Horticulture award for Valley View Farms’ Engel, Calvert Hall debaters excel

Eugene Bressler, left, and Lucas Lobo, Calvert Hall College students, won bids to a prestigious debate tournament scheduled for later this year at the University of Kentucky.

For nearly 50 years, Valley View Farms has been a fixture along York Road in Cockeysville and is a destination for many in our community for all their gardening needs.

One of the familiar faces at Valley View Farms is Carrie Engel, the greenhouse manager, who has just been recognized with the 2020 Professional Achievement Award from the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA) for her longtime, outstanding efforts in horticulture. The award particularly recognizes Carrie’s significant contributions to both MNLGA and the community as well as implementing practices that benefit the green industry at large.


Engel is just the third woman to be recognized since the award was first given in 1946. Carrie is often recognized as the Plant Lady thanks to her appearances on WBAL-TV’s gardening segments as well as the myriad of gardening seminars and programs that she has developed over the years for Valley View Farms.

Engel got her start at Valley View Farms in 1972 when she started with an after-school job, and her gardening expertise has been shared with so many since then.


Budding photographer and artist Payton Schreiber-Pan recently had his work showcased at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture in Baltimore as a part of the 2021 High School Virtual Juried Art Show. The show was sponsored by the Maryland State Education Association, and the theme was inspired by the special exhibit at the museum, “Make Good Trouble: Marching for Change.”

The Morning Sun

The Morning Sun


Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the

Payton, a junior at Dulaney High School, exhibited photography pieces centered on a Black Lives Matter rally in Baltimore that he entitled “Portrait of Change.”

The exhibit focused on showcasing the artistic talents of Maryland’s young artists from Baltimore City, as well as Baltimore, Carroll, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and encouraged students to create artwork expressing their voices and thoughts on social justice, activism and systemic racism in America.

Payton was just one of five student artists from Baltimore County Public Schools to be included in the exhibit. Congratulations to Payton!

Congratulations also go out to another local high school junior, Lucas Lobo, for being selected to the University of Michigan’s J.W. Patterson Fellows program, a seven-week-long summer debate institute. This fellowship is awarded to the top 12 rising senior debaters in the country and brings them together to debate, research and collaborate.

Lucas, a student at Calvert Hall College High School, has had great success on the local and national debate circuit. Most recently, he and his debate partner, Eugene Bressler, a senior at Calvert Hall and a National Speech and Debate Academic All-American, have earned two bids to the prestigious national Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky later this year.

They reached the semifinals at both the New York City Invitational and the Georgetown Day School Invitational, which is the largest debate tournament in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In November, they were ranked as the 10th seed out of 147 teams in the University of Michigan High School Debate Tournament.

Best wishes for continued success in future, Eugene and Lucas.