Raider Nation News

Week of March 4, 2019

Not Again!?!

Dear Atholton Families,

Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of inclement weather. Please be sure to check the HCPSS website for updates on a delay or closing tomorrow.

This past week, work continued on developing values that help define the Atholton community. Staff engaged in collaborative activities that helped to narrow the focus. Values such as integrity, quality relationships and striving for excellence are emerging as how the staff sees our community. Students and parents will be invited to participate in this process in the upcoming weeks.

As I continue to recognize the outstanding talent of our students, our musicians are featured this week. Our fine arts department will be well represented at Senior All-State this year. Please join me in congratulating the following students below and a huge thank you to their teachers – Mr. Posner, Ms. Meloro, and Mr. Woomert.

Band – Daniel Osheroff, Jake Strovel, and Laressa Winters

Choir – Cianna Bissant, Paige Cohen, Caleb Jeffries, Christian Maric, Shane O’Brien, Joelle Popa, Elena Wenderoth, Stella Yerger, and Sam Tyson

Orchestra – Jennifer Chiang and Jessie Wang. 1st Alternate – Lexi Nguyen

The state wrestling championships concluded this weekend with two of our wrestlers making it to the semifinals – David Panda and Drew Pruett. Senior Sean Billups pinned his opponent to capture the state title. Sean is Atholton’s first state champion since 2008. Congratulations Sean! Sean’s father is a staff member at Atholton and assistant wrestling coach. We are so proud!

On a more serious note, I would like to make you aware of a dangerous social media game called “The Momo Challenge,” which has recently been discussed across a number of media outlets. The game reportedly targets children and teenagers across a variety of social media platforms. According to these reports, the game shares a disturbing image of a character and encourages the user to participate in challenges that can potentially be dangerous to themselves and others, including challenges related to suicide.

In response to similar social media concerns in the past, the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health provided guidelines for parents and guardians which are adapted below:

  • If you know someone is engaging in the Momo Challenge, it is important to connect them with mental health professionals immediately.
  • Monitor your child’s use of electronic devices. Discuss the websites, links and social media apps they are using. Caregivers can monitor media use by looking through browsers and search histories.
  • Know the warning signs of psychological distress. Observable signs include changes in behavior (e.g. outbursts or being withdrawn) or physical health (e.g. weight loss or gain; loss of appetite), hopelessness, sadness, boredom and depression. If you see signs of distress, ask if they are considering suicide. Asking about suicide does not increase risk of suicide.
  • Have discussions with your child about distress. When having conversations with children, listen to their thoughts, remain calm and be nonjudgmental. Avoid statements like “you should get over it.” Talk to community or school mental health professionals if you are concerned about someone’s health or safety.
  • Call for help. If someone makes an immediate threat to hurt or kill themselves, call 911. If a person shows warning signs of distress, but does not make an immediate threat, you can encourage him/her to:

    • Call Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center: 410-531-6677
    • Call Maryland Suicide Hotline: 1-800-422-0009
    • Call National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Text Crisis Text Line at 741741

If you have concerns about the mental or emotional well-being of your child, seek help from a community-based mental health provider or contact the school counselor, school psychologist or other student services staff at your child’s school. Some additional resources are listed below:

Thank you once again for partnering with us to ensure the mental and emotional well-being of all our students.


Robert A. Motley


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College Information Night

AHS Student Services presents.....

College Information Night for Juniors

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 @ 6:30 pm in the

Atholton High School Auditorium

The college search process is upon us.

The night will begin with counselors presenting detailed information on the following topics:
  • the AHS college application process
  • securing letters of recommendation
  • requesting transcripts for colleges
  • college search tips
  • important deadlines

The second part of the evening will be a panel discussion with local colleges and universities. They will discuss topics such as:

  • the college application process
  • school specific information
  • college prep tips
  • FAQs

We hope to see you there!!!!!

Leadership U -- Class of 2019

Are you thinking of college for your child? Let Leadership U help your current sophomore build the skills that will help them succeed! Leadership U can provide him or her a memorable week-long program of leadership development, networking, and community awareness. Beginning the end of July and continuing through the fall of their junior year with nine Sunday afternoon group meetings, LU will give your child the opportunity to build their network, strengthen their leadership skills, meet new students, and work on a community service project of their choice.

Come learn more and speak to some of our grads at one of our final information session: March 7 at Miller Library, both from 7-8pm.

Parents and students in both 9th and 10th grade are encouraged to attend. Additional information is available at or email Meg Ignacio Online applications are due March 14, 2019.

PTSA Presents...Opioid Information Presentation

Tuesday, March 26th, 7pm

AHS Media Center

Knowledge is the first step in prevention.

The U.S. Public Health Service will be giving a presentation on opioid abuse and addiction which has touched our community.

Learn the power of addiction, dependence, as well as prevention.

Mark Your Calendar

March 6 -- Junior Parent Information Night

March 20 -- Junior Interview Day

March 26 -- PTSA-sponsored Opioid Presentation