Montgomery Blair High School
Principal’s June Newsletter
My staff and I are celebrating the end of the school year. We have had a school year like none other; with virtual and in-person learning, but through it all, our teachers and students have fostered lasting relationships. We were thrilled to celebrate the Class of 2021with an in-person graduation in our stadium, it was a joyous day. In addition, we created a virtual graduation ceremony for our entire community to enjoy. The links to our virtual graduation and MCPS Moment featuring Montgomery Blair High School are below and on our school webpage. I want to thank the Honorable Kate Stewart, Mayor of Takoma Park for being our outstanding keynote speaker, and the Honorable Karla Silvestre, Montgomery County Board of Education Member for officiating our ceremony.
During the summer, since our building is over 20 years old, the interior and exterior will be painted. In the fall, students will return to bright new colors throughout the building. In addition, we are adding a new science lab by combining two classrooms on the third floor. Due to our growing student enrollment, we will receive four additional portables (for a total of 18 portables) which will be located on the Colesville Road side of our building.
I would like to recognize our dedicated and impactful retiring staff: Ms. Anne Manuel, Ms. Lola Piper, Ms. Rondai Ravilious, and Ms. Darcy Sloe, I thank them for their combined 200 + years of service to Montgomery County Public Schools.
I would like to congratulate staff who are departing Blair as well for new positions next year: Mr. Dirk Cauley, assistant principal, will be a principal intern at Key Middle School; Ms. Tee Clark, school counselor, will be a Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW), Ms. Amy Ferguson will be teaching abroad, Jamie Fuller will be the Sherwood HS registrar, Mr. Christopher Mercado, music teacher, will be at Seneca Valley High School, and Mr. William Swift will be a full-time teacher at Churchill HS. I thank them all for their years of outstanding service at Blair.
What's happening next year? All students and staff will return to school with five full days of instruction. MCPS will be updating school leaders with additional guidance for the fall. Please check our website for up-to-date school information.
Thank you for your support,
Ms. Harris and Ms. Wolfe, BOE members and Dr. McKnight Surprise Ms. Biggs, MCPS Supporting Services of the Year Employee on June 11!
Welcome Dr. Bingham, New Assistant Principal
Dr. Bingham is a native of Richmond, Virginia and proud alumnae of Radford University with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She began her educational journey at Durham Public Schools (DPS) as an Exceptional Children (EC) Teacher in the Occupational Course of Study Program. She earned a double Masters in Special Education and School Administration and Education Leadership from North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
During her time at North Carolina and Virginia residences, she transitioned to an EC Facilitator position over Special Education for several DPS schools, and eventually became an Assistant Principal at Hugh M. Cummings High School in Alamance Burlington Public Schools (NC) and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Richmond Public Schools (VA) before migrating to the DMV area.
In 2015, she began her tenure in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) as a Special Education and Resource Teacher (RTSE) while completing her doctoral studies at Bowie State University under the Culturally Responsive Education Leadership in Special Education Grant (CRELSE). In 2020, she received her doctoral degree in Education Leadership after defending her dissertation research study titled, Are Principals Really Serving the Gifted Students? An exploratory study investigating secondary principals’ perceptions of their leadership practices and attitudes towards culturally and linguistically diverse students’ participation in gifted education.
Dr. Bingham has a daughter named Autumn Journey and a Labrador retriever named Jackson Boomer. She looks forward to building meaningful relationships and fond memories with the Blair community. She will begin her duties at Blair on July 1.
Counseling Department News
Hey Blazers! Please find the Montgomery Blair School Counseling Department video update here. Our School counseling newsletter is here, and the College/Career Newsletter is here. As you prepare for the summer, we ask that you consider completing our program needs assessment survey that will allow us to continue enhancing our opportunities and building bridges for our students. Students can complete their survey here, and parents/guardians can complete theirs here. Thank you and enjoy your summer as you prepare for next school year!
