Jeffrey Macris Named 2010 Statewide Winner of Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Award FINALISTS ALSO ANNOUNCED AT CEREMONY HONORING PARENT VOLUNTEERS FOR POSITIVE IMPACT ON MARYLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TOWSON, Md., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Jeffrey Macris of Anne Arundel County has been named statewide winner of the third annual Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Awards program.  State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick and Comcast Regional Senior Vice President Fred Graffam made the announcement this evening at a special ceremony held at Loch Raven High School in Towson, Maryland.  

Macris led an effort to turn around two Annapolis area middle schools, even though he and his wife do not yet have a middle schooler among their five children.  Under his leadership, the Annapolis Cluster Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) began by identifying three goals for the schools: bringing in world-class academic programs, establishing order and discipline, and providing high-quality teachers.  Macris formed Ad Hoc Group of Annapolis Parents, lobbied local officials and parents, and made changes that would help the schools reach these goals. Annapolis Middle is now an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme school and Bates Middle is an Arts Magnet school offering both performing and visual arts programs. Macris also has been a dedicated Naval Officer for more than two decades and is currently serving as a professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy.  

Macris was selected from five finalists also announced at the award ceremony.  The finalists were narrowed down from a list of 24 semifinalists announced in March.  In addition to Mr. Macris, the other finalists were:  

  • Donna Hager - The Midtown Academy Public Charter School, Baltimore City
  • Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen - Cromwell Valley Elementary School, Baltimore County
  • Sabine Harvey - Chestertown Middle School, Kent County
  • Earle Barnes - Shady Grove Middle School, Montgomery County

"Jeffrey Macris exemplifies the critical work that parents undertake in Maryland public schools every day," Dr. Grasmick said.  "Strong parental involvement has helped transform classrooms across our state and has led our schools to be ranked number one in the nation for two consecutive years.  We are grateful to have Comcast as our partner in spotlighting the amazing achievements of these remarkable parents."

"Comcast is dedicated to helping build strong, healthy communities in which our youth are provided opportunities to achieve their full potential," said Graffam.  "Parents play an instrumental role in preparing our children for future success, and we're pleased to work with the Maryland State Department of Education again this year to recognize them for their dedication and inspiration to others."

In addition to the finalist and statewide winner announcements, Julie Chapman of Charles County was presented with the JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award in recognition of her parental involvement and work in Charles County schools.  This award was conceived in honor of JoAnne L. Carter, Deputy State Superintendent for the Maryland State Department of Education, who lost her battle to cancer on February 25, 2009. Ms. Carter was dedicated to providing the very best education to all children.  A parent herself, she also was a staunch advocate for parental involvement in education and was intimately involved with the Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Awards in its first year. The JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award will be given annually to a parent that exemplifies all that she held dear.

The Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Awards is the nation's first statewide award program of its kind.  A collaboration between Comcast and the Maryland State Department of Education, the program recognizes parents and guardians for their exceptional support of public education.  Parents were nominated for demonstrating significant, positive impact in their communities across five areas of parental involvement: Communication, Volunteering, Learning, Decision Making and Community Collaboration.  The statewide winner was awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and the four remaining finalists each received $250 to further their efforts to improve their public schools.  

2010 Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Awards Finalists

Jeffrey Macris -Annapolis Middle School & Bates Middle Schools, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

A dedicated Naval Officer for more than two decades, currently serving as a professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, Jeff Macris understands the power of citizens united.  He has led an effort to turn around two Annapolis area middle schools, even though he and his wife don't yet have a middle schooler among their five children.  He served as a leader of both formal and informal groups that have helped strengthen Annapolis and Bates Middle Schools, bringing the renowned International Baccalaureate Program to Annapolis and an Arts Magnet Program to Bates.

