School board honors exemplary staff

The Board of Education on Oct. 8 honored four Charles County Public Schools staff members for exemplary accomplishments in the classroom and their support of student success. Honored, from left, were Cassandra Baugher, a special education teacher at Mary B. Neal Elementary School; Jennifer Elder, instructional resource teacher at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School; Anisah Ansari, language arts teacher at Mattawoman Middle School; and Joseph Burton, a math teacher at North Point High School.

The Board of Education at its Oct. 8 meeting honored four Charles County Public Schools staff members for their contributions to students and the school system. Honored were Anisah Ansari, Cassandra Baugher, Joseph Burton and Jennifer Elder.

Ansari is a language arts teacher at Mattawoman Middle School. She demonstrates the content knowledge and dedication that propels students to success. Mattawoman Principal Sonia Blue refers to Ansari as a master language arts teacher. She strives to work with students until they master concepts and looks for ways to increase their understanding. Ansari also recently launched journalism classes at Mattawoman. She created lesson plans and activities for students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Ansari is a team player who supports all school initiatives and activities. She is known as a great listener and relationship builder among students. Ansari takes pride in building positive relationships with all stakeholders. She is well liked and respected by her colleagues.

Baugher is a teacher in the ACHIEVE program, which stands for Academics, Communication, and Heightened Independence for Education, Vocation and Engagement. The program is designed to meet the needs of students with cognitive disabilities. Baugher sets high standards for herself; she takes the responsibility of teaching her students as an extraordinary calling. Baugher has been teaching in the program at Neal for the past seven years. Whatever the accomplishment, she celebrates with a student and gives them a chance to feel pride. Baugher sets high standards for her students to prepare them for life after school. She has been nominated for recognition several times through the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) awards program for her passion for working with students with special needs. Neal Principal Deborah Brown refers to Baugher as an advocate for all children.

Burton is a math teacher at North Point High School. He teaches a range of classes from entry-level algebra to Advanced Placement (AP) calculus. Burton was nominated for recognition by North Point Principal Daniel Kaple for serving as an instructional leader. He fosters a learning environment where students feel comfortable going beyond their abilities to exceed expectations. His classroom focuses on active learning where students initiate inquiry and content exploration. Burton also oversees the Academic Eagles student group and is committed to improving school culture. The Academic Eagles group focuses on improving school climate and culture. Kaple said Burton is the type of teacher who works to make North Point a place where both students and teachers thrive.

Elder is an instructional resource teacher at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School. She is well known among her peers as a leader who demonstrates high academic standards. She visits classrooms daily and is committed to maintaining positive relationships with students. Elder helps to oversee the check-in/check-out program, works with small groups to enhance math skills and is passionate about her work. Elder has been nominated for a SECAC award, named a Charles County Teacher of the Year award nominee and earned a SMECO Science Teacher of the Year award. She creates a supportive learning environment for students. Mitchell Principal Nicholas Adam said Elder is reliable and coaches others to achieve success.

The Board each month honors CCPS students and staff members selected by their principal for recognition.