Currently viewing the tag: "Lewistown Elementary School"

Members of the Thurmont Grange  No. 409 recently presented dictionaries to all Northern Frederick County third-grade students. This is a community service project called “Words for Thirds,” and all of the third-grade students in the Catoctin feeder system received dictionaries (Sabillasville Environmental School, Lewistown, Thurmont, and Emmitsburg Elementary Schools).

The Grange is an agricultural organization which is deeply rooted in the community. Many of its members are farmers, businessmen and women, and its focus is on community service, legislation, education, and agriculture. Many of our local members hold local, county, and state offices to promote the Grange.

Every year, the Grange helps at events such as the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, the Frederick Fair (where they put in an exhibit at the Farm and Garden Building), the Catoctin Colorfest, and the annual Cookie Walk in December, to name a few. The Grange holds a Veterans’ Appreciation Night, and has also donated funds and items to the Thurmont Food Bank, Catoctin FFA, Boy Scouts, Catoctin Safe & Sane, and so forth. 

The dictionary has many features, such as the history of the Presidents of the United States, the solar system, sign language, and also the longest word in the United States.

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Pictured from left: (back row) Grange members, Carolyn Wiles, Robert Wiles, and Paulette Mathis; (front row) third-grade students, Jack Wivell, Dylan Ridinger, Telsa Moore, and Kelsie Merriman.

Adriane Brooks (pictured right) has been named the 2023 Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Substitute Teacher of the Year.

According to nomination materials submitted by the staff at Lewistown Elementary School, Brooks is flexible and willing to help in any capacity. She creates a positive learning environment and is calm and caring with students. 

“Lewistown is beyond grateful for the profound impact Ms. Brooks has had on our community,” said Lewistown Elementary Principal Belinda Fockler. “Students know they can count on a friendly smile and a positive learning environment when she substitutes. Adriane goes above and beyond daily duties with a big heart, flexible mindset, and willingness to chip in at a moment’s notice. She has certainly earned this honor, and we are proud to have her on our Lewistown team!”

The Board of Education of Frederick County honored Brooks at their meeting in June, awarding her the seventh annual FCPS Substitute Teacher of the Year award. She has been a substitute with the school system for six years.

Courtesy Photo

Purchase of New Cafeteria Tables

The Lewistown Ruritan Club, Playground Specialists, and Catoctin Mountain Orchard partnered to donate $6,202 to purchase four new cafeteria tables for the Lewistown Elementary School. 

A dedication ceremony was held in the school cafeteria with plaques for each organization providing the funds. These dedication plaques will be hung on the wall outside the school cafeteria. The dedication ceremony was also attended by five Lewistown Elementary School students who shared what they loved about their school.

Pictured from left: (back row) Robert Black, Catoctin Mountain Orchard and a Lewistown Ruritan member; Odale Martin, Treasurer, Lewistown Ruritan Club; Loberta Staley, Secretary, Lewistown Ruritan Club; Frank Warner, President, Lewistown Ruritan Club; Jeffrey Barber, Playground Specialists and a Lewistown Ruritan member; and Belinda Fockler, Principal, Lewistown Elementary School; (front row) Judah Young (second grade); Breanna Shultz (fourth grade); Mailani Pu-Uloa (kindergarten); Madison French (fourth grade); and Anthony Vignola (second grade).

The Thurmont Grange #409 recently presented dictionaries to all third-grade students at Lewistown Elementary School. This is a community service project called “Words for Thirds” and all of the third grade students in the Catoctin feeder system have also received dictionaries (Sabillasville, Lewistown, Thurmont, and Emmitsburg Elementary Schools).

The Grange is an agricultural organization, which is deeply rooted in the community. Many of its members are farmers, business men and women, and its focus is on community service, legislation, education, and agriculture.  Many of our members hold local, county, and state offices to promote the Grange.

Every year, the Grange helps at events such as the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, the Frederick Fair (where we put in an exhibit at the Farm and Garden Building), the Catoctin Colorfest, and the annual Cookie Walk in December, to name a few. The Grange holds a Veterans’ Appreciation Night in October, and has also donated funds and items to the Thurmont Food Bank, Catoctin FFA, Boy Scouts, Catoctin Safe and Sane, and so forth. 

