Currently viewing the tag: "sabillasville elementary"

Mr. Billy Hodge, Sr., former coach and teacher at Thurmont Middle and Catoctin High Schools, was honored at the Cascade American Legion on November 7, 2020, not only as an impactful teacher and coach, but also as a Korean War Veteran. The gathering focused on celebrating Mr. Hodge’s 90th birthday (November 8) and was also part of the Cascade American Legion’s Veteran Showcase, organized by member, Joan Fry.

His late wife, Helen, who taught fourth grade at Sabillasville Elementary School for many years, was honored as well.

Prior to the gathering, Facebook and The Catoctin Banner were used to communicate the occasion. On Facebook, Mr. Hodge was touted by Kim Miller Cromwell as a “Great teacher!”; by Helen Horton-Rice as, “A wonderful man.”; and by Evan Atkinson as, “A great teacher who was always very fair, honest, and very easy to respect.”

Visitors to the gathering brought birthday cards and gifts for Mr. Hodge and shared yearbooks and class photos for all to see. Several of Mr. Hodge’s peers attended, including former coach, teacher, and athletic director, Paul Nolan, and FCPS bus drivers Frank and Shirley Riffle, who traditionally drove CHS sports teams to away competitions.

Mr. Hodge is remembered fondly for teaching in a way that taught respect in a supportive way. He is notorious for asking pointedly blunt questions and assigning nicknames. The most widely-remembered is the assignment of “Bonehead” to a student when he or she was acting in an illogical way. Several of his children and grandchildren in attendance confirmed that he still uses that specific term of endearment. At the gathering, Mr. Hodge explained, “It just makes sense. I was teaching biology and science. The human skull is made of bone. We’re all boneheads.” Upon reflection, it seems that most of his students ended up using their boneheads to make sense of the task at hand, and they appreciated it.

Some of Mr. Hodge’s former students were impacted significantly by him. Beverly Hicks Little said, “He was the first teacher to tell me about Mitosis vs. Meiosis. He intrigued me to learn and do more. I am now a nurse… [in Florida] can someone please let him know how much he impacted me in fifth grade science class!”

Susan Clem Crone, former student and now educator at Thurmont Elementary said, “BONEHEAD! I still call people that!”

On Facebook, several children in the Lucey Family in Creagerstown chimed in. Kathaleen Lucey said, “I’ll reach out and send a card on behalf of my family…I hope he didn’t have to teach all seven of us. LOL.” Her sister Clare chimed in that she had him, and Kathaleen added, “He had six [of the seven Lucey children], I know that. I think of him whenever I call my kids dummy nuts.”

Cory Martin said, “I remember him calling me “Bonehead “ a few times. Lol,” and Jean Rippeon added, “He was one of my favorite teachers in the middle school. He used to call me ‘Elmer.’” I asked him, “Why do you call me Elmer?” He replied, “Because you are always coming to me saying I’m stuck!”

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hodge! Thank you for your service!

Thanks to all who attended this event. Stay tuned for upcoming events to honor our local Veterans at Cascade American Legion.

Courtesy Photos

Pictured from left, former CHS coach, teacher, and athletic director, Paul Nolan, looks at yearbooks with Mr. Billy Hodge, former Thurmont Elementary and Thurmont Middle School teacher and CHS coach, while Shirley and Frank Riffle, retired FCPS school bus drivers, look on.

Mr. Hodge’s 6th Grade Class, Thurmont Elementary School, 1973.

James Rada, Jr.

For the first time since the Frederick County Board of Education put off making a decision about whether to close Sabillasville Elementary School (SES), the board discussed the topic during its work session.

Some of the possible ways to keep the school open include:

Using the school as an agricultural center;

Turning it into a magnet school;

Adding career and technology services;

Adding a RISE program to the school; and

Making the school an “open enrollment” school.

Superintendent Theresa Alban cautioned the board in its approach to saving the school. She said during the board’s October work session, “I don’t want to go down the road of ‘let’s find ways to fill up the building.’”

