Run).

Prices have also been lowered this year, with the 5K starting at $35 (price increases to $40 on May 1) and the 10-miler starting at $45 (price increases to $50 on May 1). A discount is available for groups of 15 or more runners, please contact the school for a discount code.

Radcliffe Creek School changes children’s lives, and by participating in the Chestertown Tea Party 10-Miler and 5K Distance Classic/Run for Radcliffe, runners are helping make this possible. Whether a student has a learning difference such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, executive function disorders, or a speech and language disorder, or would just simply benefit from an individualized environment, a Radcliffe education works.

Radcliffe Creek School is an independent day school with the mission of empowering 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 www.radcliffecreekschool.org.

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