School Counseling Newsletter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xc8fq8pSx7cQaL9WoV7-6grxSk7V-aOS/view?usp=sharing
College/Career Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3w5VzaC
Welcome Ms. Russell, New School Counselor
Ms. Stephanie Russell joins us from Winston Churchill High School. Ms. Russell began her career as a teacher in PGCPS in 1995 after graduating from Towson State University. She joined MCPS three years after that, where she has been ever since. Ms. Russell taught at both Lee Middle School and Eastern Middle School. She decided several years ago that she wanted to be a High School Counselor. After completing her internship at Watkins Mill High School, Ms. Russell graduated from Bowie State University in 2018 with her Master's in School Counseling. She's the proud parent of an 18-year-old who will be attending Florida State (Go 'Noles) in the fall and a 20-year-old who is a Junior at UMD (Go Terps). She also has a dog named Peanut (14) who does not attend school anywhere. She is so excited to now be joining the Blair High School community!
Advanced Placement Exams
Congratulations to the 2000+ students who took an AP exam this year! If you received special permission to take an exam during Administration 4, please make sure you set up your digital exam at home 1-3 days before your exam takes place (schedule here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/exam-administration-ordering-scores/exam-dates/makeup-only-administration-4). Scores for AP exams will be released beginning July 21 for exams taken during Admin 1 and 2, and August 16 for exams taken during Admin 3 and 4.
Please contact Leslie_V_Blaha@mcpsmd.org, if you have any questions.
"Blair PRIDE Celebrations and Commemoration
In honor of Pride Month, all Blair staff participated in professional development celebrating LGBTQ communities and instructional resources to help elevate LGBTQ students and faculty. Content focused on relevant terminology, pronoun etiquette, and tools offered at the recent MCPS 2021 PRIDE Town Hall. Students also engaged in Innovation Period activities focused on the pivotal contributions made by LGBTQ individuals to society.
Math Department News:
The summer is almost here! Spend some time working on your MATH skills so you will be ready to be successful in the coming school year. We are offering math summer packets (on Delta Math) for your next course, as well as math help (on zoom) to support you!
Click this link for more information: https://mbhs.edu/departments/math/MathPackets.php
World Language High School Credit Changes
MSDE has recently approved new graduation requirements that impact World Languages. The new requirements are effective beginning with students entering the 9th-grade class in the 2021-2022 school year and state the following:
Graduation Requirements for Public High Schools in Maryland (COMAR 13A.03.02)
One of the following:
(a) Two credits of the same world language, which may include two credits of American Sign Language; or
(b) Successful completion of a State-approved career and technical education program.
Please contact Brenda_A_BarreraMercado@mcpsmd.org, if you have any questions.
All-in Honors Initiative for 2021-22 Academic Year
Starting in the fall of the 2021-22 school year, in support of the school's goals around equity and inclusion, Blair will be piloting "All-in Honors" instruction in all 9th grade core content area classes. All students enrolled in English 9, Biology, Geometry, or US (and Modern World) History courses will have access to rigorous, honors-level instruction. To support this instructional shift, Blair advocated for and was granted financial support by the county to provide professional development for instructional staff starting in the summer.
Blair's Academic Academies
Rising seniors that are interested in working on an Academy Capstone Project this summer should complete THIS FORM.
Capstone projects are a great way to demonstrate your passion and dedication to your chosen field of study and they look FANTASTIC on a college resume!
Check out Blair Academies
Student Service Learning Hours
Students may continue earning SSL hours towards their SSL graduation requirement by engaging in SSL opportunities during the summer, including traditional in-person opportunities and select virtual/remote opportunities that follow the temporarily amended guidelines posted on the MCPS SSL webpage (www.mcps-ssl.org).
To check on your SSL report follow these Step-by-step directions found at https://bit.ly/SSLonVUE
Learn about SSL Updates and Opportunities
Academy and SSL Coordinator
Montgomery Blair High School
School Materials Collection
Students and/or parents can drop off their school materials (textbooks, musical instruments, athletic uniforms. etc.) on Monday, June 14, and Tuesday, June 15 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM each day outside of the SAC at Montgomery Blair High School. Please refer to the materials collection link for additional information and a map. Current 9th - 11th grade students should not drop off their chrome books, chargers, or earphones as they will keep them over the summer and use them next year.
Student Materials Collection
Monday, June 14 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Drop off outside of the cafeteria from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, June 15 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Drop off outside of the cafeteria from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Please contact Assistant Principal Joe Fanning via email with any questions. Joseph_M_Fanning@mcpsmd.org
Important Summer School Updates
Registration for Blair summer courses have closed!
However, Credit Recovery for Semester B will remain open until June 16th.
Montgomery Blair 2021 Summer School Schedule
- Summer School Materials Distribution: Monday, June 21st and Tuesday, June 22nd from 12:00-6:00
- During the week of June 21st - June 25th, teachers will email students zoom links and course information.
- Summer Session A: Monday, June 28 - Friday, July 16 (no school on Monday, July 5)
- Summer Session B: Monday, July 19 - Friday, August 6 (no school on Monday, July 26)
The Blazer Athletics program is grateful that a full year of athletics was able to be completed this year! In the first semester, we had three virtual seasons with all of our sports teams meeting 3- 5 times per week virtually for 5 weeks. We completed both a virtual Leadership program and a Strong Minds mental health of student-athletes program. Later in the semester, we were able to start actual planning in order to join the state calendar for in-person athletics in February. Unfortunately, we were not able to join in the in-person state winter season this year.
We joined the fall season on February 27th with each sport having an in-person team and competitions. Fall sports teams, with over 320 student-athletes, ended on April 16th and on April 17th we began our in-person spring sports season with about 310 student-athletes. This season was extra special in that these teams’ seasons were all canceled at the onset of the pandemic last school year. Blair was again able to offer all teams in person with the exception of gymnastics who met virtually. These seasons are now being completed in early June and post-Graduation! And in May we were able to offer our winter senior student-athletes an opportunity to meet, practice, and compete in a senior celebration season of approximately 3 weeks. Thank you to all the coaches and student-athletes.
A huge thank you to Tom Hildebrandt, Todd and Helen Elliott, Ed Wilhelm, Barb Efantis , and various other Blair families including the Masons, Efantis’, Hutchins, Wengers, and Siffs for going above and beyond for Blair Athletics! Best of luck to you and your now graduates! A thank you to Dirk Cauley, AP over Athletics, who is headed to Key MS as a principal intern for his 10 years of athletics supervision. Thank you to Bryan McCabe, our Athletic Trainer, for being the consummate professional. Thank you to Emanuel Charles, Brandon Crabtree, Damon Pigrom, and Angie Bosse for being the main athletics staff this year. And thank you to Jim Mogge for being the most excellent assistant AD.
Fall athletics are able to start on August 11th in full capacity. Almost all fall sports – football, girls soccer, boys soccer, field hockey, girls volleyball, cheerleading, and poms – will start on that day. Golf is to be determined but will be towards that date. Cross Country will start on August 14th. For more information on the online registration for fall athletics, go to this letter:
Physicals MUST be the SR-8 form (link in the letter) and can be uploaded by the parent during the registration process. However, if a parent needs to submit a physical after the student has already been registered, email an electronic copy of the pre-participation physical (MCPS Form SR-8) to Blair Athletic Director, Rita J. Boulé.
Blair Athletics will host an Informational night for fall athletics on June 15th at 7 pm, virtually. Details will be sent out on or about June 13th. We will cover requirements, expectations, the fall plan, coaching staff, tryout dates, and information and introduce you to the athletics staff. All parents and students interested in fall sports are encouraged to attend including those new to Blair (welcome!).
If you should ever have questions, concerns, or comments, please reach out to Athletic Director/Specialist Rita J. Boulé at Rita_J_Boule@mcpsmd.org. Let’s Go Blazers!
Stay safe and happy summer!
Rita J. Boulé, CAA
Montgomery Blair High School
Check our Fox 5 Zip Trip Takoma Park, Featuring Blair Blazer Athletes
MCPS Virtual Academy Information
If you are interested in learning more about Posse and Posse DC partnering colleges, there will be another student information session scheduled for Thursday, June 24th at 4:00 PM.
If you wish to attend this virtual meeting, you can sign up with the following link: https://forms.gle/qwm6LNSiRCt2jEXUA
A zoom link will be sent the day before the session to the students who have signed up.