The major problem facing the school is that it has seen declining enrollment. Last year, around 70 students were in a building rated for 160 students.

When the possibility of closing the school was raised last school year, the Sabillasville community rallied to fight the closure. The board relented and decided to address the issue later after examining possible ways to keep the school open and utilize the extra space. The school remains open this school year, but the board’s goal is to make a final decision on what to do by December.

The option of turning Sabillasville into a charter school seemed to be the idea that has the most support among the board.

Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School was considering the property, but Superintendent Theresa Alban said the school is also considering other locations.

However, Alisha Yocum, president of the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Teacher Association, said the community’s concern about the school becoming an existing charter school is “it really doesn’t become a community school at that point because we’re not really being involved in the decisions.”

She said community members and parents are developing the idea of creating a new charter school that would be located at Sabillasville Elementary.

If the board pursues this option, it would take time and raise additional questions of how students would be accepted to attend the school. It would also want to ensure students living in Sabillasville could still remain in their community school.

“The chartering process is quite lengthy and complex,” Board President Brad Young said.

If the school were to become an open-enrollment school, where students from overcrowded schools could attend, those students would come from outside of the Catoctin High School district because all of the schools in Northern Frederick County have excess capacity. This means the transportation costs would increase, and those students would have very long bus rides to and from school.

The board is planning on surveying parents of students in overcrowded schools to see how many of them would be willing to send their students to Sabillasville.

Board documents about the options indicate using the school as an agricultural center has problems. “To operate this center and maintain the elementary school operation would be challenging; it would also not address the dwindling enrollment numbers for SES. This option does not change the deferred maintenance needs,” according to a review of options in a document on the board’s website.

Expanding career and technology programs into the school would require modifying the school without addressing the declining enrollment program.

“I just want to commend everybody for thinking outside the box. The school is really a jewel in your community, and I’m all in favor of keeping community schools as long as we can,” said Board Member Lois Jarman.

The board will take up the issue again this month once it has had time to get feedback from parents in other schools about their interest in sending their students to Sabillasville.

Theresa Dardanell

Thurmont Primary

Open House and visitation for all students and parents will be on Thursday, August 29, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Please come to meet your teacher and tour the school. 

Kindergarten parent/guardian orientation will be held on Thursday, August 22, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for parents only (no children, please). 

Thurmont Elementary

Thurmont Elementary is excited to announce that they will once again have an opportunity for your child to meet his/her teacher before school starts. Last year, they had quite a successful turnout and students seemed excited to meet their teachers and classmates. On Thursday, August 29, from 3:40-4:40 p.m., the school will have “The Great Reveal” again, which will allow you to find your child’s classroom and hear about the new school year, as well as meet his/her teacher. “We’re so looking forward to opening a new school year with you and your children. Enjoy the remainder of the summer with your children. Be sure to mark your calendar!” —Debbie O’Donnell, Principal

Sabillasville Elementary

Back-to-School Night will be on Thursday, August 29, at 6:00 p.m.

Lewistown Elementary

Back to School Open House Night for all grade levels, pre-K through fifth grade, will be on Thursday, August 29, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. The Open House begins in the cafeteria, with staff introductions and ice cream treats. Visit the classrooms and meet the teachers. Join the PTA and purchase spirit wear.

Thurmont Middle

Open House will be on August 21, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., and 1:00-4:00 p.m. Pick up your schedule and take a self-guided tour. Chromebook payments can be made by cash or check. T-shirts will be available for sale (also cash or check only). Come and meet your teachers during Back-to-School Night on August 29, from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Catoctin High

Back-to-School Night will be Thursday, August 29, from 6:00-7:45 p.m.  Pick up your schedules, learn about clubs, visit the classrooms, and meet the teachers. Also, meet Jennifer Clements, Catoctin High School’s new principal.  

