Howard County Times
Howard County

Michelle Saunders sets her scholarly goals high

The Saunders family of West Friendship is synonymous with dedication, public service and responsibility. Frank Saunders, a lifetime member of the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department, and his wife Sandra are the proud grandparents of another local who makes us all proud.

Michelle Elizabeth Saunders, a product of West Friendship Elementary, Marriotts Ridge High School and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Salisbury State University has just completed her Masters Degree at the University of Alabama.


Michelle was an outstanding student when she matriculated through local Howard County schools, as a National Honor Society member as well as an alumni of the Howard County Children's Chorus and the Maryland State Chorus. It comes as no surprise that she was courted by no less than Kent State University, Florida State University and the University of Tennessee, when it came time for the academic wonder to begin work on her Ph.D.

Michelle has selected the University of Florida, where she has been offered a full scholarship. While in Tuscaloosa, Saunders studied Geography and Atmospheric Hazards. Her dream is to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and with this next step towards her doctorate that dream is coming close to reality.


Michelle's parents, Janet and Michael, and her grandparents, Sandra and Frank, could not be more proud of her. Congratulations Michelle on your outstanding accomplishments.

Congratulations to local author Gary Bargatze on the completion and publication of his first book in an historical fiction series titled "Your Winding Daybreak Ways". The first novel, "Warfield," begins in Tennessee in the era just before the Civil War.

Bargatze is undaunted with the scope of his series, which will eventually include ten novels, all stemming from and following a thread found in the first of the series. Beautifully and poetically written with doses of history, science, folklore, a love of literature and the arts, the story of one family and the impact of a nation divided is the essence of this work.

Bargatze, a natural story teller, is at home weaving history, within the storyline of a family and the balance it seeks. Gary divides his time between his writing studios in Glenelg and in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Want to learn more about the Warfield series or about Gary Bargatze and his writing.? Go to his website at

It's not too late to put on your walking shoes and join the local crowd at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of western Howard County on June 12, 6:00 p.m. to midnight at the western regional park on Carrs Mill Road in Woodbine. Organizer Suzy Hill shouts, "Come on out". Participants are ready with luminaries to honor the memory of lost loved ones during the stirring luminary event at 9 p.m. Enthusiastic "relayers" are ready with sturdy walking shoes for staying the course in honor of cancer survivors.

Volunteers have worked steadily all year to top last year's hefty contribution to the American Cancer Society. Local volunteer Suzy Hill has been planning her annual survivor's dinner, Zumba session, Pet Rock Band and more. Proceeds from Suzy Hill's bake sales, plant sales and individual pledges from within the community have been aimed at filling the till. Good luck to all the walkers on June 12. Questions of any sort may be directed to Suzy Hill at 443-253-1054 or by email to