The dictionary has many features, such as the history of the Presidents of the United States, the solar system, sign language, and also the longest word in the United States.

Lewistown Elementary—Shown presenting the dictionaries are: (back row) Cheryl Lenhart, Thurmont Grange member, and Principal Belinda Fockler; (front row) Mila Davis, Lauren Hunter, Mady French, Grace Cassella, Olive Rinker, and Brayden Lovejoy, all third-grade students at Lewistown Elementary School.

Thurmont Elementary—(front row) Thurmont Elementary School third-graders, Alayna Conrad, McKinnly Glotfelty, Connor McGrew, Owen Ott, and Jaiden Poole; (back row) Grange members, Jodi Eyler, Rodman Myers, Karl Williams (TES Principal), Carol Long, Sue Keilholtz, and Nancy Wine.

Emmitsburg Elementary— Robert Wiles, Shane Baker, Emily McMahan, Sophia Myers, Jaxon Reaver, and Amber Madigan (Principal).

The Catoctin Area Civitan Club donated 30 bookbags,  filled with a folder, pencils, and crayons to our local schools. The Thurmont Primary School, Emmitsburg Elementary School, and Lewistown Elementary School each received 10 bags to distribute to children in need.

Stacy Bokinsky (Lewistown Elementary School Counselor), Daniel Genemans (Lewistown Elementary School Student), Ginger Malone, Mary Dal-Favero and Ann Malone.

Lewistown Elementary School held its annual Family Night on February 13, 2020. The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Committee and the School Improvement Team hosted the night to inform families on topics in education and to provide fun activities for students. The PTA generously provided dinner for all.

Parent sessions were held on technology, behavior, and home routines, math and literacy resources, and cyberbullying.  Student rotations included making calming jars and stress balls, science fair prep, and book shopping for free books. Frederick County Public Library, Girls on the Run, and Boy Scouts shared community information for attendees.

It was a great night for staff to share their knowledge and promote connections with families and community members!

The National Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. The Grange is part of more than 2,100 hometowns across the United States. The Thurmont Grange serves our Catoctin region. One of the programs administered annually by the Grange is Words for Thirds, where every third-grade student in the local area is given a dictionary to keep.

Thurmont Elementary School

Pictured from left are: (back row) Russell Moser, Sidney Moser, Rodman Myers, Third Grade Teacher Connie Reynolds, Jody Eyler, Sue Keilholtz, and Carol Long; (front row) Aaron Mosiychuk, Chloe Glass, Chloe Shultz, Braelynn Keilholtz, and Ayden Merritt.

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Pictured from left are: (back row) Thurmont Grange volunteers, Paulette Mathias, Carolyn Wiles, Cliff Stewart, Sue Keilgoltz, and Bob Wiles; (front row) Leah French, Addison Tingler, Colt Atwell, and Cole Merriman.

Sabillasville Elementary School

Pictured from left are: (back row) Becky and Jim Royer, Third Grade Teacher Marnie Tootill-Mortenson, Principal Kate Krietz, SES and Thurmont Grange Secretary Jane Savage; (front row) Grayson Lawler, Josie Harbaugh, Avery Harbaugh, Brynn Eyler, Hope Rice, and Noah Bradbury.

Lewistown Elementary School

Lewistown Elementary School students in classes of Ms. Jozwiak and Ms. Graybill (third grade teachers) and Ms. Acevedo (EL Teacher) are presented dictionaries by Cheryl Lenhart on November 19 during American Education Week.

Theresa Dardanell

Catoctin High School welcomes Jennifer Clements, Principal; Kelly Welty, Administrative Secretary; Olivia Aungst, English Teacher; Brian Brotherton, Science Teacher; Derrick Kaas, Math Teacher; Shawn Lees-Carr, English Teacher; Christopher Maze, Latin Teacher; Kaitlyn Masotta, Spanish Teacher; Stephanie Felmet, User Support Specialist.

