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County and state officials host coffees for constituents [South Laurel | Montpelier]

Eager for some warmth and collegiality during the dark days of February?Our elected officials are eager to provide both. On Friday, Feb. 27, District 1 Councilwoman Mary Lehman is hosting a coffee from 8 to 10 a.m. at Panera Bread, 14806 Baltimore Ave., in the new Towne Centre at Laurel. Come talk with our county council representative as she provides an update on what is happening in the county.Specific issues you would like to bring to the councilwoman's attention may be submitted in advance to District 1 Constituents Aide Dora Myles at 301-953-5349 or dmyles@co.pg.md.us.

Still hungry and searching for information? Come to Coffee and Donuts, hosted by District 23A Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters and Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith, Saturday, Feb. 28 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Tabernacle Church, 11601 South Laurel Drive.

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Dr. Thomas a'Becket of the Laurel Pines Dental Group hasannounced his retirement from the practiceafter serving the Laurel area for more than 37 years.He is currently president-elect of the Maryland State Dental Association. Although he will be missed in his practice, he will, in his state role, continue to have an impact in our area.Dr. Shawn Samad will take his place in the practice.Best wishes to both of these South Laurel professionals as they step into their new roles.

Good news on the education front. Education Week's 2015 Quality Counts report ranks Maryland's public education system in the top 10 in the nation with B+ ranking.Indicators used in the ranking system include state education policies; student performance; state accountability and standards; teacher effectiveness; and work on school readiness, high school reform and college and workplace preparation. We can all be proud that our children participate in this top-notch system.

In celebration of Black History Month, Montpelier Elementary presents its annual black history program at the school on Friday, Feb. 27 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Montpelier's Orff Ensemble and the Voices of Montpelier Chorus will perform. Representatives from each grade will make a presentation on this year's theme, "A Century of Black Life, History and Culture."

Also in the realm of education, lottery applications are now available online for acceptance into Prince George's County Public Schools' specialty program schools.Information on these programs and the application process may be found at www1.pgcps.org/lottery. Specialty program choices include creative and performing arts, French immersion, Spanish immersion, Montessori and talented and gifted (placement in the TAG program requires that a student has been identified as TAG-eligible).Enrollment in these schools is open to all students who are residents of Prince George's County.

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