CCPS Receives Inaugural Donation to Calvert County School Foundation
The Community Bank of the Chesapeake made a generous donation of $50,000 to the newly formed Calvert County School Foundation. The Foundation seeks to secure resources needed to enhance the educational process by supporting activities not typically funded by tax dollars.
The donation was presented to the Board of Education on behalf of the Community Bank of the Chesapeake by Bill Pasenelli, Chief Executive Officer; Jimmy Burke, President; Jim DiMisa, Chief Operating Officer; Greg Cockerham, Chief Lending Officer; Diane Hicks, Vice President, Director of Marketing; and Bonnie Barrett, Vice President and Branch Market Manager.
Dr. Vicky Karol, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, oversees the work of the Foundation. Her goal for the Foundation, she said, is to provide a permanent source of supplemental funding for Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) through donations and community involvement. The resources will be allocated for innovative educational programs that foster creative approaches to teaching and learning. Among other initiatives, teachers will be able to apply to the Foundation for mini-grants for classroom projects.
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “The Foundation has been a goal of mine for a while, and I knew Dr. Karol was the right person to get this off the ground. Thanks to her and to the fine folks at Community Bank of the Chesapeake.”
Members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation include Bonnie Barrett; Dr. Vicky Karol; Barbara McKimmie, President of the Calvert Retired School Personnel Association; Donna Ostenso, President of the Calvert Education Association; Guffrie Smith, President of the Calvert Collaborative for Children & Youth; and Mark Wannamaker, General Manager of Bayside Toyota.
The Foundation operates under the umbrella of the Calvert Community Foundation, which is in partnership with Chesapeake Charities. Under the direction of Chairman of the Board and President Nancy Highsmith, the Calvert Community Foundation (CCF) is a non-profit resource that provides community groups a simple, accountable method to fulfill their philanthropic missions. Chesapeake Charities is a 501(c)(3) community foundation based in Queen Anne’s County that serves the Chesapeake Bay region.
STEVENSVILLE, MD – Before a sold-out crowd at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club on November 17, Governor Hogan spoke in detail about his battle with cancer and marked the one year anniversary of being cancer free and in complete remission. Chesapeake Charities honored the Governor by establishing a scholarship in his name to benefit students who have chosen to devote their life’s work to finding a cure for cancer.
Marianne Harms at the Chesapeake Charities Awards Luncheon
Governor Larry Hogan with honoree Marianne Harms at the Chesapeake Charities Awards Luncheon
Governor Larry Hogan with honoree Marianne Harms and her son, Gordon Buchanan at the Chesapeake Charities Awards Luncheon
Linda Kohler, Chesapeake Charities Executive Director with Susan Shaw, Vice Chair of Calvert Community Foundation, honoree Marianne Harms and Audrey Scott, Event Chair.
“I want to express my appreciation to Chesapeake Charities for the incredible work they do,” said Hogan. “I am grateful to be here with all of you today, to be alive and healthy, and for the chance to recognize others who make our lives better by their example.” The program included a tribute to the Governor’s doctor, Aaron Rapoport, of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, who received the “Excellence in Patient Care” award for his commitment to service and compassionate care.
Audrey Scott, the event Chair, opened the ceremony by stating that it was a day to celebrate what is good and noble in our society. “We are blessed with many kind and generous leaders who live their lives with grace and dignity, and it is important that we recognize their contributions,” Scott said.
Scott presented the award for Philanthropist of the Year to Marianne Harms, a retired business woman who is well known for her generosity and leadership in Calvert County.
“Marianne is a woman of tremendous grace and kindness who has volunteered her time and talent to countless organizations within Calvert County and has made an impact that will last forever,” Scott said. “Marianne has been an unstoppable force for good. Organizations that have benefitted from her time and talent include the College of Southern Maryland, Calvert Memorial Hospital and the Calvert Marine Museum as well as Calvert County Nursing Center and the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse.”
