You probably categorize your life by the milestone events that have occurred. I like to call mine "Chuck's Great Adventure: XYZ."
It wasn't always this way. I remember the time I was sent on an overseas assignment when I was in the Air Force. It was more "my life is over" rather than "a great adventure" because the Air Force moved me away from my girlfriend. That seemed like such a terrible time in my life. Most of our milestones have occurred in the past. But, for these next people, their next great adventure, "retirement" is just about to begin.
First, there's Janice Eberhart. Janice has been a teacher at Fulton Elementary School for 16 years. In addition to being "retired," she plans on being a substitute teacher at Fulton Elementary.
Next up is Fran Berkle. After a 27-year career as a teacher, Fran is excited to reopen her Snappy Snoball Stand. And, she is about to realize her dream of retiring to the beach.
And then there's Sandy Honecker. After a 21-year teaching career with the Howard County Public School System (15 of those years were spent teaching kindergarten at Fulton Elementary), Sandy is looking forward to traveling and restarting some old hobbies.
Congratulations, ladies. Thank you for your service to the kids of our community. We wish you years of enjoyment as you embark on your "next great adventure."
The Lime Kiln Middle School Students of the Week for the week ending May 17 are: Laurence Crandon, Nadia Zaleski, Grant Lee, Isabelle Belleza, Roger Mao and Amin Tafti.
If you want you kids to stay fresh in their math skills over the summer, you may want to check out this web-site: http://www.hcpss.org/parents/parent_tips.shtml#summer. There you will find academic resources for the summer break.
For example, there are summer math guides that can help your sixth- through eighth-grade student stay sharp, mathematically. If you questions about the math guides, email Bill Barnes, coordinator of secondary mathematics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Reservoir High School athletic teams keep on their winning ways. The varsity softball team won Reservoir's first regional softball championship on Saturday, May 19, by beating Howard High in a hard-fought game, 1-0. However, the team ran into juggernaut Northern of Calvert County, the defensing champions, in the semifinals, losing, 7-2. Congratulations to the coaches Julie Frisvold and Dave Burke and the varsity softball team for winning the regional championship.
Biyik Akinshemoyin won his second consecutive regional championship tennis title in a very challenging match. Annie Evaldsson also played well and finished in third place. Congratulations to Biyik, Annie and coach Karen Wolfe.
Congratulations to Kamal Browne, Bailey Parater and Cassie Tucker, who will represent Reservoir High School at a very special awards ceremony on June 1 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They were chosen as national award winners by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers from over 200,000 entries.
Only the top 1 percent wins 2012 National Scholastic Art and Writing awards. Congratulations, Kamal, Bailey and Cassie.
Nik Khanna received the Howard County Political Science Award given by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to a senior from each of the 12 high schools who excels in the social sciences and is interested in pursuing a career in politics, international relations, etc.
Finally, congratulations to Laura Ryan. She won the Elijah Cummings Congressional Art Competition held at the Walters Art Museum. Congressman Elijah Cummings selected Laura's work to represent our congressional district. Her painting, along with one work from each district across the United States, will hang in the Capitol Building for a year.
John Vaccacio, one of the pharmacists at the Clarksville Giant, passed from this life on May first, after a brief illness. Suzanne Suter-Lowe, the pharmacy manager at the Clarksville Giant, sent me the following email about him.
"John was diagnosed with cancer of unknown origin in early March and had started chemo. He actually died of heart failure at Howard County Hospital in the company of friends. John was divorced and has two teenage kids who live in Florida with their mother. The kids came up to visit for a week at Christmas, Spring Break and for a month in the summer. We always arranged his schedule so he could have maximum time off while they were here and he always took advantage of their visits to go exciting places. Through the friends he had accumulated while working at the Giant in Clarksville for 13 years, he was able to stay in Cape Cod, Bethany Beach and a cottage in Maine. He would take them snow skiing and there was always an amusement park somewhere in the mix. John had family in upstate New York. John attended school at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and he and his pharmacy classmates remained close over all these years."
Suzanne said there was "such an outpouring of love for him" the week of his passing. Like me, many people didn't even know he was ill and just assumed that the reason he wasn't there was because either he was not working that day or was already gone for the day or they had just missed him. On a personal note: John was quite a guy.
There were occasions that John would give me a few days-worth of medication to "hold me over until my prescription renewal came in". Suzanne said John "would give the shirt off his back to help someone." She said they "were laughing and crying one day about all of his idiosyncrasies, because he had many.
The poor guy, he was often the only man in a workplace of women, and he paid dearly for that." John loved working with "his ladies" and they loved working with him. He will be missed.
If you are interested, expressions of sympathy may be directed in John's memory to either (or both): Compassion International, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668, re: Unsponsored Children's Fund (or go to http://www.compassion.com; please request a Memorial Card); The American Cancer Society , P.O. Box 43025, Baltimore, MD 21236.
Well, that's all for this week. Commit a random act of kindness. Look in on your neighbors. Say a prayer for our troops who are serving in harm's way and remember their families, too.