Patuxent Valley Middle School is more that just students and faculty. The school has a caring staff and dedicated parents whose efforts, while less visible sometimes, contribute to the welfare of the student body. Just let the staff and parents have an off day though, and everyone notices that the reports are late, the halls are slippery, the lights burned out and the food cold.
So the school would like to thank Tyrone Wilson, Cathy Williams, Myrtle Nelson and Myrtle Kramer for their untiring efforts in getting the school spick-and-span for opening day.
Other staff members and teachers have also helped ease the transition back to school. Tina Gibson, the new administrative secretary and paperwork expediter, put up a banner welcoming everyone to Patuxent Valley Middle.
Lee Anne Matheu and Karen Saunderson ran a terrific summer camp with the help of Patuxent Valley parents and other teachers. Laura Derreth and Brad Barth moved the animals that were in the PINES center to classrooms. Now, the students will be able to observe and care for the animals daily -- even the snakes -- rather than awaiting a turn at the center.
Ever wonder what teachers do in the summer? Some love learning so much that they go to school themselves. Teachers Carol Clark, Lauren Wittek and Linda Lowry attended human relations workshops. Michelle Howard and Virginia Ober learned about great books and their relevance.
The school can always use parent volunteers in any capacity or available time. You don't even have to have a child at the school. If you have time or special knowledge to share, volunteer by calling Vickie Traber or Carol Whitehead at 880-5840.
Have you envied the graceful in-line skaters in your neighborhood, but been afraid to join the fun? Well, here's a chance for novice skaters and pavement veterans to have a blast. Cycle Across Maryland, a nonprofit organization that buys bike helmets for elementary school students and works with at-risk students, is sponsoring the Maryland In Line Skate Festival at the Gateway Industrial Park on Sept. 30 with assistance from All Sport, Fila, Ultimate Sports, Princeton Sports and radio station WWMX-FM.
The festival will include events suitable for everyone from newbiesto pros. Never been on skates before? Instructors from the Princeton Sports team will be there to teach beginners and advanced skaters.
Want to show off your moves? A 15-mile course winding through Columbia is set up for the day. The event includes roller hockey exhibitions and an exhibition area. Some tickets are available. There are 400 Premium Passports, which entitle the registrant to a free two-hour rental of equipment, a 40-minute class, access to all the other workshops and a T-shirt.
The ticket costs $15. General admission is $5 for exhibits, the roller hockey demonstration, a self-timed skate course and a touring course of Columbia. Again, tickets are limited, so hurry to order yours. Ticket information is available at Royal Farm stores, athletic centers, sport stores or by calling 653-8288.
Space is available in the Creative Corners preschool in the basement of Savage United Methodist Church. Call (301) 776-0276 for details and times.
The Savage library is planning story time for preschoolers Sept. 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. There are drop-in programs, so no registration is required. Children are welcome to come in their pajamas. For more information about this or other children's programs at the Savage branch, call 880-5978.
Do you hate English spelling? Why do "would" and "wood" sound alike, but "wood" and "food" don't rhyme? Why is "rhyme" spelled with an "h" and a "y," when "rime" would do as well? The answer is: It's all the Normans' fault. Way back in 1066, a group of Frenchmen (calling themselves Normans) beat the Saxons in England and took over the country. The Normans brought their )) language, which had Latin roots, and mixed it in with Saxon, and eventually we got the mishmash that is English spelling.
Generations of students have suffered because the Saxons lost. Well, local residents Laura and Robert Becraft help re-create this horrible event in the history of spelling.
Not content with bashing other medieval re-creationists in a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings, Mr. Becraft also launches a terrific display on the history of castles and medieval methods of siege fighting. He's just finished a model siege tower that stands 8 feet tall. This year the Hastings Battle and Fair will be held Oct. 14 and 15 on the grounds of Marietta Mansion in Glendale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.