The Montgomery County Board of Education recently honored 21 individuals and organizations during its annual Distinguished Service Awards ceremony. The ceremony took place at the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville.
The Board established the awards to recognize and show appreciation for exemplary contributions to public education and to MCPS by members of the community, businesses, MCPS staff and school volunteers.
Among this year’s Distinguished Service Award winners are a number of people from the Germantown area including District 2 Councilmember Craig Rice and PTA volunteer Kimberly Summers.
A lifelong resident of Montgomery County, Craig Rice attended Montgomery County Public Schools, graduating from Montgomery Blair High School. He attended the University of Illinois and the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a major in Computer Science.
Rice was elected to the County Council in November 2010, becoming the youngest African American to serve on the nine-member Council and only the second African American male to serve in that role. Rice’s commitment to public service included serving as a member of the House of Delegates in the Maryland General Assembly from 2006 until 2010, where he was on the legislative body’s prestigious and influential Ways and Means Committee.
In 2010, he won the election as the District 2 representative on the County Council. A resident of Germantown, he represents the UpCounty region of Montgomery County’s most geographically diverse district, as well as its fastest growing. Rice chairs the Council’s Education and Culture Committee and serves on its Health and Human Services Committee. In addition, he serves as the Council’s representative to the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) in Annapolis, chairs MACo's Education Sub-Committee, and is currently President of the MACo Diversity Caucus.
In September 2016, Rice was named to the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known as The Kirwan Commission). This commission led the first major review of education funding in the state since the Thornton Commission’s review almost two decades ago. He led the way in increasing funding for full day pre-K in Montgomery County and in the State. Rice’s continued dedication to public education and his service to the community make him a deserving recipient of this award, said the Board of Education press release.
Germantown resident Kimberly Summers was also recognized by the Board of Education for her distinguished service. Seldom does a person become as woven into the fabric of a school community as Kimberly Summers has during the past 13 years. Children moving through Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary, Kingsview Middle and Northwest High schools reap the rewards of her hard work, clear vision, parent leadership and dedication, to making the experience of school remarkable and memorable.
Summers began her involvement when her oldest son started kindergarten in 2006. During the course of the last 13 years, she has served on PTSA boards at each school and has been president of each.
At Matsunaga, Summers raised more than $35,000 for school improvements. One of her undertakings was the organization of an “all-school field day” at Matsunaga, a school so large that grade levels had to do a field day for six days to allow every child in each grade level to participate. Summers spent months coordinating the use of the SoccerPlex, MCPS school buses, the preparation and delivery of lunches by the Department of Food and Nutrition Services, along with dozens of volunteers. But, she made it happen, and it has created lasting memories for hundreds of children.
At Kingsview, she introduced a Color Run, held so all 1,000 students can participate. Summers collaborated with other parents, staff and local businesses to run separate Color Runs for each grade level.
At Northwest, she led the charge to raise money for school improvements, and started a Jag Pride Club to build school spirit, help with school improvements, and provide leadership opportunities for students. She has also served as chair for the After Prom committee.
Summers is a servant leader who finds opportunities to make her community a better place. Her masterful organization, selfless dedication and tireless work ethic, leave a lasting impression.
Chaunetta Anderson, a 7th Grade teacher at Neelsville Middle School in Germantown was honored as an MCPS staff for distinguished service.
Chaunetta Anderson works tirelessly for MCPS students (in addition to the four children of her own at home). She has created a strong Student Government Association program at Neelsville Middle School, and is using her role to show students the power of their voice. Anderson had students speak in front of the Montgomery County Board of Education on at least two occasions. Anderson held a wonderful SGA banquet at the end of last year to celebrate their successful first year.
Anderson is constantly recognizing students and staff. She has implemented a Teacher of the Month program at Neelsville to recognize staff for their hard work; she creates events to bring the community into the school building like “A Safe Knight In” (a trick or treating event), and she is an equity warrior. She also cares about the building as a whole- thanks to her hard work, Neelsville is now on the list of schools recommended for the Capital Improvements Program.
Anderson works extremely hard for the staff and students. She builds great relationships and wants the best for everyone. She is always doing something to benefit someone else in the building; trying to make Neelsville a better place. Anderson does not give up. She professionally and respectfully gets the job done. Her staff and school families know that they can depend on her.
The full list of honorees can be found on the MCPS website.
Photos by Germantown Pulse