Ellicott City: 'Flowers for Algernon' coming to Mount Hebron High stage

Under the direction of Tom Sankey, Mount Hebron High School will bring the play "Flowers for Algernon" by David Rogers, based on the novel by Daniel Keyes, to the stage on Nov 8-10 and 15-17 with 7 p.m. performances.

With the audience seated on the stage, in close proximity of the actors, Sankey has created an intimate, theater-style atmosphere for this production that centers on a mentally handicapped young man, Charlie Gordon, who receives an operation in hopes of increasing his intelligence. The operation has been successful on a mouse, named Algernon, so it is the doctors' hopes that the same can be done for a human.

Mt. Hebron senior Nate Gainey plays Charlie with seniors Christina Mattera, Abigail Welch, Ben Browne, Patrick Rasmussen, Matt Myslinski and Mallory Walker in supporting roles. The cast also includes additional Mt. Hebron students Ben Straube, Scarlett Forgrave, Maliaka McCorn, Naomi Abankwah, Austin Bendik, Rachel Poole, Ben Kalra, Carly Wakefield, Drew Holt, Paul Lutchenkov, Nishellie Navarante and Olivia Barnum.

The production team includes student director Collin Rasmussen, lighting director and senior Matt Cooley, stage manager and senior Sam Borchers, stage designer Pete Johnson and Costumer Barbara Bogart.

Due to the limited number of tickets at each performance, 125 tickets for each show, ticket reservations are encouraged by calling Mt. Hebron at 410-313-2880. Also, tickets may be purchasing in the school cafeteria between 10:30 a.m. and noon during school hours.

As a side note, in 1968 Hollywood made a movie based on the "Flowers for Algernon" novel called "Charly" starring Cliff Robertson that earned an Academy Award.

Centennial Lane Elementary School students are on the move — literally. Last year, in an effort to encourage students to exercise, Kris Singleton, PTA Safety Committee chairperson, organized monthly walk or bike to school events.

With the help of county police, who provide road crossing assistance on Centennial Lane at Breconshire Road, and the support of principal Brad Herling, who is an avid cyclist himself, the events grew in size and stature.

By the spring of 2012, interest in the monthly walk/bike to school events were soon attracting as many as 75 bike riders. To accommodate the growing bicycle riders, Herling purchased two new school bike racks, the last of which is expected to arrive soon.

Last month on Oct. 3, the "Walk and Wheel Wednesday" day kicked off the 2012-13 PTA monthly walk/bike to school program. Attracting nearly one hundred walkers, bikers and parents, the students and their families were treated to free Cliff bars, reflective safety stickers and raffle prize tickets when they arrived at school.

After the school bell rang, parents and younger siblings were invited to stay for a coffee, juice and healthy treats social. Hannah Boodin, Amaya Cunningham, Divya Proper, Abbas Rizvi, Amanda Wang, and Matthew Walters were the lucky raffle winners who took home prizes including pumpkins, Breadery treats, and a Stillpoint yoga gift certificate. The next PTA walk or bike to school event is Thurs., Nov. 1, featuring a short concert by the Jazz Band prior to the start of school.

The virtues of exercise are also modeled during the school day. According to Herling , the recent 5th grade vs. faculty soccer game, complete with music from the school band and cheers from the entire 5th grade team of spectators, was not only a "great event and one that will be repeated in the spring" but encourages students to stay active and fit.

The Folly Quarter Middle School PTA is hosting a free community education event to promote student safety featuring Katherine S. Newman, , professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of the book "Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings," on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the River Hill High School auditorium. Designed for middle and high students and parents, the event will help participants identify the warning signs of students in need.

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