- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners spent part of Tuesday afternoon last week at The Calverton School as one of the private school’s initiatives to increase its presence in the county.
The Huntingtown-based school went through several leadership changes this year, including a new head of school, Spencer Taintor, and upper school head, Ryan Jordan, both of whom led the commissioners in tours around the building.
Taintor explained that he started discussions with county officials even before he started the job about “how to create a better partnership” and how the school could be of assistance to various community organizations.
“We’re not ignorant to the fact that a lot of our families are well off and have an opportunity to give back,” said Taintor, who said students had been doing some volunteer work with End Hunger in Calvert County, Project ECHO and Patuxent River Appreciation Days.
“We’re looking to see how we can increase that,” Taintor said.
Jordan said they were also hoping to communicate to the commissioners that “we aren’t just a school for the wealthy” and have a variety of scholarship options.
“It’s good for folks to know who we are and what we are,” said Jordan, who said he hoped the group of student government students who joined the commissioners for lunch could convey that.
“They all have a different story,” he said of the students, who Jordan said he hoped would learn more about local issues from the commissioners.
Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt (R) said he enjoyed speaking with Chinese exchange students Ben Wang and Kenny Wu, both of whom are in ninth grade.
“They were comparing some of the differences — [in China] when they come into a classroom they stay in a classroom all day and the teachers come in and out,” Slaughenhoupt said.
Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said she had already had a relationship with Calverton as her son had attended through eighth grade.
“The school has a lot of traditions that continue,” said Shaw, who asked Taintor if the school currently had more students from outside the county than inside.
Taintor said about 30 percent of Calverton’s students were from adjoining counties and 10 percent were international.
“We’re still at a healthy 350 to 450 students,” he said.
One of the students selected to meet with the commissioners was senior Kira Remy of Chesapeake Beach, who said she talked to them about her experiences in student government and playing varsity soccer.
“Even though Calverton is small, our impact in the county is just as much as some of the schools that are really large,” said Remy, 17, adding that she hoped the commissioners would help in “getting our name out to the public.”
With the new leadership changes at the school, Taintor said classes this year would be delving more into critical thinking and mostly word-based problems in math classes.
“It sets it up so our students are able to take Algebra 1 by the time they’re in eighth grade,” he said.
Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) said he hoped Calverton could develop a relationship with the other schools in the county “as far as exchanging ideas goes.”
Clark said he was pleased to see the international presence within the school as well as its 100 percent graduation rate.
“They’re entering into a new level and a new phase and they’re doing a wonderful job,” Clark said.