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The Catoctin High School (CHS) 2018 homecoming activities were held on Friday, October 5, 2018, before and during the Cougar’s varsity football game against Rising Sun, which the Cougars won 33-13. Before the game, a Homecoming parade was held for the first time in several years and featured Cougar students infused with school spirit.

The half-time Homecoming ceremony began with introductions of the Catoctin High School Administrative Team and Athletic Directors: Assistant Principals, Jason Lininger and Mary Jacques; Principal Bernie Quesada; Athletic Director, Keith Bruck; and Assistant Athletic Director Kim Flabbi.

Catoctin High School’s first Homecoming Queen (Fall 1971) Mary Ann Rice Clever crowned the 2018 senior king and queen, Logan Rickerd and Sydney Zentz (pictured above).

Mary Ann traveled from Georgia to attend the ceremony to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Catoctin High School.

The underclass princes and princesses were: Freshman Prince—Logan Simanski, Freshman Princess—Danielle Baker; Sophomore Prince—Bronson Snurr, Sophomore Princess—Alexia Healey; Junior Prince—Owen Bubczyk, Junior Princess—Maddie Williams.

The Senior Homecoming Court nominees were: Pablo Archila, Mark Rogers, Isabel Stydinger, Hannah Hartness, Chase Wilhelm, Caroline Michael, Hunter Grimes, and Hannah Boone.

CHS 50th Anniversary activities continue throughout the year, with acknowledgements during each sport’s senior nights and commemorative t-shirts and sweatshirts available for purchase.

If you are interested in purchasing t-shirts or sweatshirts, please contact Kathy Herrmann at kathleen.herrmann@fcps.org or 240-409-9434.

Catoctin High School’s Marching Band performs during halftime.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

Theresa Dardanell

See someone alone. Reach out and help. Start With Hello! In September, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) participated in the third annual Sandy Hook Promise Start With Hello Week. This national anti-violence campaign encourages students to reduce social isolation with acts of kindness that starts with just saying hello. Schools created activities to promote a welcoming and inclusive place for all students.

Catoctin High School

Catoctin High School (CHS) students started the week by decorating outside the cafeteria with slogans to promote the Sandy Hook Promise Campaign. On “Hey Day Thursday,” students and staff were given name tags and the challenge was to greet new people. Representatives from the Mental Health Association distributed information, and students were given the opportunity to sign up for the Out of the Darkness Walk. A team will represent CHS during this walk at Baker Park. On “Green Out Friday,” students and staff wore green in support of the campaign, and a group picture was taken of students spelling out “Hello” on the baseball field. School Social Worker Debbie Wivell said, “It was wonderful to see many students and staff participate in the Hey Day. This early in the year, teachers and students are still getting to know each other and this is important. Green Out day was also a success.”

Thurmont Middle School

Students at Thurmont Middle School (TMS) had lots of opportunities to connect with each other. On “Hey Day Monday,” they started by saying hello to new people. The challenge on Tuesday was to make sure no one sat alone at lunch. TMS student Charlotte Bradley said, “I really liked the lunch activity of not sitting alone, where we sat with students based on our interests. The lunch activity seemed to really encourage inclusiveness and connectedness with students that we don’t normally talk to.” School Counselors Becky Krauss and Sherry Bueso agreed that Wednesday’s activity was also very successful. They said, “We are thinking that the positive post-it-notes were the most successful because most of our students participated in their classes. Students left positive, encouraging messages on their desks to be received by the next student sitting there.” The challenge on Friday was to perform a random act of kindness for a teacher or student. Principal Daniel Enck said, “The various activities that our students, staff, and community members participated in throughout the week helped bring our school community closer together. Additionally, the activities allowed students to see the benefits of reaching out to other students who they may not typically interact with. I can’t thank our students, staff, and community members enough for all of their efforts in making Start with Hello week such a success.”