Sabillasville Elementary School hosted its 3rd Annual Sabillasville Scenic 5K/1-Mile Fun Run on November 12, 2017. It was organized by the Sabillasville Elementary School’s Parent Group (SES-PG). The SES-PG would like to thank all the runners and volunteers that came out to help support the SES-PG by participating in this event. It was a beautiful day, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the event.

The proceeds from this event will help provide cultural arts programs and field trips for the students of SES. Both families and single runners signed up to run and to enjoy the scenic route, which was cheered on by students and spectators. The SES-PG looks forward to hosting it again next year, and hopes to see everyone back again.

The SES-PG would like to give a special thanks to its Gold Sponsors: Scenic View Orchard, Tommy West Memorial Fund, Vinny Healy Memorial Christian Outreach Fund, Diamond-H Construction, Catoctin Consultancy, The Hillard Family, Gnarly Artly, KLM Specialty Projects, Mick’s Plumbing & Heating, and Wegmans; its Silver Sponsors: Anytime Fitness, Harbaugh’s Harvest, and Worth’s Towing; and its Bronze Sponsor: Tastefully Simple by Dawn Fisher.

Theresa Dardanell

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”  —Albert Einstein

Students enjoyed an extra-long summer vacation this year. When they return to school on September 5, they will meet some new teachers, administrators, and support staff.


Catoctin High School

Welcome: Shannon Stone, guidance counselor; Alyssa Burdette, math teacher; Evan Felmet, music/CTE teacher; Angie Gallik, social studies teacher; Rob Nutter, special education teacher; Shannon Snowman, instructional assistant; Alyssa Manninen, special education instructional assistant; Leeah Hawes, custodian.


Thurmont Middle School

Welcome: Anita Shank, assistant principal; Christine Newman, administrative secretary; Jessica Penn, science teacher; Eric Bokinsky, technical education teacher; Kelly Steele, physical education/health teacher; Suzanne Buxbaum, band teacher; Jennifer Thoma, special education teacher; Kelly Pizza, community liaison. Daniel Enck was promoted from assistant principal to principal.


Thurmont Elementary

Welcome: Amanda Giauque, fifth grade teacher; Andrew Piccolo, fifth grade teacher; Brooke Cipolla, fourth grade teacher; Jennifer Thoma, special education teacher.


Thurmont Primary

Welcome: Ellen Parkhurst and Lindsey Stracener, special education assistants.


Lewistown Elementary

Welcome: Heather Burgess, physical education teacher; Erica Gray-O’Leary and Madeline Hart, special education pyramid teachers; Jeanette Monteith, special education pre-K teacher; April Sprecher, special education coordinator; Dora King, music teacher; Eileen Knapp, Virginia Johnson, and Michele Routzahn, special education instructional assistants.


Sabillasville Elementary

Welcome: Karen McKenzie, special education teacher; Allen Cosner, user support specialist.

Theresa Dardanell

Everyone who attended the Free Community Meal at Catoctin High School (CHS) on April 11, 2017, enjoyed pizza, pasta, garlic rolls, salad, and cake. The dinner was provided at minimal cost by Rocky’s Restaurant in Thurmont, and the cakes were donated by Trinity United Church of Christ.  The CHS Outreach Committee sponsored this event to show unity and to bring people in the community together. Susan Weaver, CHS guidance counselor and Outreach Committee chairperson, said that many of the students, school staff, and families, in the Catoctin feeder area, attended the dinner. It was a time to relax and enjoy the company of neighbors and friends. Tables were set up with activities for children and teens. The “smaller kiddo activities” table had coloring books, Easter craft activities, markers, and pencils; the “bigger kiddo activities” table had board games.

Weaver said that the first community dinner, which was held in the fall, was a great success. She shared a heartwarming story with me.  During that dinner, a couple sat down with a woman who was sitting alone. Because it was close to Thanksgiving, they asked her what she was doing for the holiday. She began to cry and said that she had nowhere to go. They immediately invited her to have dinner at their home. Food really does bring people together!