Donna Hager - The Midtown Academy, Baltimore City Public School System

Not only is Donna Hager a founder of The Midtown Academy Public Charter School in Baltimore City, she is the heart and soul of the school. She has served in every capacity possible from helping to develop the financial, academic, and cultural foundations to maintaining a critical presence in the daily operations and lives of those attending. She is a particularly welcomed resource to parents, who rely on her expertise and experience to continue the course of the school's mission.

Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen - Cromwell Valley Elementary School, Baltimore County Public Schools

Everyone is an artist, according to Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen, and he has brought that philosophy to his volunteer work at Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet School of Technology.  Mr. Schlossberg-Cohen, an artist himself, encourages children to use their own creativity to spur learning.  He led a school-wide project "A Portrait of Cromwell," which involved workshops for students, siblings, parents, and teachers that encompassed art as well as technology, cultural diversity, and green school initiatives.  

Sabine Harvey – Chestertown Middle School, Kent County Public Schools

Sabine Harvey's vision of what a school should be has created the common thread that ties the parents and students to the teachers and staff of the Chestertown Middle School community in Kent County. Through communication strategies and innovative activities and events, the family to school partnership has grown both in number and strength due to her efforts, including Bring Your Family to School Week, Pi Night, Father's Spaghetti Dinner, Community Yard Sale, Junk Box Wars, and Victory Garden Project.

Earle Barnes - Shady Grove Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools

As leader of the SWAG (Students With Attainable Goals) group, Earle Barnes has shown many of his at-risk middle school boys that with the right attitude, they can achieve great things. Through individual mentoring and group discussions, which have included etiquette, anger management, substance abuse, and respect, Mr. Barnes has helped turn these young boys around to forge a positive path toward manhood.

2010 JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award Recipient

Julie Chapman - Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, & Piccowaxen Middle School, Charles County Public Schools

Julie Chapman's fifteen years of involvement has spanned elementary, middle and high school in Charles County.  She has served as PTA president, spearheaded fundraisers to raise money for school equipment and volunteered for countless activities both in and out of school, such as the Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, Future Educators of America, Future Teachers/Leaders of America, and so much more. However, it is Ms. Chapman's truly outstanding and unwavering support of every child in the community, whom she treats as her very own in any circumstance, that makes her such a treasure.

2010 Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Awards Semifinalists

John Holt - Parkside Elementary School, Allegany County Public Schools

Jeffrey Macris -Annapolis Middle/Bates Middle Schools, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Donna Hager - The Midtown Academy, Baltimore City Public School System

Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen - Cromwell Valley Elementary School, Baltimore County Public Schools

Brian Dolan - Beach Elementary School, Calvert County Public Schools

Carol Cruikshank - Ridgely Elementary School, Caroline County Public Schools

Laura Graf - New Windsor Middle School, Carroll County Public Schools

Tara Price - Bay View Elementary School, Cecil County Public Schools

Julie Chapman - Dr. Higdon Elementary School, Charles County Public Schools

Gary Mills - Cambridge-South Dorcester High School, Dorchester County Public Schools

Janice Spiegel - Frederick County Public Schools

Emily Friend - Friendsville Elementary School, Garrett County Public Schools

Amanda Shaffer - Havre de Grace Middle School, Harford County Public Schools

Kayle Simon - Atholton High School, Howard County Public Schools

Sabine Harvey – Chestertown Middle School, Kent County Public Schools

Earle Barnes - Shady Grove Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools

Eileen Collins - Laurel Elementary School, Prince George's County Public Schools

Whitney Covington - Sudlersville Elementary School, Queen Anne's County Public Schools

Rachel Feddersen - Greenview Knolls Elementary School, Saint Mary's County Public Schools

Sue Hahn - Greenwood Elementary School, Somerset County Public Schools

Sharon Rieck - St. Michaels Elementary School, Talbot County Public Schools

Tina Carrazco - Hickory Elementary School, Washington County Public Schools

Lori Gilliss - Glen Avenue School, Wicomico County Public Schools

April Adams - Pokomoke Middle School, Worcester County Public Schools

SOURCE Comcast




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