EDUCATION BRIEFS: Outstanding Educators Recognized

11/6/2013, 3 p.m.
Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a kindergarten teacher at Simon Elementary, and Kelly Miller Middle School principal Abdullah Zaki have been named as ...
Students who attend Ernest E. Just Middle School in Mitchellville, Md., participated in a web-based Google hangout with Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. (Courtesy of Prince George's County Public Schools)

Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a kindergarten teacher at Simon Elementary, and Kelly Miller Middle School principal Abdullah Zaki have been named as the school system's teacher and principal of the year.

"This is one of my favorite times of the year – when we get to brag about the amazing accomplishments of our educators," said Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who presented the awards on Oct. 15 along with Mayor Vincent Gray. "Principal Zaki and Ms. Hollowell-Makle are outstanding educators who give their all to their students."

On Monday, Nov. 4, Hollowell-Makle and Zaki were among several educators honored during the annual "Standing Ovation for D.C. Teachers" event that was held at the Kennedy Center in Northwest.


Students Explore Web-based 'Hangout'

A group of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students and teachers from Ernest E. Just Middle School in Mitchellville, Md., recently participated in a web-based Google hangout with EarthEcho International president, Philippe Cousteau (grandson of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau) to discuss, “What is a dead zone?”

The school was one of only three selected from across the country to participate in the project, which occurred after Godfrey Rangasammy, Prince George’s County Public Schools science supervisor met Cousteau during a summer 2013 International Baccalaureate Conference.

“This is indeed a cutting edge 21st century teaching and learning STEM experience,” said Rangasammy. “Technology was strategically integrated for students and teachers to interact in real time with scientists across our country in order to solve real world problems.”


Crawley Selected as Interim Superintendent

The Alexandria City School Board has approved a contract confirming Alvin L. Crawley as interim superintendent for its public schools. Crawley, who held a similar post in the Prince George’s County Public Schools system until this past summer, will serve until a new superintendent is selected.

"Our school board sought an interim superintendent who could lead our efforts to increase the achievement of all students and analyze our gap issues," said Chair Karen Graf. "Dr. Crawley showed strong communication skills, professionalism and various educational experiences that we believe will serve Alexandria during the time he is here.”

Crawley, who has a doctorate degree in education, said he’s honored to lead the school system.

"I have spent the last 33 years dedicated to children in many different communities, and I feel it is essential for an interim superintendent to engage in a collaborative fashion with the school board, community, administrators and the staff to ensure a productive and successful school year," Crawley said.


School Construction Plans Released

Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr released his recommended Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for the next six years on Oct. 28 at Highland Elementary School in Silver Spring. A new CIP is approved every other year and includes school construction projects, as well as infrastructure improvements and technology investments that the district will undertake in the coming years.

Starr’s recommended CIP for fiscal years 2015-20 is expected to address significant space needs the district is experiencing due to enrollment growth.

Since 2007, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has added 14,000 students, with most of that growth occurring in elementary schools. Over the next six years, MCPS expects enrollment to increase by another 11,000 students.

Compiled by education reporter Dorothy Rowley. Follower her on Twitter @DorothyRowley.