Thurmont Middle School welcomes Rebecca Hunter, Language Arts Teacher; Todd Zinn, Career Technology Teacher; Brianne Green, History Teacher; Robert Almovodar, World Language Teacher; Aimee Watkins, Math Teacher; Krystal McKenzie, Special Education Instructional Assistant.

Thurmont Elementary School welcomes Sandy Smith, Media Specialist; Harry Hanna, Fifth Grade Teacher; Tammy Ferrell, Third Grade Teacher; Aaron Johnson, Physical Education Teacher; Kathryn Zumbrun, Music Teacher; Tammy Cody, User Support Specialist; Amanda Chapman, Beth Cochran, and Donna Smith, Special Education Instructional Assistants.

Thurmont Primary School welcomes Dr. Michele Baisey, Principal.

Lewistown Elementary School welcomes Ryan Hench, Art Teacher; Ashley Hood, Special Education Teacher; Allyson Gwinn, Fourth Grade Teacher; Emma Jozwiak, Third Grade Teacher; Todd Cutsail and Leslie Carbaugh, Pyramid Teachers.

Sabillasville Elementary School welcomes Jill Dutrow, Art Teacher; Gary Burgess, Physical Education Teacher; Carrie Trax, Music Teacher; Christine Ortiz, Special Education Instructional Assistant.

It is time to recognize the special teacher who has made an impact on your child’s life and on your school community. Do you know a teacher who goes beyond what is expected? You can let this teacher know how important he/she has been to you by nominating him/her for the Thurmont Lions’ Teacher of the Year award. Anyone can nominate a teacher—parents, students, fellow teachers, and administrators.

This award is open to Pre-K through Grade 12, full-time teachers, in the Catoctin feeder school system: Catoctin High School, Thurmont Middle School, Thurmont Primary School, Thurmont Elementary School, Lewistown Elementary School, Emmitsburg Elementary School, Sabillasville Elementary School, and Mother Seton School.

All nominees will be recognized at a reception to be held on May 1, 2017, at the Thurmont Elementary School. The Teacher of the Year will be selected from these finalists by a committee of community leaders and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions’ Education Night on May 10, 2017.

Nomination forms are available at and at the Thurmont Regional Library. You may also pick up a form at your child’s school. Nomination forms (which include all the information necessary for submitting) are due no later than April 7, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Lion Joyce Anthony at or 240-288-8748.

At 6:30 p.m. on January 17, 2017, approximately twenty-four Lewistown Elementary School students were dressed in their PJ’s and ready for bed, but they weren’t at home. Along with their parents, they went back to school for Family Literacy Night, sponsored by the PTA.

The children brought blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows, and they made themselves comfortable. Through the magic of storytelling, Dr. Cook, Associate Professor of Education at Mt. St. Mary’s University, treated the children to a trip around the world in their minds. She began by telling a Pawnee Folk tale, Baby Rattlesnake, and invited the children to join in a rattlesnake song and dance. The trip around the world continued with a Ukrainian folk tale, an Australian adventure, and a story from China. The trip concluded with a bedtime story, Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein. Lewistown Elementary Literacy Specialist Abby Dillon said that the families enjoyed the relaxing night and that one student thanked her for “such a fun slumber party.”

Dr. Cook, Associate Professor of Education at Mt. St. Mary’s University, is pictured with Lewistown Elementary students and their families, during Literacy Night, held January 17, 2017.

What a great “Learning Lunch” for the fourth and fifth grade girls at Lewistown Elementary School on January 11, 2017. Guidance Counselor  Greta Nettleton sets up different learning  lunches for students throughout the year. Priya Tandon from Oakdale High and Jordan Bramhall from Middletown High, both winners of the Distinguished Young Women of Frederick County Scholarship Program, presented a lesson on RESPECT for self and others. A tube of toothpaste was used to represent words and actions that you can’t take back once they are let out. Joanna Genemens is seen (above) trying to get the “words and actions” back into the tube.