The Outreach Committee also has a BFF (Backpacks For Food) program to provide food on the weekends for students who might otherwise go hungry. Each week, food donated by parents, staff, students, and community organizations is collected, sorted, and packed in backpacks by volunteers. These backpacks are distributed to about sixty students at Catoctin High, Thurmont Middle, Sabillasville Elementary, and Thurmont Elementary.

Friends and Neighbors enjoy a Free Community Meal at Catoctin High School

Theresa Dardanell

Staff and students at the Catoctin feeder schools joined together for a week in January to promote kindness.

Sabillasville Elementary

Students at Sabillasville Elementary watched a video that showed them how easy it is to be kind to others, and they received a copy of The Great Kindness Challenge, with suggestions for random acts of kindness that they could complete. Every class received a “Secret Mission” packet, along with a spy pen for keeping track of kind acts by students (secret agents!), who secretly served others by performing acts of kindness. Each day, when students arrived at school, they were invited with the help of peer mentors to complete a link for the “kindness chain.” According to School Counselor Stacy Bokinsky, the students enjoyed being kind to others.

Lewistown Elementary

Morning announcements during Kindness Week at Lewistown Elementary began with student peer ambassadors reading from the book, Kindness Counts by Bryan Smith. Students had “kindness coins” that they gave to classmates who performed kind acts. On Thursday, teachers were given a “kindness class button” that they wore. When they saw a considerate act performed by a student, they gave the button to that student. The buttons passed from one student to another during the day, as students showed kindness to one another.   On the first day, they took home a copy of The Great Kindness Challenge, so that they could continue their random acts of kindness at home.

Thurmont Elementary

The playground at Thurmont Elementary school was decorated with messages of kindness written in sidewalk chalk by the students. Students also participated in the “Kindness rocks project” by decorating rocks with caring messages and distributing them around the school and the community.   Students showed kindness beyond just their school; they read to children from a local daycare, visited the senior citizens at the center across the street from the school, made blankets to donate to a local charity, or wrote letters to students in other countries.

Emmitsburg Elementary

Students at Emmitsburg Elementary sent messages of caring and encouragement to members of the military and to children in hospitals, and wrote thank you letters to teachers and school staff. They showed that “kindness rocks” by decorating rocks with caring messages and then giving the rocks to someone. School Counselor Sarah Fawley said,  “The students were so excited about performing acts of kindness for others.”

Thurmont Middle

Students at Thurmont Middle were greeted each morning during Kindness Week by the Mayor and police officers from the town of Thurmont, along with the students in the Rachel’s Challenge group, the Leo Club, and the Art Club. School Counselor Rebecca Krauss said, “It was a lot of fun giving high-fives and starting the day on such a positive note.” Students created positive posters with the theme, “Kindness matters” and made gratitude cards for the custodians, secretaries, nurses and cafeteria staff.

Staff and students at Sabillasville Elementary wore “kind words” clothing one day during Kindness Week. Pictured with the kindness chain, created by students, are: (from left, front row) Lillian Coles, Hope Rice, Brynn Eyler; (middle row) Ava Clester, Katelyn Anderson, Isabelle Coles, Valerie Sexton; (back row) Mrs. Shari Austin, Zoey Green, Jersey Ryder, Elizabeth Hahn, Lilah Dorsey, and Ms. Konnar Miller.

There are only 124 students at Sabillasville Elementary, but during the “Kids Helping Kids” food drive this past October, they collected 163 food items, which will be distributed to local food banks. This program, which is sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, is coordinated by the Maryland Food Bank for the purpose of fighting child hunger and building the next generation of anti-hunger advocates.

Fifth-grade peer mentors helped with the food drive. These students work on various projects during the year, and are also reading buddies for younger students. Guidance counselor Stacy Bokinsky, who organized the food drive, said that all of the students were excited to watch the collection boxes fill up with food. She was pleased with the amount of food collected and said that “there are some big hearts out there.”


