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Kudos to Cockeysville Middle School's principal, phys ed teacher

Cockeysville Middle School is boasting not one but two award-winning staff members right now after Principal Deborah Magness and physical education teacher Robert Russell were celebrated at the annual BCPS Teacher/Principal of the Year ceremony April 25.

As a finalist for Principal of the Year for secondary schools, Mrs. Magness was honored as one of the top three out of roughly 60 high school or middle school principals in the county. She is in her 10th year as principal at Cockeysville Middle after previously serving as assistant principal at the school. She is the driving force behind the wonderful atmosphere at the school and makes Cockeysville Middle the inviting environment where students love to learn.

Mr. Russell was named one of six finalists for Teacher of the Year among nominees from more than 150 schools. Mr. Russell is also in his 10th year at Cockeysville Middle and his 23rd with BCPS.

He has served as a basketball, track and field and tennis club coach as well as the supervisor of the school’s Dance Club. But more importantly, he is known for putting the fun into physical education. He incorporates a little bit of everything into gym class, from dancing, geo-caching, Zombie runs to technology, literacy and math.

Additionally, every BCPS school had the opportunity to nominate a candidate for Teacher of the Year, and the outstanding nominees from our area schools included Christy Senita, Dulaney High; Sara Neff, Ridgely Middle; Kellie Price, Pot Spring Elementary; Jessica Russo, Padonia International; Alyssa Brown, Warren Elementary; Mary Shimkaveg, Mays Chapel Elementary; Angela Taylor, Timonium Elementary; Tara Brickley, Pinewood Elementary; Alison Tunison, Lutherville Lab; and Rebekah Kahl, Riderwood Elementary.

Each Teacher of the Year nominee was recognized at the ceremony and praised for their dedication and commitment to their students. What an amazing group of teachers and principals, and congratulations to all on your excellent achievements.

The BCPS Film Expo was held April 12, and Colman Hallinan, a junior at Dulaney High School, took second place in the Live-Action Narrative category for his film, “Pariah.” Colman’s film, a suspenseful and moody piece, was one of 27 short films that were screened at the historic Senator Theatre in front of the largest audience in the event’s history.

Each film was two- to five-minutes long and was a finalist among the 124 films submitted in five categories: Live-Action Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Animation and Middle School.

First held in 2016, the BCPS Film Expo was designed to showcase the creative film work of BCPS middle and high school students. The entries were evaluated by a diverse panel of judges composed of BCPS employees, local filmmakers and Hollywood professionals.

For the students, it was thrilling to see their work on the big screen and in front of a live audience, and the atmosphere at the Senator during the Film Expo was electric and featured a red-carpet entrance.

All the winning entries are available for viewing at Congratulations to Colman on his award-winning film!

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