Middle school's physical education program recognized [Cockeysville]

Students at Cockeysville Middle School never quite know what to expect when they come to gym class, but they know that the lesson will be active, interesting and fun.

A top-notch crew of physical education teachers — Jennifer Bestenheider, Sarah Brewster, Sherry Green, Russell Leblanc and Bob Russell and health teacher, Mei-Yu Stem — teach classes that range from traditional sports to geo-caching to dancing to the much beloved Zombie Run in the fall. The teachers also go above and beyond by coaching the middle school sports teams, run special clubs and activities and organize the school’s early morning dance club, where students gather to learn dance styles.

These dedicated teachers have now been recognized by the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as Cockeysville Middle has been named a Maryland Physical Education Demonstration School. Demonstration schools serve as state models and are recognized for their exemplary physical education programs. The association encourages visits to these sites by other physical educators. Way to go, teachers!

Wanda Brown, the engineering and technology teacher at Dulaney High School was recently honored by the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities in winning its Chairperson’s Special Award, at the 27th annual awards ceremony Oct. 18. This award recognizes a person who has made special contributions to the inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities. Ms. Brown, who serves as the Project Lead the Way adviser at Dulaney, is committed to teaching her students that engineering skills can benefit the community.

Most recently, students in the Project Lead the Way program created a ‘chariot’ for nine-year old Chandler Winchester, who has cerebral palsy. The bicycle-wheelchair hybrid allows Chandler to enjoy outdoor time with his friends and family. Ms. Brown has long been committed to this work and the chariot is the most recent of eight projects for children with disabilities that Dulaney High’s engineering class has completed under her leadership. Congratulations to Ms. Brown for being recognized for her terrific work.

This December, a local veteran’s group hopes to honor each veteran buried at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens as a part of Wreaths Across America Day. On Dec. 16, those participating in coordinated wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,200 cemeteries in all 50 states, will seek to place a wreath on the grave of every deceased service member in the country. This year is the first in which the veteran’s group at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens will join the national effort. The group is in now raising money to provide wreaths for all 3,500 veterans’ graves in the cemetery. They are close to their goal but are still looking to fund about 500 wreaths. Each wreath cost $15 and donations may be made at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org; please designate Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens as the recipient.

All are welcome to attend a brief ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16 at noon and to participate in the wreath laying that will follow, according to Brian Riley, an organizer for the event.

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