Thurmont Elementary School

Students at Thurmont Elementary School especially enjoyed having community members greet them in the mornings during the week.  Special guests included directors from the FCPS central office; Mayor John Kinnaird; Keyote, the Frederick Keys mascot; athletes and cheerleaders from Catoctin High School; members of the Thurmont Police Department; Boy Scout Leaders; and employees of the local Kountry Kitchen restaurant. Activities during the week were geared toward making all students feel welcome. They had daily ice breakers during lunch and courtesy lessons on how to introduce yourself to a new person. Darby Carson said, “It helps people and makes them feel like they matter. I think we should keep doing it and let that legacy live on.” Claire Daly said, “It is helpful for those kids who don’t have a lot of friends. They won’t be so lonely.” Tyler McCallion said, “Once you get to know people more, you realize you could be really good friends.” Shalina Weitzel said, “Start With Hello Week makes us feel inspired to help other kids.” School Counselor Tammy Brotman said, “I think this is a really important message to give our students.  Having Start with Hello Week gives students both the opportunity but most of all the courage to try reaching out to others.  We are trying to build a culture of kindness, and this is a great way to continue to support that goal and really make it a genuine part of what we’re about at TES.”

Sabillasville Elementary School

Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) students started the week with one important word: Hello. On Tuesday, they wore clothing that displayed something about themselves so that they could learn about each other. School Counselor Niki Kayser said, “The students and staff really enjoyed sharing why they chose the shirt they did. It encouraged them to learn a little more about their peers’ interests.” Students performed random acts of kindness on Wednesday and participated in special activities on Thursday and Friday.  Kayser said that she received positive feedback from staff and students and heard the comment, “It’s important to be kind all the time!” many times during the week. She also said, “I feel this message is wonderful! It’s a simple way to help create a more connected and inclusive school community. This message reminds us to encourage and support one another on a daily basis, and to understand how important it is to help students learn how to be accepting of others and to see that all it takes to make a difference is just a few simple words.”

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Emmitsburg Elementary School (EES) will be incorporating the idea of friendship throughout the school year to support the Leader In Me Positive Behavior Intervention System. Activities for the week included wearing green on Monday, signing a school banner on Tuesday, breakfast buddies on Wednesday, sharing stickers on Thursday, and making posters on Friendship Friday. School Counselor Sarah Fawley said, “The students really enjoyed working with other students in making their posters. They enjoyed the morning greeters in the front lobby, who greeted students with ‘hello’ and passed out stickers and pencils.” She said that students were more aware of others; they invited other students to sit with them at lunch.

Fawley also said, “This message is very important. There is so much power in five little letters (Hello) that can impact someone’s day or life forever.”

Starting the Day by saying “Hello” at Thurmont Elementary School: Dr. Keith Harris, FCPS executive director of Accelerating Achievement & Equity; Debra O’Donnell, TES principal; students, Adania Kreitz, Darby Carson, Carolyn Mercer, Claire Daly, Tyler McCallion, Chase Jackson, Summer Bostic, Tristan Lease, Shalini Weitzel, Warren Schafer; and Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

On Tuesday, August 21, 2018, students in the Catoctin feeder district went “shopping” for free school supplies, thanks to generous donations from local churches, organizations, and the Stuff the Bus school supply drive. A total of 206 students, along with their families, gathered at Graceham Moravian Church in Thurmont for the annual Catoctin Community School Supply Program.

After selecting a brand new backpack, students went to the “store,” where they found hundreds of supplies, including folders and notebooks in nine different colors, stacks of binders and notebook paper, crayons, pens, pencils, rulers and more. Also, every student received a pair of headphones; middle and high school students were given USB drives.

Jen and Laura Harbaugh have been coordinating this event for ten years. They were joined this year by volunteers from Graceham Moravian Church, Harriet Chapel, CASS, and students in the Lewistown 4-H Club.

The Emmitsburg High School’s 94th Annual Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018. All graduates of Emmitsburg High School, and all who attended the school at some time, are invited. Alumni are asked to seek out classmates and encourage them to attend. Graduation is not a requirement. Teachers of the Emmitsburg School are also invited.

