Frederick County Public Schools’ Advanced Academics Supervisor Dr. Jessica Reinhard and teacher specialists Mark Elias, Heather Kehr and Charlotte Landahl will each receive an award during Gifted and Talented (G&T) Education Month in February. The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education will present the awards at a celebration February 11 at North County High School in Anne Arundel County.
Dr. Reinhard will receive one of the Council’s State Leadership in Gifted and Talented Education awards. Council member Katherine Rigler nominated Reinard for her continued involvement with the Council. Reinhard cochairs the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) for Gifted and Talented Education Alignment Committee and has served as secretary for the Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education. She also regularly participates in and leads professional learning activities.
Mark Elias, Heather Kehr and Charlotte Landahl will each receive Teacher As Leader Outstanding Educator awards. The FCPS Advanced Academics Office nominated the specialists for the work they do to ensure identification of students eligible for services and for their commitment to their own ongoing professional learning.
At Walkersville Middle, Elias is the “go-to person” when it comes to meeting the needs of highly able learners. He contributes an advanced academics lens to ongoing data analysis conversations at the school and coaches teachers and students to ensure progress. He has helped with planning and taught at the FCPS two-week Young Scholars program for middle and elementary students. He attends Highly Able Learner training sessions and regularly participates in professional learning opportunities and book studies regarding gifted education.
At West Frederick Middle, Kehr has implemented a robust program to identify students eligible for gifted and talented education. She has developed a curriculum incorporating gifted education practices and mind-brain education strategies. Making professional learning and meetings a priority, she is a resource at her school and as a presenter at professional conferences. She has served as a teacher at the Summer Institute for Gifted Learners and helped plan and deliver the two-week Young Scholars program.
At Whittier Elementary, Landahl is an advocate for meeting the needs of advanced learners. She also incorporates mind-brain education strategies in coaching high school field hockey. She presented at two recent professional conferences and participates in book study groups and other professional learning opportunities. A part of the Advanced Academics summer curriculum-writing team, she stays current on gifted and talented education issues and trends and is called upon to share her expertise in elementary schools across the county and at community outreach events. She is part of a small team that implemented universal screening for all second graders and is scheduled to provide professional learning about mind-brain education to preschool providers.
Each year, the Governor proclaims February Gifted and Talented Education Month, urging Marylanders to take this opportunity to review accomplishments in G&T education, conduct special activities and events, and plan activities that will continue to bring high-quality G&T education programs to all of Maryland.