Also honored were Amelia Foxwell as Volunteer of the Year, and for her work with the McArdle Center for Early Autism Intervention, and the Partnering for Youth After School Program as Nonprofit of the Year for excellence in serving the children and families of Queen Anne’s County.
Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation that supports a wide range of charitable causes including arts, education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment. All of their 75 component funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. They have invested more than $9 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.
For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or [email protected], or visit www.chesapeakecharities.org. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
More than 100 people convened at Mt. Harmony Community Center in Sunderland to pay homage to Harriet Elizabeth Brown, county educator and civil rights activist. The Nov. 1 ceremony dedicated a 4.6-mile stretch of Route 2 as the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Parkway.
Leaders unveil the new Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Parkway sign.
Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force members
Former students of Harriet Elizabeth Brown
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.
State Highway Administration workers hoist the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Parkway sign
The highway dedication was the second of three recommendations from the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force to honor Brown’s legacy. In the 1930s, Brown, then age 30, set off a spark, working with attorney Thurgood Marshall, then 29, that led to the landmark case to achieve pay equality for all teachers in Calvert County.
“[They] successfully used the 14th Amendment of our Constitution to challenge Calvert County Public Schools for paying African-American teachers about half of what they paid white teachers,” said Margaret Dunkle, task force chair, who kicked off the Tuesday afternoon ceremony. “She earned $600 a year compared with about $1,100 for her white counterparts.”
“Calvert County schools … is all the better today for having been sued to correct its practices back in 1937,” said Dunkle.
The renamed portion of Route 2, to recognize Brown and pay equity in the school system, runs from the intersection of Route 4 to the Anne Arundel County line. It is appropriate that the namesake highway passes the former Mt. Hope Elementary School, where Brown once taught as well as served as principal. The school, now the community center, was a fitting locale for the event.
“We have so many people to thank for this day … our state legislators for enacting the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force law a year and a half ago, Governor Hogan for signing it into law, our county commissioners, who have been supportive every inch of the way,” said Dunkle.
Dunkle credits former delegate Tony O’Donnell with the idea of creating a task force and working in conjunction with Del. Michael A. Jackson (D-Calvert, Prince George’s) and Del. Mark Fisher (R-Calvert). The group crafted House Bill 354 to establish the task force. Dunkle said later they worked with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s) and Sen. Steve Waugh (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) for the companion senate measure. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed the bill May 12, 2015.
“The task force met for six months and we issued our final report on Dec. 27, 2015 — 78 years to the day from Harriet Elizabeth Brown’s settlement,” said Dunkle, of the process to develop three initiatives to officially observe Brown’s contribution to Calvert County.
Task force members included Calvert Commissioner Pat Nutter (R); Daniel Curry, superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools; Joyce Freeland, president of the Calvert County chapter of the NAACP; Guffrie Smith, president of the Calvert County Historical Society; Jackson; and Malcolm Funn, who served as a designee of the senate members representing Calvert County, all of whom spoke at the ceremony.
“I represent a — perhaps — a board of education that, in 1937, read the handwriting on the wall and said ‘we better go ahead and deal with this so we can go on,’” Curry said with a smile.
“I wish I had met Libby Brown because even though she gained equal compensation, starting about 1939, she returned to segregated, unequally supported schools. She taught the majority of her career in schools like that before all the schools were integrated in Calvert,” Curry continued.
Curry talked about the many lives she touched as a teacher and principal. “She taught kids to read … to do math … and she probably also paddled a few — introducing them to the other ‘board’ of education,” he quipped.
Smith, a retired educator, said he is indebted to Brown. He reported his annual salary in 1964 as a teacher was roughly $4,000 and may not have been possible, if not for the efforts of Brown. “Her spirit lives on as we continue to focus on eradicating inequities in the nation, the state, community, our schools, government and elsewhere,” stressed Smith.
College of Southern Maryland President Brad Gottfried acknowledged the celebration, but also drew parallels with that time period and the current climate in the country in hopes to help youth overcome challenges with the same kind of courage and conviction as Brown.
