Laurel High has the golden ticket to 'Willy Wonka'

Students in Laurel High School's Performing Arts Department are presenting "Willy Wonka" from Feb. 7-9 in the school's auditorium.

About 100 Laurel students are participating in the show as cast, crew or musicians. Based on Roald Dahl's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the musical (made famous by separate big-screen adaptations starring Gene Wilder, and Johnny Depp as Wonka) is being directed by Frank Hammond and produced by Thomas Wright. Amber Abbott serves as musical director and Jaclyn Martin as choreographer.


Laurel High has partnered with three local restaurants to present "Dinner and Show" the weekend of the performances. With a ticket from the show, patrons can get 15 percent off their meal at Don Pablo's, at 14600 Laurel Place; 10 percent off their meal at Silver Diner, at 14550 Baltimore Ave.; and a free dessert at TGIFriday's, at 14600 Baltimore Ave.

Performances are 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, and 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the school's front office during school hours or by special arrangement, and at the theater starting 30 minutes prior to each show. Contact Heidi Hess-Webber at, or Lynn Rezac at 301-497-2050 during school hours, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Local teachers achieve National Board Certification

Three Laurel-area teachers recently received National Board Certification for the first time, Prince George's County Public Schools announced this week.

Darene Brown, of Scotchtown Hills Elementary School, and Clarelisa Rivera and Lisa Yearwood, both of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, were among the 27 first-time certified teachers in the county.

The teachers will be honored at a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 20.

"National Board Certification is the highest level of professional certification a teacher can receive," interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley said in a release. "It requires a great deal of time, hard work and dedication, and I commend our teachers who have achieved the honor."

The county ranks third in the state and 20th in the nation for the number of National Board-certified teachers. Currently, there are approximately 329 National Board-certified teachers in county schools.

National Board Certification takes one to three years to complete, and is accomplished through a performance-based assessment of a teacher's skills and content knowledge.

CMIT Academy distributes iPads to students


Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, a public charter school in West Laurel, distributed iPads to 137 students this week.

The students will use the iPads for the remainder of the school year. According to a release, officials at the technology-based school hope "to provide students with additional opportunities to expand the classroom learning experience by integrating the latest technology. Students will use the iPads for easy access to online resources and the school's curriculum."

Board hosts public hearing on budget

The Prince George's County Board of Education is holding one more public hearing on interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley's proposed operating budget for fiscal 2014.

The public hearing is Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Sasscer Administration Building, in Upper Marlboro.

Speakers will have three minutes each for their remarks. To register for the hearing, call 301-952-6115 by 4:30 p.m.


Crawley presented his $1.67 billion proposal to the board in December 2012. According to the school system's website, the budget includes funding to support student needs, innovative academic programs and investments to strengthen support for teachers and staff. Priorities include an investment in employee pay, programs that support college- and career-readiness, strengthening instruction by bolstering school-based budgeting and providing the district with more financial stability.