The event will be held at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Center, located at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Social hour will begin at 4:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. The cost for the dinner is $25.00.

Anyone who has not received an invitation and would like to attend may call Sam Valentine at 301-447-2507 or email csamv46@gmail.com.

Theresa Dardanell

After a first place win at the Frederick County Envirothon competition, the Catoctin High School (CHS) team placed sixth (out of seventeen teams) at the state competition in June at the Maryland 4-H Environmental Education and Camping Center in Garrett County.  In the Wildlife competition, they were awarded second place.

The members of the CHS team, named The Primary Successors, were Zack Carter, Samantha Grimes, Edison Hatter, Jimmy Kempisty, and Devin Shorb. With the help of advisors April Wells and Ron Albaugh, the five seniors (now graduates) prepared for the competition that included tests in five areas: aquatics, forestry, soil, wildlife, and a fifth topic that changes every year (this year, it was rangeland management).

The students met not only during school hours but also on their own time to learn as much as possible about each topic. Preparation included absorbing information from books, diagrams, field guides, and websites, as well as hands-on training. When I met with the students during one of their practice sessions at the school, they were preparing for the aquatics test by identifying various fish. They know and rely on each other’s strengths during testing. Wells said that they each take one part of the exam and then work together to finalize their answers. It was obvious that they work well together as a team and that they have fun at the same time.

Pictured from left are Edison Hatter, Devin Shorb, Samantha Grimes, Jimmy Kempisty, and Zach Carter.

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year.  This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools. These schools include Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary & Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle and Catoctin High.

The Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive is going to be held on Tuesday, August 21st  from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Graceham Moravian Church located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations or gift cards (Walmart) to the church on August 15th from 9:00 a.m. until Noon.

Any questions or concerns, please contact coordinator, Jennifer Harbaugh at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

The Thurmont Lions Club (TLC) held its Education Night on May 9, 2018.  TLC was honored to have Mark Pritts, Frederick County Public School’s instructional director, as the guest speaker.

On March 19, the Thurmont Lions Club held its Teacher of the Year reception. There were eight teachers honored as the “Teacher of the Year” for their respective schools. Of these eight teachers, a “Teacher of the Year” for the Thurmont Lions Club, was honored. The Lions Club was very successful in showing Pritts what a wonderful partnership the Thurmont Lions Club has developed with the area schools. Remember, a teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart of the students. The 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year was Melissa Kearchner, Emmitsburg Elementary School. She was nominated by a fellow teacher, parents, and students.

This year, during the Thurmont Lions Club’s Teacher of the Year program, they became aware of a very special teacher, Bonnie Hopkins. She has devoted her career to helping young students start their education in a positive and motivated manner. She is retiring this year, and the TLC wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for her commitment to the young people of Northern Frederick County.

During the Thurmont Lions Club Education Night ceremony on May 9, 2018, four scholarships were awarded to Catoctin High School (CHS) seniors.  Three scholarships are awarded competitively based on academic achievement, participation activities, and financial need. These students not only achieved honors, but also spent many hours performing volunteer work, along with participating in a wide variety of activities. Community service is one of the most popular extracurricular activities for high school students to do in their free time. These volunteer hours are very impressive when your application is reviewed for college acceptance.

Three $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Cameron Hewitt, who will be attending the University of Maryland; Avie Hopcraft, who will be attending Baylor University; and Sean Miller, who will be attending Rensselaer Polytech Institute.

Hannah Barth, recipient of the Vic Jagow Scholarship, was awarded $1,250 for her fourth year of a four-year scholarship. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin. The student receives the scholarship for four consecutive years, depending on grade-point average

These scholarships are made possible from the Community Birthday Calendar fundraiser that has been granting these scholarships for over forty-six years. These deserving seniors and the Thurmont Lions Club thank supporters for their generosity.

Theresa Dardanell

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) recently recognized Rachel Misner as the 2018 Instructional Assistant of the Year. She is one of eight support employees recognized for outstanding achievement.

Misner is the Lab Assistant for the Catoctin High School (CHS) Science Department. She was nominated by teachers Tom Mills, April Wells, and Theresa Hutchinson. Misner’s duties include preparing lab equipment and materials for science classes, ordering supplies, and keeping the department running smoothly, but she doesn’t stop there.

Wells said, “She offers her assistance to other departments and areas in the building if she has spare time.” Hutchinson added, “She has assisted with planning and running homecoming, Science National Honor Society, and planning the school’s upcoming 50th anniversary.”

In his nomination letter, Mills said, “Rachel has had a positive transformational effect on this department. Just by loving her job, being herself, respecting others, and expecting the best from others has had a tremendous positive impact on this department and our school community.”

Rachel Misner, 2018 Instructional Assistant of the Year.

Theresa Dardanell

“Girls on the Run” is so much more than the 5K run that was held on June 2, 2018; it is the conclusion of a program that combines physical training for the run with lessons and games that promote friendship and teach life skills.

Twenty girls at Thurmont Elementary School (TES) participated in the program that ran from March through May. The girls met twice a week after school with coaches Tammy Brotman and Doris Grossnickle. After a healthy snack, the coaches presented lessons on communication, strength, star power, empathy, cooperation, how to be a good friend, and how to deal with problems. The meetings concluded with practice runs that were held outside during good weather and inside on the many rainy days we had this spring. Coaches Brotman and Grossnickle were assisted by staff members Amanda Giauque, Julie Desmond, Andrew Piccolo, and Brooke Cipolla.

“The program is self-empowering for girls. It teaches girls to believe in themselves and get their inner light to shine,” said Grossnickle.

According to the Girls on the Run website, girls “develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.”

For their service project, the girls planted flowers in the courtyard and in pots in front of the school to add color and beauty. They also made bird feeders to put in trees around the building.

Thurmont Elementary School “Girls on the Run,” with coaches Tammy Brotman, Doris Grossnickle, and Amanda Giauque.

Theresa Dardanell

Catoctin High School (CHS) athletes who signed up to attend  colleges and universities in the fall.

 

Football: Will Bingman, Clarion University; Joey Fogle, Gettysburg College.

 

Soccer: Noah Olson, Frederick Community College.

 

Baseball: Ryan Fisher, Mount St. Mary’s University; Dylan Reid, Hagerstown Community College; Nick Ford, Frederick Community College; Brett Weatherly, Fairmont State University; Connor Cramer, Fairmont State University.

 

Lacrosse: Colin Webb, Messiah College; Brenden Bozick, Frederick Community College; Sam Staley, Frederick Community College.

 

Softball: Lizzie Dougherty, Frederick Community College; Taylor Beckley, Frederick Community College; Maddie Krantz, Penn State.

 

A ceremony was held at CHS on May 23, 2018, to recognize the athletes. Assistant Athletic Director Keith Bruck introduced the coaches, Paul Dumars, Rob Phelan, Mike Franklin, and Neil Metzgar, who praised and congratulated the students. An enthusiastic crowd of parents, families, friends, and fellow students attended the event.

Pictured are ten of the student athletes recognized during the signing ceremony at Catoctin High School. Pictured left to right are Brett Weatherly, Dylan Reid, Nick Ford, Ryan Fisher, Connor Cramer, Joey Fogle, Will Bingman, Colin Webb, Brendan Bozick, and Noah Olson. Unavailable for photo: Sam Staley, Lizzie Dougherty, Taylor Beckley, and Maddie Krantz.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Food and Nutrition Services Department is participating in the United States Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program to provide free breakfast and lunch at some local schools.

The Summer Program that will be in operation at Thurmont Elementary, located at 805 E. Main Street in Thurmont, is available to all children the age of eighteen years and under.

The children do not have to be a student at the school to participate and do not need to be accompanied by a parent.

Please enter the side of the school through the cafeteria doors.