“These are troubled times for our nation — where too many of us don’t feel we have the respect, the equity, the inclusiveness that we all deserve,” Gottfried said, before reflecting on the importance of the dedication ceremony. “It’s this kind of event … when we can celebrate a very special person that did very special things. To me, that’s what this country is about: Not its divisiveness. It’s how we all work together.”
Brothers Madison and Sherman Brown, cousins of Brown, detailed their cousin Libby’s legacy and desire to help others. Sherman said of her actions that his cousin said, “Somebody had to do it and I did it.”
“She might not always have been the teacher that you most liked, because she challenged, but she was the one that cared about you the most … because she was concerned about your future. She wanted you to be successful individuals … a value added no matter where you went,” said Madison Brown to the crowd, which included nearly three dozen of Brown’s former pupils. “To you, you are her valued legacy.”
Alphonso “Hawk” Hawkins, a former student of Brown, spoke on behalf of all the former students in attendance at the event. Hawkins, who is retired from both the Prince George’s County Police Department and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said he came to know her in 1958 as a first-grader. Hawkins pointed out his first- and second-grade classrooms were in the structure that is now a community center. “Every time I come to this building, Mt. Hope Elementary School, I get chills,” said Hawkins, choking up.
“The Ms. Brown that we know … we didn’t see many smiles. She was stern. She kept you in line,” remembered Hawkins, who refused to call the former educator by her nickname, Libby. “You better follow her rules. As young students, we didn’t understand.”
Hawkins said as they matured, understood and now reflect on the firmness of Brown. Borrowing from a well-known African proverb, he said, “It takes a village to raise a child. She was a chief and we were her kids. She protected us.”
Several state, local and federal legislators, or their representatives, were also in attendance for the celebration. Representing the governor was Winston Wilson, reading a proclamation.
Fisher talked about the need to preserve history. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” said Fisher, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and referring to Brown’s quiet strength.
Jackson said he was proud to see one of the two signs designating the road as the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Parkway, as a task force member and history buff. “As a person that was reared to fight for the right cause, I can do nothing but admire someone such as [Brown],” said Jackson.
Miller, who said he had met Brown, commended Dunkle on the efforts to commemorate her legacy. Miller pointed out that Dunkle’s father, Maurice Dunkle, was a former superintendent of Calvert County schools. “He oversaw a peaceful integration of the school system in Calvert County. The fruit didn’t fall far from the tree,” Miller said.
A representative of O’Donnell, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) and U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) read letters to commemorate the occasion, while another presented a certificate on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) behalf.
Dunkle, stating this is not just a Calvert story, but a Maryland story and a national story, challenged lawmakers to make it an exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The first task force recommendation, completed in March, was the naming of an interim community center on Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick after Brown. The final recommendation, yet to be completed, is the commission of a portrait of Brown.
Administrative Judge Marjorie Clagett, a former educator, was at the ceremony and spoke of the efforts to have the original portrait hung in the courthouse, with high-quality copies placed in the county’s board of education building and the community center. The expected cost is roughly $10,000. Nancy Highsmith, a donor advisor for the task force and leading efforts to raise funds, said more than half of the money has been raised.
In addition to the task force initiatives, Linda Buckley of Calvert Library is working on a middle school book to capture the story of Harriet Elizabeth Brown. Buckley was at the ceremony to solicit personal accounts from former students and those who knew Brown well.
According Dunkle, there is only one other road in Maryland named after an African-American woman, “the other Harriet” — Harriet Tubman.
All Calvert Countians are invited to join elected officials, friends, and neighbors on March 1 to celebrate the opening of the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center in Prince Frederick. The Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth has long advocated for a community center for the thousands of families that live in the Prince Frederick area. That wish has now become a reality. Community centers provide important “glue” that enriches and strengthens communities – from family and cultural events to educational, learning, athletic, and artistic opportunities.