In addition to speaking to elementary school children, Jordan and Priya have done multiple talks to middle school kids about the importance of staying in school, what a transcript looks like, what to expect in high school, as well as how to prepare for college and life after college. It is all part of the Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program, which is a national scholarship program that rewards high school juniors and seniors who exhibit excellence in academics, leadership and talent.


Pictured from left are Priya Tandon, Oakdale High; Joanna Genemans, Lewistown Elementary; and Jordan Bramhall, Middletown High

Catoctin High School Drama Presents Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth

Catoctin High School (CHS) Drama is proud to present its 2015 fall play, Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth. The play will be performed November 5-7, 2015, at Catoctin High School.

Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth is a new play by Jonathan Rand and Don Zolidis. Jonathan Rand is considered one of the most popular living playwrights, with his works having been performed in all fifty states, fifty-four countries. Over 16,000 productions have been done of his work.

Humbletown traces the history of a small Midwestern town from the late 1800s to the present with laugh-out-loud hilarity and a healthy dose of satire. The two narrators—an old cranky man (Thomas Cantwell, senior) and a young, perky modern girl (Josephine Isaacson, junior)—argue over the history, reminding us that history is usually only completely true to the person telling it.

This ensemble cast is led by seniors Cameron Hallock, Taylor Garner, Mariam Harper, Jessica Late, and Justin Cissell. The lead, Humbleton, (in addition to Humbleton Jr., and Humbleton III) is played by junior Anthony Robertson. The cast is completed with the talents of Colleen Slotwinski, Victoria Hoke, Casey Ecker, Chris Reed, Soloman Weisgerber, Tyler McNally, Amanda Smallwood, Madeline Smallwood, Heidi Selders, Christine Seymour, Haley Kopper, Eliza Phillips, Natalee Williams, and Madeline Godlove.

The play is directed by CHS Drama Director, Karen Stitely. The show will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, November 5-7, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. The play will be presented in the CHS Auditorium. All tickets are $8.00. Contact for further information.

CHS HumbletownCast is pictured after one of their many practices, preparing for their fall play, Humbletown: The Greatest Town of Earth.

Leo Club Holds First Meeting

CHS Leo’s had their first meeting on Club Day, September 10, 2015. Their meetings will be held every second Thursday this school year. They welcomed Ms. Eckenrode back as one of their faculty advisors, along with Ms. Kathy Herrmann. This will be her final year at Catoctin High School; they feel fortunate she will be with them before her retirement. There was a great turnout at their first meeting. Over fifteen applications to perspective new members were passed out, officers wete installed, and project ideas for the upcoming Leo year were discussed.

chs leo

Leo Marah Williams (pictured above left) was sworn in as Leo Club President by Thurmont Lion Club Advisor, Wendy Candela (pictured on right). Visit them at their website at

Thurmont High School Alumni Celebrate 100 Years

Bill Eyler, President of the Thurmont High School Alumni Association

The Thurmont High School Alumni Association will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the building that was located at 408 East Main Street in Thurmont. A slide show, special music, anniversary booklet, delicious supper, and a special speaker are all being planned for this fun event.

The presentation/supper will be held on June 4, 2016, at the Lewistown Fireman Activities Building. The class of 1966 will celebrate their 50th Reunion. Classes ending in 1 and 6 will celebrate special anniversaries.

The Alumni Association is attempting to update class lists from 1916 through 1972. Any information you may have about class members, living or deceased, would be helpful. If you have any information about classmates, or you wish to be included in this event, please contact Viola Noffsinger at 301-418-1760, or leave a message at 301-898-9898. You may mail any photos or memorabilia to Viola at 12510 Creagerstown Road, Thurmont, MD 21788.

This past year’s celebration featured door prizes provided by very generous local businesses, including Gateway Candyland and Liquors, Trout’s Market Woodsboro, Hillside Turkey Farms, Hobbs Hardware, Robin Rippeon (Longaberger Baskets), Browns’ Jewelers, Carriage House Restaurant, Shuff’s Meat Market, Bollinger’s Restaurant, Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, Nancy Rice, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Shamrock Restaurant, Gateway Flower Shop, ACE Hardware, Rube’s Crab Shack, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, and Maple Run Golf Course. We thank them and invite you to shop locally.