Food bank donations are stacked up behind fifth-grade peer mentors, Calliope Hench, Leland Greco, Kylie Stracener, Hope Brown, Nathanael Hahn, Madisyn Fogle, Zoey Green, and Jazzy Padron, along with Principal Kate Krietz (second from right) and Counselor Stacy Bokinsky (far right).

Theresa Dardanell

Summer is not officially over, but students returned to school on Monday, August 22. They were greeted by many new staff members, who joined the teachers, administrators, and support staff at the local schools.

Lewistown Elementary welcomed Belinda Pippin, Assistant Principal; Julie Ferguson, Therapist; Erin Stup, Special Education Teacher; Molly Howser and Marsha Grosinger, Speech Pathologists; Lisa Caro, Laura McCaughey, and Karly Sites, Pyramid Teachers; Clay Waite, Lead Custodian; Kately Sword, School Support; and Tara Miller, Special Education Instructional Assistant. In addition, Dana Austin was promoted from assistant principal to principal.

Thurmont Middle welcomed Daniel Enck, Assistant Principal; William Gill, Counselor; Jenna Waybright, English-Language Arts Teacher; and Stephanie Strenko, Art/Career & Technology Education Teacher.

Catoctin High School welcomed Jason Lininger, Assistant Principal; Christy Wahl, Guidance; Ryan Lenhart, Math Teacher; Lisa Gadra, World Language Teacher; Scott Motter, English/Social Studies Teacher; Valerie Pickett, Art Teacher; Kenny Garvey, Math/Test Specialist; Linda Brainerd, Teacher Specialist; Travis Neil, Custodian; and Rachel Misner, Science Instructional Assistant.

Sabillasvile Elementary welcomed Stacy Bokinsky, School Counselor and Targeted Intervention teacher; Michael Pritt, Physical Education Teacher; and Julie Swope, Literacy Specialist.

Emmitsburg Elemetary welcomed Josie Greco, First Grade Teacher; and Lorraine Russo and Mary Lopez, Instructional Support.

Thurmont Elementary welcomed Caroline Pfrang, Third Grade Teacher; Rebecca Schimel, Becky Boughn, and Julie Morris, Special Education Instructional Assistants.

Thurmont Primary welcomed Kindergarten teacher, Jill Hood.

DSC_0793“People working together. It’s community, it really is.” These were the words of The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show’s President, Rodman Myers, when he was asked what he liked best about the Community Show. The Community Show is an elaborate 3-day community fair that has saturated one weekend in September with community opportunity and involvement for the past 59 years. This year, it was held on the weekend of September 11 through 13, 2015 at Catoctin High School.

The Community Show’s Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening honored the 50th Anniversary of Sabillasville Elementary School. Dr. Theresa Alban, Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools, spoke about the strong community that exists in northern Frederick County. Though her comments were brief, she spoke pointedly to our Catoctin community; especially our “extraordinary heroes” who were present in the flag ceremony representing our community’s first responders, service organizations, and our Veterans.

She said, “I’ve seen it first hand in the generous way that these organizations reach out to our schools to support them and our students who are most in need. But I’ve also seen it when a community member is in crisis. The way you rally around that person, that family, that school. It truly is my honor to be able, on September 11th, to remember the things that are important in our country that are embodied here in the people of Thurmont and Emmitsburg. So, I thank you so much for being who you are, for instilling those kinds of values in our students, and for maintaining these kinds of traditions year after year after year…”

Dr. Alban and Sabillasville Elementary School Principal, Kate Krietz announced Catoctin’s 2015-2016 FFA Ambassador, Stephanie Kennedy. Honorees for the 50th Anniversary representing Sabillasville Elementary School included Michele Firme, Paula Bowman, Nicky Lingg, Susan Valenti, and Jody Miller, not to forget the many alumni and current students of Sabillasville Elementary who were in the audience.

Rodman said, “This was one of the best programs we’ve had in a long time. Not to say that other programs haven’t been good, but this year’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alban, she had a great message and the community really came together.”

The Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin Area FFA Alumni, Maryland Agricultural Fair Board, and the Maryland State Grange. A large volunteer force pulls together to make the Community Show happen. They are led by the Show’s President, Rodman Myers, and Vice President, Bob Valentine. While the purpose of the Community Show is to educate, to inspire, and to entertain, it’s community that makes all of those things happen. This is the community’s annual Show. Rodman said, “It’s amazing – the volunteerism it takes to put on a show like this.”

Local organizations benefit financially from the Show starting with the baked goods auction on Friday night immediately following the Opening Ceremony. People donate money from the sale of baked goods to many entities including Catoctin FFA students’ participation in the FFA Convention, the Burall Brothers Scholarship Fund, diabetes, the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick, the Thurmont Grange, and many more. The top sale of a single cake generated $1300.00 this year.

The Silver offering is a donation collected at the door of the Community show, and the proceeds from that collection and the Junior and Youth Department champion cakes were donated to the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Food Banks. Each food bank received $400.00. Carol Robertson, President of Catoctin Colorfest, Inc., purchased two hogs in the name of the Food Bank.

Refreshments were sold throughout the weekend by the Thurmont Lions Club, the CHS Basketball team, and the CHS Junior Class. A Roast Turkey & Country Ham Supper was served by the Thurmont Grange, and a Chicken Bar-B-Que was served by Catoctin FFA Alumni. These fundraisers did well. Rodman said, “We had to get more food, or we sold out of food.” Entertainment by “Catoctin” (The Catoctin Mountain Boys), and the Elvis Show was enjoyed by many. New this year included the Elvis Show, the Pedal Tractor pull for the kids, and face painting.

Exhibits were up in entries this year. The youth department was well represented. Lewis Auctioneers and the Ruby’s from Route 15 Auction Center were the auctioneers for the baked goods and livestock auctions.

In the livestock area, Bob Valentine managed the Show. He said to, “Thank the community for their support over the years.” This year’s livestock action resulted in the following average prices; swine $2.51/lb., sheep $3.362/lb., beef $2.38/lb., and goats $262/head. The gross sales totaled $36,996.

Look forward to the 60th Anniversary of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show next September! Plans are underway with some great entertainment, community showing, and agricultural awareness. This year’s buyers will be listed in next year’s Community Show Booklet. If you would like to volunteer, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104.

Photos by Deb Spalding and Grace Eyler


Sabillasville Elementary School’s 50th Anniversary: (top row) Laura Keilholtz, Dave Harman, Annette Harbaugh, Rodman Myers, Bernie Quesado, Dr. Theresa Alban, Bob Valentine, Daniel Myers, and Jody Miller; (front row) Michele Firme, Paula Bowman, Brenda Smith, Stephanie Kennedy, Nicky Lingg, Susan Valenti, and Kate Kreitz. These folks were joined by some of the school’s alumni and current students.


Pictured from left are Thad Bittner, Beef, Sheep and Swine Committee Member; Carol Robertson, President of Catoctin Colorfest; Rodman Myers, President of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show; Harold Bollinger, Thurmont Food Bank Volunteer; Sue Keilholtz, Chair of the Youth Department; and Margaret Black, Chair of the Junior Department.


Pictured from left are Mary Price and Phyllis Kelly, Emmitsburg Food Bank Volunteers; Denise Valentine, Chairman of the Baked Goods Department; and Rodman Myers, President of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.


2015 Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show Champions and Reserve Champions

Fresh Fruits: Martha Hauver (White Hale Peaches); Reserve Champion—Robert Black (Plums); Fresh Vegetables: Brian Harbaugh (Onions); Reserve Champion—Roxanna Lambert (Scallop Squash); Home Products Display: Charlotte Dutton; Reserve Champion—Roxanna Lambert; Canned Fruit: Carolyn Hahn (Whole Red Cherries); Reserve Champion—Carolyn Hahn (Pears); Canned Vegetables: Ann Welty (Rhubarb); Reserve Champion—Carolyn Hahn (Whole Green Beans); Jellies & Preserves: Denise Shriver (Peach Jelly); Reserve Champion—Denise Shriver (Apricot Preserves); Pickles: JoAnne Fuss (Vegetable Relish); Reserve Champion—Deborah Howd (Other – Pickled Asparagus); Meat (Canned): Ann Welty (Spare Ribs); Reserve Champion—Pauline McAfee (Canned Tenderloin); Home Cured Meats: Robert McAfee (Ham); Reserve DSC_0819Champion—Catoctin FFA Alumni (Ham); Baked Products: Cake: Michelle Troast (German Chocolate Cake); Reserve Champion—Maxine Troxell (Hummingbird Cake); Honorable Mention Cake—Burall Brothers Scholarship—Maxine Troxell (Sponge Cake); Bread: Maxine Troxell (Onion Bread); Reserve Champion—Maxine Troxell (Fruit & Nut Bread–Spiced Pear); Pie: Deborah Howd (Pecan Pie); Reserve Champion—Deborah Howd (French Apple Pie); Sugar Free: Roxanna Lambert (Diabetic Bread); Catherine Miller (Peach Pie); Gluten Free Baked Product: Sharon Lewis (Gluten Free Fudge Cake); Reserve Champion—Sharon Lewis (Pecan Pie); Sewing: Patricia Lipscomb (Misc. Items – Tatted Items); Reserve Champion—Janet Jewell (Quilt – Handmade and Machine – wool applique by hand); Flowers & Plants: Roxanna Lambert (Side Table Arrangement); Reserve Champion—Roxanna Lambert (Hanging Flowering Potted Plant); Arts, Painting & Drawings: Charlotte Dutton (Other Painting – painted tile); Reserve Champion—Jackson Steinly (Charcoal Drawing); Crafts: Thomas Horvat (Woodburning); Jack Hymiller (Misc. Craft – Pumpkin Minions); Photography: Kenneth Trout (Color Photo – Sports); Reserve Champion—Gina McCracken (Color Picture – Animal/Pets); Corn: Brian D. Glass (Hybrid Corn); Reserve Champion—Brian Glass (Best Single Ear); Small Grain & Seeds: Rodman Myers (Shelled Corn); Reserve Champion—Preston Clark (Soybeans); Eggs: Audrey Downs (Brown Eggs); Reserve Champion—Audrey Downs (White Eggs); Nuts: Jen Sayler (Shellbarks); Reserve Champion—Edward Hahn (English Walnuts); Rabbit: Olivia Dutton Poultry (Breeding Rabbits and Offspring); Reserve Champion—Laura Dutton (Breeding Male); Dairy: Joseph Hubbard (Ayrshire Calf); Reserve Champion—Dylan Moser (Brown Swiss Calf); Dairy Goats: Olivia Dutton—(Milking Yearling); Reserve Champion—Rose Froelich (five-year-old Doe); Hay: Dalton Sayler (Mixed Hay); Reserve Champion—Dalton Sayler (Alfalfa Hay); Straw: Dalton Sayler (Barley Straw); Reserve Champion—Steve Strickhouser (Oat Straw); Junior Department: Caroline Clarke (Sewing); Reserve Champion—Hannah Hurley (Other Garden Item – Cabbage); Junior Department Baked Product: Hoyt Sayler (Peanut Butter Fudge); Reserve Champion—Madison Ott (Sour Cream Pound Cake); Youth Department: Stephanie Freniere (Recycled Material picture); Reserve Champion—Justin McAfee (Metal Craft – Boot Rack); Youth Department Baked Product: Justin McAfee (Apple Pie); Reserve Champion–Ray Martin, IV (Black Walnut Chiffon with Vanilla Glaze); Beef: Samantha Bentz; Reserve Champion–Brittnee Brown; Sheep: Ashley McAfee; Reserve Champion–Caroline Clark; Swine: Ashley Lescalleet; Reserve Champion—Wyatt Davis; Market Goat: Laura Dutton; Reserve Champion—Kendra Keeney; Decorated Animal Contest: Olivia Dutton (Goat); Reserve Champion—Laura Dutton (Goat); Pet Show: Debbie Harbaugh (Dog); Reserve Champion—Dan Kulczak (Dog).