Last September, the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force recommended that the Board of County Commissioners name the new Prince Frederick community center in honor of Harriet Elizabeth Brown. The County Commissioners unanimously agreed to this name for both the current interim Center and the permanent Center when it moves to a larger location.
According to Task Force Chair Margaret Dunkle: “A big ‘thank-you’ goes to our County Commissioners for so quickly acting on our first recommendation – the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center. We are also working with them as well as State officials to make our other two recommendations a reality – dedicating a section of Route 2 as the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Highway and commissioning a portrait of Ms. Brown to hang in the Court House.”
The Maryland Legislature established the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force to make recommendations to honor Ms. Brown. In 1937, Ms. Brown, then a 30-year-old Calvert County teacher, and her 29-year-old NAACP attorney, Thurgood Marshall, challenged unequal pay for African-American and white teachers in Calvert County. With a sense of urgency, the Calvert County Board of Education settled the case at a special meeting two days after Christmas, on December 27, 1937. The very next day Governor Harry Nice came out in favor of equal pay for African-American and white teachers.
As County Commissioner Pat Nutter, also a member of the Task Force, concluded: “We are proud that Harriet Elizabeth Brown’s legacy will live on in Calvert County through this new Community Center.”
Guffrie Smith, who represents the Historical Society on the Task Force and is also President of the Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth, sums up the rationale for vibrant community centers: “As we say at the Collaborative: ‘We are the future of our Children.’ Make them proud of us!”
Sherman Brown, Ms. Brown’s cousin who knew her as Libby, aptly said at a Task Force hearing last fall: “The idea of naming a community center after Libby is an extraordinary idea. I can hear people commenting now: ‘Let’s go down to the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center.’”
Members of the Brown family – including her cousins Sherman Brown and Madison Brown and their families – are traveling to Calvert County to be part of this great event.
Please join your elected officials, Harriet Elizabeth Brown Task Force members, supporters of the Calvert Collaborative, members of the Brown family, and friends and neighbors for the ribbon cutting of the new Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center on Tuesday, March 1. There will be an open house at 3:00 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. The Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center is located at 901 Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.
Earlier that day, Ms. Dunkle will officially present the Task Force recommendations and report on progress to date at the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting. The public is welcome to attend these meetings, which will be held at the Court House (175 Main Street, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678). This meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. and Ms. Dunkle’s Task Force presentation will be at approximately 10:30 a.m
The Final Report of the Task Force to Study the Commemoration of Harriet Elizabeth Brown can be found at:
On November 17, 1998, 16-year-old Eric and 13-year-old Cara were killed in a car accident on their way to school. To keep alive the memory of what outstanding students and caring people they were, a scholarship fund was set up to benefit worthy graduating seniors in Calvert County. The scholarship winners must demonstrate not only high academic achievement, but participate in school and sports activities and be involved in projects that serve others and their community. The criteria are demanding, but the awardees must be students who have achieved the academic and personal excellence that Eric and Cara epitomized. To date, the fund has awarded over 100 scholarships to deserving Calvert County’s high school students.
Each year we raise money for the scholarships through the Eric and Cara Thorn Memorial Golf Tournament. This will be the sixteenth year of the event. The tournament will be held on Friday June 20th at Twin Shields Golf Club in Owings (doughnuts, coffee, and registration start at 7:30 am; “Grandpop Open” putting contest to follow; tee-time is 8:30 am). The cost is $100, which includes green fees, golf cart, prizes, and lunch (catered by Adams Ribs). Please register early, because many of our past tournaments have sold out.
Most of the profit from the event comes from sponsors, who donate $100 and receive a sign with their name or their business name on it that is set up on the golf course.
Calvert Community Foundation invites you to a free*Continental Breakfast at Wisner Hall at Kings Landing Park, April 18th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Come and celebrate with us at our Spring 2015 Award Breakfast. You will learn about the positive impacts small contributions have on our kids, families, and community, future grants, new non-profit funds in Calvert County and future plans for CCF.