Lewistown Elementary School’s Annual Tiger Ride for Technology

Lewistown Elementary School held its annual Tiger Ride for Technology on September 26, 2015. The school hosted over fifty riders for a 5-mile family ride and a 42-mile ride through northern Frederick County. It was an overwhelming success, bringing in over $2,500. All the money will be used to purchase Chrome Books for the students. At the end of the ride, s’mores were a hit and will become a tradition.

Details for next year’s ride can be found at A huge thank you goes out to their generous sponsors: The Bicycle Escape; Home Run Inc, Baker Tree Service, Tom Lynch with Miles and Stockbridge, The Orr Group at Merrill Lynch, The Allnutts, and Grimes Graphics. Donations are always welcomed and can be sent to: Lewistown Elementary School, 11119 Hessong Bridge Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Checks made payable to: LES Tiger Ride.

School Bells are Ringing Across the County

James Rada, Jr.

Frederick County students headed back to school on Monday, August 24. Nearly every school saw new faces among the faculty and staff.

Thurmont Primary School

Thurmont Primary School is the only school in the area not seeing any staffing changes this year. All of the teachers and staff from last school year are returning.

Sabillasville Elementary School

Sabillasville Elementary School welcomes three new teachers this year: Jennifer Rutherford, special education teacher; Maureen Schildt, 5th grade teacher; and Chad Keller, physical education teacher.

Lewistown Elementary School

Lewistown Elementary School is welcoming nine new teachers and staff this year: Austin Seliga, kindergarten teacher; Dana Byard, media specialist; Jessica Flabbi, pyramid teacher; Kristina Sartwell, pyramid teacher; Aly Kaufman, pyramid teacher; Jeremy Kraeuter, user support specialist to help with technology needs; Tia Rode, special education assistant; Brenda Harrison, special education assistant; and Gayle Mosier, special education assistant.

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Emmitsburg Elementary School welcomes five new teachers and staff this year: Sara Bugler, pre-K teacher;           Stan Diehl, instructional support staff; Harry Fogle, instructional support staff; Kelli Landermann, instructional support staff; and Mary Neibecker, instructional support staff.

Also, targeted Intervention teacher Charlene Rippeon was awarded 2015 Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year Award.

Thurmont Middle School

Thurmont Middle School Principal Jennifer Powell said, “We’ve had quite a few changes to our staff this year due to our decreasing enrollment and the increase in class size due to the FCPS budget.”

Current enrollment in the school is around 542, which is down from approximately seven years earlier when enrollment was over 700 students. This means fewer class periods need a teacher to cover them, which could eventually lead to fewer teachers at the school. Ten teachers and staff have left the school this year due to retirement, transfers to other schools, or other reasons.

New this year or in new positions are: Emily Kern, math/science teacher; Valerie Cousins, filling in for Bethany Webster on maternity leave;         and Tina Garst, science teacher instead of math.

“We still proudly have the FCPS Teacher of the Year Amanda Portner who is our Literacy Specialist,” Powell said. “We will find out in October if she is the Maryland Teacher of the Year.”

Catoctin High School

Catoctin High School welcomes five new teachers and staff this year: Luis Torrado, history teacher; Julie Bashin, math teacher; Katherine Mills, media specialist; and Doug Young, science and math teacher.

Mother Seton School

Mother Seton School is welcoming three new teachers this year: Kelsey Kuykendall, pre-k teacher; Amy Incaprera, middle school language arts and religion teacher; and Rhona Stocksdale, physical education teacher. The school now has central air conditioning throughout the entire building to maintain a comfortable learning environment for the students.

Patriot’s Pen Contest

Each year, the VFW Post 6658 Ladies Auxiliary sponsors “The Patriot’s Pen” contest, which is open to students in grades sixth through eighth.

Students are required to do a typed essay of 300-400 words based on the theme, “What Freedom Means To Me.” Monetary prizes are given to the winners on local, state, and national levels.

Judging is based on knowledge of theme, theme development, and clarity of ideas. If you are interested, please contact Gwen Topper at 717-359-0713 for an entry form.