If you have any issues with accessing the form or with receiving the zoom link, please contact Mr. Carlos Piedrasanta email@example.com.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
Congratulations to Silver Chips on winning the ASPA (American Scholastic Press Association) First Place Prize with Special Merit!
Congratulations to Silver Chips students who were honored with Outstanding Feature Page - Lilia Wong, Kathryn LaLonde, and Marijke Friedman!
Congratulations to Dhruv Pai, winner of the 2021 USA Army Educational Outreach Program Rising Star Award for STEM Excellence!
Congratulations to Dhruv Pai and Simoni Mishra on their Ambassador Awards from the United Nations Association of USA!
Congratulations to Andy Cui, the 4A North Regional Boy's Singles champion!
Congratulations to Marika Campbell-Blue on winning first place in the 5th Annual Girl Power Contest!
Congratulations to Lottie Doughty who is a finalist in the Coolidge Cup Declamation Contest. We wish her all the best in the finals in Vermont in July!
Congratulations to Marijke Friedman on placing second in the Girls 1600 meter run and advances to the regional meet!
Congratulations to Indy Lyness and Freddie Alfonso-Frank for placing first and second in the Boys 1600 meter run and advances to the regional meet!
Congratulations to Isoiza Emah on being named a Bezos Scholar!
Congratulations to Blair Seniors who won the category award for their research project work from the Washington Academy of Science!
Congratulations to the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars inductees!
Congratulations to John Jeffries, Catherine Lo, and Tamar Pinsky for earning first, second, and third place in the Silver Spring Chapter of The Links, Inc., Young Master Writers Awards contest!
Congratulations to Samantha Jayasundera on begin named a National Cyber Scholar! The recognition comes with a $2500 scholarship and an invitation to the Cyber Foundations Academy!
Thank you Calvin Tobias for the amazing Blair Baseball photos. Please see a few below!
Send me your good news and I'll include it in future newsletters and on social media.
Congratulations to Coach Coyle and our Soccer 4 Change Team on their 2021 Championship!
Congratulations Will Thorne!
Congratulations to our C-Span Studentcam Winners
Congratulations to our Montgomery Blair High School 2021 - 2022 Students Government Association and Class Officers
SGA President -- Salma Chicas
SGA Vice President -- Alice O'Neal-Freeman
2022 President -- Muller Torontow
2022 Vice President -- Omar Sacko
2023 President -- Shelly Nguyen
2023 Vice President -- Barkot Gebre
2024 President -- Hasset Wondem
2024 Vice President -- Laila Burege
Youth For Arts
MCPS Baseball All Division Team
Save the date: Saturday, June 19.
Save the date: Saturday, June 19. Hope to see you at the @BlackRockCenter.
Details ➡ buff.ly/3pk4XVM.
Space App Challenge
Montgomery Blair High School Information
Student schedules are now available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Parents and students will need to log in to the report using the student’s ID and password. Report Link: https://studentschedule.mcpsmd.org
Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor School Counseling Department:
All Things College and Career: Contact Carmen Salazar, College and Career Coordinator. Carmen_A_Salazar@mcpsmd.org
Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison, Melissa_Young@mcpsmd.org
Health Room: Full Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris, Anisa_Harris@mcpsmd.org
Health Room Tech: Sophia Duque, Sofia_Duque@mcpsmd.org
Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs, Claudine_Biggs@mcpsmd.org
Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus, Roxanne_F_Fus@mcpsmd.org
Blair Security Office: Darryl Cooper, Security Team Leader, Darryl_J_Cooper@mcpsmd.org
Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin, Donna_M_Franklin@mcpsmd.org
Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian, Farzaneh_Nabavian@mcpsmd.org
Pupil Personnel Worker: Ramona Washington, Ramona_L_Washington@mcpsmd.org
Renay Johnson: Principal
Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 12 Administrator
Joseph Fanning: Grade 11 Administrator
Dirk Cauley: Grade 10 Administrator A-L
Candace Wilkerson: Grade 10 Administrator M-Z
Lavina Carrillo: Grade 9 Administrator A-L
Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 9 Administrator M-Z
Peter Ostrander: Magnet & CAP Programs
James Funk: School Business Administrator