School Notes: Hispanic Group Names Takoma Park Middle School Principal as Educator of the Year

School Notes: Hispanic Group Names Takoma Park Middle School Principal as Educator of the Year

Plus: 151 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists named; Montgomery College begins plans for new building on Silver Spring campus

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Alicia Deeny

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Takoma Park Middle School Principal Alicia Deeny was honored as Educator of the Year at the Maryland Hispanic Gala, which was held at The Fillmore in Silver Spring on Thursday. According to a press release, Deeny has been in her position since 2013. She has been employed by Montgomery County Public Schools for 19 years and was previously an assistant principal at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. The annual event is meant to promote Hispanic enrollment in post-secondary education and typically features politicians, philanthropists businesspeople and members of the Hispanic community.

“Ms. Deeny’s vision is strongly focused on collaboration with the school community and high expectations of academic performance, believing that strong relationships and open communication are the heart of a positive school culture,” said Karla Silvestre of Silver Spring, who is the chair of the gala’s awards committee, director of community engagement at Montgomery College and a candidate for the Montgomery County Board of Education. The committee provides financial aid and scholarships for students from the Hispanic community to help increase graduation rates.

MCPS releases National Merit Scholarship stats

More than 150 semifinalists from Montgomery County Public Schools will compete nationally in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship competition, according to a press release from MCPS. After the finalists are announced in the spring, they will compete nationally for scholarships, which are worth $2,500. Additionally, university and corporate-sponsored scholarships will be announced later in the school year.

The annual National Merit Scholarship competition recognizes students for outstanding achievement on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, taken by high schoolers. This year’s   were high school juniors who were the top scorers on the 2017 test.

Sixteen county high schools are represented among the 151 semifinalists, with 42 students attending Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. Next on the list was Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville with 36, followed by Poolesville High School and Winston Churchill High School in Potomac with 12 each.

Montgomery College begins plans for new building on Silver Spring campus

In four years, Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus will have a new building dedicated to science and math. The building is intended to replace classrooms and labs that are between 38 and 56 years old, according to the college’s website.

Last Tuesday, community members gathered on the campus to discuss possible designs for the new building, WDVM reported.

The Washington, D.C.-based architectural firm SmithGroupJJR was chosen by the college’s board of trustees earlier this year to carry out the project. Construction is expected to begin in December 2019, with an expected opening in the fall of 2022. The building will be named the Catherine and Isiah Leggett Math and Science Building after Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and his wife. Leggett, who is completing his third term, had chosen not to run for re-election.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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