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Teachers, Students, Parents, and Executives Discuss the State of Southern Maryland Education

Calvert High School senior Precious Hall (center) shares her perspective on education in Southern Maryland. Also pictured: CSM Homeschool Program teacher and parent Jessica McGlinsey, Calvert High School teacher Flirtisha Harris, Leonardtown Elementary School teacher Kylie Duncan, Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center teacher Melissa Chew, St. Mary’s Ryken High School senior Tanner George, and St. Mary’s Ryken High School teacher Deacon Ken Scheiber.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Dec. 13, 2023 – Southern Maryland teachers, students, and parents met this month with the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Executive Program to discuss implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Act, legislation passed in 2021 to enhance Maryland’s public school system. The meeting was held at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Center for Health Sciences in Hughesville, Md.

Teachers, students, and parents from public and private high schools throughout the region and from CSM’s Home Schooling Program offered their perspectives on the benefits and challenges they are experiencing in Southern Maryland schools. A common challenge cited by teachers and students was managing time. Teachers increasingly fill multiple roles beyond educating, for instance providing support for increasingly many students with mental and behavioral health challenges. Students cited balancing strong academics with part-time jobs and extracurricular activities as a significant challenge.

The teacher, student, and parent panel followed presentations by Maryland Association of Boards of Education Director of Governmental Relations John Woolums, Esq., Calvert County School Superintendent Dr. Andraé Townsel, Charles County School Superintendent Dr. Maria Navarro, and St. Mary’s County Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Lisa Bachner about year one of Blueprint implementation.

“The entire session was very beneficial,” said NBBE Consulting President and Principal Perliter Walters-Gilliam. “The agenda flowed from the high-level Blueprint at the State level to end where the rubber meets the road – in the schools, with students, teachers, and parents. I am passionate about quality education and access to that quality for all students, so zooming out and then in to better understand the challenges affirmed my commitment to create positive change.”

Leadership Southern Maryland’s flagship Executive Program is an interactive and life-enriching nine-month, tuition-based “behind-the-scenes” experience designed to enhance the collaborative abilities of our region’s top senior professionals. LSM welcomes executives representing diverse geographic locations, industries, professions, ethnicities, genders, and other backgrounds who are committed to addressing the community needs of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties.