2021 | Schools

Parents, students thank Washington Episcopal School staff for hard work

Plus: Last day of school on Wednesday for MCPS; Three receive MCPS Counselor of the Year awards

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Parents, students thank Washington Episcopal School staff for hard work

A flock of parents and students on Wednesday greeted the staff members of Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda with cheers and praise for their hard work to make the best of a difficult school year.

In a series of videos, the families are shown lining the stairs leading to the school’s main entrance and cheering, ringing bells and blowing horns to greet teachers and other employees as they arrive. Some hold signs that say “thank you” while others clap or blow bubbles.

The videos can be viewed online.

The celebration was intended to show appreciation for school employees, who worked to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic this school year.

An emotional Head of School Danny Vogelman said in one video (clip #7358) that he has worked in education for 25 years and “what I saw this morning and how you treated our faculty and staff is probably the coolest and most heartwarming thing I’ve seen in those 25 years.”

“This year was crazy. It was incredibly challenging, and we did an amazing job,” he said.

Last day of school on Wednesday for MCPS

The last day of the 2020-21 school year will be on Wednesday, marking the end to a strange, often difficult, year.

The majority of Montgomery County Public Schools’ students spent the school year taking classes from home, and others had limited in-person classes, beginning in March.

When buildings reopened — more than a year after they closed due to COVID-19 — many students attended in-person classes on a biweekly schedule to accommodate distancing guidelines.

Wednesdays, including the last day of classes next week, are designated as virtual days for all students.

High school seniors’ last day was in late May and graduations began June 2. The last graduation ceremony is scheduled for June 17.

MCPS has committed to a full-time return to in-person classes for all students in the fall. The caveat: The district is also developing a full-time virtual school for students with health concerns or who have “thrived” in the virtual setting over the past year.

Three receive MCPS Counselor of the Year awards

Three MCPS counselors will receive annual “Counselor of the Year” awards during a school board meeting on Thursday.

According to school board documents, the winners are:

• Robin Dulli, Stone Mill Elementary School
• Kevin Maruskin, John Poole Middle School
• Jennifer Oristian, Winston Churchill High School

The awards are designed to “focus attention on the unique contributions of professional school counselors and the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students in the county achieve school success, plan for a career, and become college ready,” according to a memo to the school board from Acting Superintendent Monifa McKnight.