Free meals will be provided Mondays through Thursdays, through August 16, with breakfast from 9:00-9:30 a.m., and lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Theresa Dardanell

Seven Thurmont Middle School (TMS) students recently attended the Maryland Association of Student Councils convention in Ocean City.  This event gives the TMS Student Government Association (SGA) members the opportunity to improve their leadership skills. They listened to a motivational speaker, attended leadership workshops, and met with other student leaders from across the state.

The SGA members at TMS  are chosen based on their grades, their attendance at afterschool meetings, and their participation in school and evening events. They meet once a week during the school day to brainstorm ways to improve school spirit and to make their school a comfortable place for students.  They visit classrooms and lead discussions with students; concerns and ideas are then forwarded to the administration by Student Government Advisor Angela Knapp.

The SGA members also plan, organize, and run events like the game days, the afterschool open gym, and the evening candy bingos. Knapp said, “They are great. I’ve definitely seen them grow.  They really like being leaders and just being able to help others and increase the school spirit.”

I met with the students who attended the conference and was impressed with their confidence and genuine concern for their fellow students.

SGA President Sean Whitworth said that he joined the organization so that students know they have somebody looking out for them.

Natalie Dodson is looking forward to being a community leader to help other people.

The other students who attended the conference were: John Gidcumb, Charlotte Bradley, Cheyenne Van Echo, Morgan Ridenour, and Peyton Moxley.

Other SGA members are Maddie Ring, Skyler Payne, Traci Stine, Peyton Davis, Kayleigh Frantz, Natalie Hoty, Nikita Burris, Randall Hall, and Samantha Davis.

Pictured are John Gidcumb, Charlotte Bradley, Cheyenne Van Echo, Morgan Ridenour, Sean Whitworth, Natalie Dodson, and Peyton Moxley.

Theresa Dardanell

The CHS Science Olympiad Team is pictured with coaches Rebecca Hurley and Theresa Hutchinson. Not pictured: Coach Doug Young.

Congratulations to the Catoctin High School (CHS) Science Olympiad team. They recently competed in the Maryland State Tournament at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  According to their coaches, “The nerd trials lasted close to ten hours. The cougars competed against 24 teams (12 in our division). We placed 10th in our division and 23rd in the State! This was our very first time qualifying for the state level competition. It was a wonderful experience for the students.”

Students competing in the events were: Zack Carter and Grace Mazaleski — Microbe Mission; Emmalynn May and Sophia Degennaro — Write It Do It; Kyle Dutrow and Sophia Degennaro — Game One; Michael Yang and Sean Miller — Helicopters; Sophia Degennaro and Madison Raimondi — Thermodynamics; Michael Yang and Kallan Latham — Chemistry Lab; Zack Carter and Grace Mazaleski — Ecology; Avie Hopcraft and Kallan Latham — Optics; Kyle Dutrow and Emmalynn May — Remote Sensing; Kallen Latham and Karianna Strickhouser — Mission Possible; Sam Grimes and Lauren Ames — Material Science; Zack Carter and Grace Mazaleski — Herpetology; Maddy Reynolds, Sophia Degennaro, and Sean Miller — Experimental Design; Karianna Strickhouser and Madison Raimondi — Dynamic Planet; Sean Miller and Kyle Dutrow — Hovercraft; Michael Yang and Sean Miller — Towers; Sam Grimes and Michael Yang — Rocks and Minerals; Lauren Ames and Avie Hopcraft — Forensics; Emmalynn May, Madison Raimondi, and Maddy Reynolds — Astronomy; Grace Mazaleski and Zack Carter — Disease Detectives; Sean Miller and Sam Grimes — Fermi Questions; Avie Hopcraft and Grace Mazaleski — Anatomy and Physiology; Sean Miller and Michael Yang — Mousetrap Vehicle; Devon Shorb and Teairah Velasquez were alternates.

CHS Science Olympiad coaches are Rebecca Hurley, Theresa Hutchinson, and Doug Young.