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Groups donate $1,750 to school

Two literacy tutors at Harman Elementary School inspired the Rotary International Foundation-District 7620 and Rotary Club of Glen Burnie to donate $1,750 to the school in Hanover.

Kathy and Tim McPherson received the check two weeks ago at the school.

"We're very pleased that we're able to do this," Kathy McPherson said at the check presentation.

The donation is expected to go toward the purchase of Safari Montage, a computer server that houses more than 1,000 education videos that can be used to supplement the school's curriculum.

The McPhersons volunteer two days a month, helping struggling readers improve. Kathy McPherson spent five years working as a reading tutor in Texas before moving to Fort Meade with her husband in 2005.

Teaching award finalists named

The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce announced seven public and private school teachers who are finalists for the county's Teacher of the Year awards.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of 37 public school teachers nominated by their peers. The teachers will be honored at the 21st annual Excellence In Education Awards ceremony April 26 at the BWI Marriott hotel in Linthicum.

The event is hosted annually by the Chamber in conjunction with Anne Arundel County public schools and is sponsored by Comcast.

The public school finalists are: Alicia Appel, Southern High School; Marie Fries, Ruth Parker Eason School; Sandra LePori-Myers, Northeast High School; Charmain Sutherland, Severn Elementary School; Debra Witt, Lake Shore Elementary School.

The two private school finalists are: Katherine Haas, the Key School; Kathleen Fowler, the Summit School.

The seven finalists will be interviewed by a nine-member panel made up of educators, administrators, students and business leaders. The Public School Teacher of the Year will represent Anne Arundel County at the state Teacher of the Year competition this year.

Severn Elementary teacher honored

A Severn Elementary School physical education teacher won this year's Agnes E. Meyer Teacher of the Year award for Anne Arundel County from The Washington Post.

Charmain Sutherland will be honored along with winners from other parts of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in a ceremony in Washington on April 26.

Winning "feels like doing three back handsprings, a flip, and a few cartwheels with a big 'whoo hoo' on the landing," said the Columbus, Ohio, native after receiving news of her win. "This is an once-in-a-lifetime honor that I will forever cherish."

Schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell surprised Sutherland at her school last week with a bouquet of flowers.

A national board certified teacher, Sutherland has taught physical education for more than 15 years in Maryland and Virginia, including three years at Severn Elementary School.

She has served as vice president and section chair of the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and has written two textbooks on physical education: PE Tips from the Trenches and No Gym? No Problem!

The state association honored Sutherland last year with its annual Simon A. McNeely Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to high teaching standards in the field of health, physical education and dance.

Sutherland was selected from 10 Anne Arundel county nominees for this year's award. Also nominated were Collette Preis (Central Special), Linda Sammons (Chesapeake High), Danielle Steiner (Jacobsville Elementary), Gina Davenport (Northeast High), Robert Gilbertson (Meade High), Iain Goodwin (South River High), Marjorie Smith (Arnold Elementary), Rhonda Brown (Old Mill High) and Iris Crankfield (South River High).

Female officers to speak to students

Meade High School is hosting a program to mark Women's History Month that will feature talks from some of the Army's highest-ranking female officers.

Col. Mary R. Deutsch, Col. Sally Harvey, and Lt. Col. Yvette Hopkins will speak Tuesday at 9:55 a.m. to about 195 high school juniors.

The women are planning to share stories of how they climbed the ranks in the military, who their mentors were and what advice they received for setting and reaching goals.

Deutsch is the 37th commander of U.S. Army Garrison, and deputy installation commander, Fort Detrick. Colo.

Harvey is an expert in combat psychology and the first woman to reach the rank of colonel in that field. She has worked on high-profile cases including the Jessica Lynch case. Hopkins was included in a PBS Nova feature titled "Battle Plan Under Fire" and is now deputy commander of the 902 Intelligence Group.

Sessions slated on culture, language

As part of the superintendent's effort to start a Mandarin Chinese language program in Anne Arundel County schools, a delegation of teachers from China will present sessions on their culture and language in five middle schools this week.

The Chinese teachers will also meet with staff at Severna Park, Meade, Brooklyn Park, Annapolis and Old Mill North middle schools as well as Central Office staff.

Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell has recommended adding a language program to the curriculum that would enable county students to study Mandarin Chinese from seventh grade through high school.

If approved by the school board, the program would begin next school year.

Information: 410-222-5424.

Information: 410-222-5441.

School board plans budget forums

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education will hold two budget forums:

Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carver Staff Development Center, 2671 Carver Road, Gambrills.

April 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the boardroom of the Dr. Carol Sheffey Parham Building, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis.

The forums will provide residents with the opportunity to discuss the operating and capital budgets adopted by the board Feb. 21.

County Executive John R. Leopold will unveil his proposed fiscal 2008 budget to the County Council on May 1. The council must approve a budget by June 1, at which time the board will prioritize the funds allocated by the county. The board is scheduled to adopt a final budget June 20.

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