Parent honored for involvement after Perry Hall shooting

A Baltimore County parent who stepped in to bring warmth and cheer back to the high school that had a chilling cafeteria shooting was recognized Friday during the state's annual Parent Involvement Matters awards.

The Maryland State Department of Education awarded Mary Kavanagh with the JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award, in recognition of her special work with Perry Hall High School, according to a news release from the department.

Kavanagh received the award, named in honor of Carter, a former deputy state superintendent who lost her battle with cancer in 2009, for a mural project she launched after a student opened fire at Perry Hall on the first day of school.

The “Project Love” initiative sought to "replace the images of violence in the cafeteria with an image of love in the form of a special mural painting," according to MSDE, and "was created with the handprints of students and staff who were in the cafeteria at the time of the event – filling in the word 'Love.'” 

The shooting victim, Daniel Borowy, placed the final handprint on the mural, the release said.

The overall winner of the Parent Involvement Matters award was Annette DiMaggio of Queen Anne’s County, who was recognized by MSDE for initiating a project called "Backpack Fridays" at Sudlersville Elementary. The project ensured that at-risk students were stocked with nourishing meals over the weekend when they did not have access to free meals at school.


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