Thurmont Elementary and Primary Schools to Host Back-to-School Picnic

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, the Thurmont Primary and Thurmont Elementary Schools will be hosting their annual Back-to-School Night Family Picnic at the Thurmont Town Park, located at 21 Frederick Road in Thurmont in the pavilions, from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Students and their families are invited to come spend some informal and fun time with teachers and staff, with good food, enjoyable music, lots of useful information, and tons of fun on the agenda.

Many thanks go out to the local business community for all of their support of this collaborative event to kick off the 2015-2016 school year.

Catoctin Safe and Sane Class of 2016

The 2016 Catoctin High School (CHS) Safe and Sane Committee is selling $5.00 tickets for chances to win a bushel of steamed crabs. Winners will be drawn at 2:00 p.m. on September 13, 2015, at the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Community Show.

Save the date for a fun night painting! Get your tickets for the Corks & Canvas Night on September 17, 2015, at the Carriage House Inn in JoAnn’s Ballroom in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $50.00 a ticket, which includes art supplies, appetizers, and complimentary wine.

Please contact Laura Imes at 301-788-6458 or Kim Moser at 240-285-1799 for tickets for these events.

Visit the Catoctin Safe and Sane Class of 2016 website for all upcoming and future events at

James Rada, Jr.

Lewistown Elementary School student, Nik Contreras, hunches over a notebook, writing down figures for a loan he needs to buy a bison for his farm. Coming up with his total, he flips to another page and begins sketching a design for the corrals on his farm. It’s all part of his business plan.

Then the school bell rings and recess is over.

Nik is only nine years old, but he has a vision for his future, and it is centered around the huge shaggy animals from western lore, typically called buffalo.

“The settlers in the West knew about European buffalo, and, since bison looked like buffalo, that’s what they called them,” Contreras said.

A few years ago, Nik saw his first bison at a park in Virginia, and they captured his imagination. He liked their big heads and shaggy bodies.

He began drawing them in a sketchbook and searching for pictures on the internet of bison that he could use for models. He happened to click on one of those pictures, thinking it would enlarge, but instead it took him to the National Bison Association website.

He began exploring the website, learning more about bison and how to raise them for meat like cattle.

“People tell me why not raise cattle, but I say bison is better,” said Nik. “You don’t need to feed them as much. They can take care of themselves better than cows. You just need nice grass and water.”

Nik can tell you all about considerations for planning a ranch on which to raise bison. He continues researching them, because his plan is to eventually buy his own ranch.

His first step toward this goal is to buy his first bison. Many places around the country will sell bison at auction, just like a cattle auction. His research has allowed him to pick out an auction where he believes he can find the best deal. He has also found out that he can get an unsecured Rural Youth Agriculture loan for up to $5,000.

Now, he just has to turn ten, which will happen later this year.

Nik is now a junior member of the National Bison Association, and he also became the very first junior member of the Eastern Bison Association.

“They’re great people,” said Cindy Burnsteel, Nik’s mother. “They answer his e-mails and calls and treat him as they would any other adult.”

Since becoming interested in raising bison, Nik has attended different round-ups, visited a number of bison ranches, and even lobbied members of Congress about the benefits of bison meat.

“It tastes better than beef,” Nik said. “It’s a little sweeter. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol. You can use it to make a lot of things, like soup, tacos, and burgers.”

Nik even knows how he will raise the money to make loan payments and pay for the upkeep of his bison at a ranch. He is going to make bullwhips and sell them. It is a skill that he has been learning for quite some time, and he believes that he can make better ones than you can often purchase in stores.

Once the first bison he buys has had a few calves, he will sell it and raise the young ones. He will continue raising and breeding them, slowly growing his herd and his income until he has enough money to buy his first ranch. He figures that it will be in Michigan or Wisconsin.

Not surprisingly, he has also researched the places in the United States that have the best conditions for raising bison.

Bill Edwards of SB Farms in Hurlock, Maryland, and Nik Contreras are pictured, with bison bull, Captain Hook.


Photo Courtesy of Cindy Burnsteel