The Purpose of the Community Show is to Educate, to Inspire, and to Entertain

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School on September 11-13, 2015. Visit the Community Show’s website at to view the premium list for 2015 and the community show booklet.

On Friday evening, September 11, the 2015-2016 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. The baked goods auction will begin following the program, and the grand champion cake, pie, bread, gluten-free baked product, sugar free baked product, and the Junior and Youth Department baked product champions will be sold at 9:00 p.m.

Entry of exhibits will take place on Thursday evening, September 10, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 11, from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., in the new gymnasium and in the agriculture department area. There will be changes made in many of the classes, including photography, fresh vegetables, corn, and other departments. Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 11, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m., and the Friday night program will feature the 50th anniversary of Sabillasville Elementary School, with several individuals being honored.

On Saturday, September 12, the show opens at 9:00 a.m. Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing contest, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Ag Center at the school. A Scales and Tales demonstration will take place immediately prior to the Pet Show in the front of the school. The Pet Show will be held at 10:30 a.m. outside the front of the school. The petting zoo, farm animals, and pony rides by the Mason Dixon Quarter Horse Club will also be held on Saturday and Sunday, located near the upper parking lot at the high school, featuring “Abel,” owned by Joe and Ruth Biser, who is a Brown Swiss animal that is twelve years old and weighs 2,600 pounds. Alpacas, owned by Lynn Cherish of Baggy Britches Farm, will be on display. Emus, owned by James Royer, will be on display, and a sow and litter of pigs owned by Phil Wivell will also be on display.

The Thurmont Grange will serve their turkey and country ham dinner in the school cafeteria from 3:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. CATOCTIN The Band will perform in the auditorium, beginning at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m., the Taylor Brown “Elvis Show” will be performed. There will be no admission charge for this entertainment.

The 41st annual Catoctin FFA Alumni Beef, Sheep, Swine and Market Goat sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area on Saturday night, with approximately fifty-five head of livestock being sold. Buyers are welcome to attend and purchase animals.

Activities begin on Sunday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. with the Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Show and Decorated Animal Contest. The decorated animal contest will begin at noon.

At 12:00 noon, the Catoctin FFA Alumni Chicken Bar-B-Que will be held in the cafeteria. The 35th annual Robert Kaas horseshoe pitching contest will begin at 1:00 p.m.

The Log Sawing Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m. under the show tent in the Ag Center area. A peddle tractor contest for kids will be held on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., also in the Ag Center area. The Thurmont Academy of Self Defense will have a program in the old gymnasium at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. CATOCTIN The Band will perform in the auditorium from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and the Taylor Brown “Elvis Show” will be held from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Catoctin FFA Alumni will be holding a raffle during the community show. Profit from the raffle will go toward the scholarship fund as each year the Alumni awards scholarships to graduating Catoctin FFA Chapter seniors and past FFA graduates seeking secondary education.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. If items are left at the school after this time, they may be picked up in the Ag Center area on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, as there is no school on Monday, September 14th.

The community show booklets can be found in local Thurmont, Emmitsburg and surrounding area businesses in late July or early August. New residents of the community are urged to enter and be a part of the Community Show, the largest in the State of Maryland. Some minor additions and deletions will be made in some of the departments. Departments include: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers and Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department and Youth Department. There is no entry fee. Please visit our website for updated information at

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Maryland State Grange and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.


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