Panther Post

Pikesville High Newsletter | May/June 2019

From Principal Reid's Desk

Greetings Pikesville High Family,

The child's first and most influential teacher is the parentHis/Her ideas about education and its significance begin with the parent Improving the effectiveness of the home as a learning environment is critical to promoting long-term school success.

It is incredibly difficult to believe that we are now officially in the “final stretch” of the academic year!

SO MUCH has transpired since the last publication of the Panther Post! It truly has been a whirlwind year of new and exciting learning opportunities and expansion that will positively transform our teaching and learning here at PHS.

We have administered the SAT to all Juniors and Mock SAT to our underclassmen so that they may have full exposure to this high-stake assessment. Currently, we are in the midst of an incredibly busy testing season with PARCC, HSA, AP exams beginning on April 24th and continuing through much of May. Thank you for your valuable assistance in helping us to prepare students for these exams. Our quality work of equipping students with the skill sets they will need to graduate globally competitive remains our primary goal and will be given our full attention in the instructional days and weeks ahead.


We thank Councilman Izzy Patoka for honoring our 1A State Champion Girls’ Basketball Team with two resolutions last month. This title continues to WOW us, as it is “A FIRST in PHS’ 54 Year History. Still further, our very own Coach Dukes was named All-Metro Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year!!

Last year, PHS was named an AVID School of Distinction. On April 2nd of this year, we were honored with the designation of being one of only two high schools in BCPS and one of three in the entire state of Maryland to be an AVID NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SCHOOL. Under the able leadership of our AVID Coordinator, Molly Labriciossa, and AVID AP, Adam Carney, our staff has undergone and continues to receive on-going professional development and year-round training as part of our commitment to the success of every single PHS student. We are elated to be the recipient of this elite and distinct recognition. As an exemplary school, will be opening our doors to other institutions of learning to showcase highly-effective teaching and learning instructional programming that is rooted and grounded in AVID. Needless to say, we are jubilant that the PHS AVID Class of 2019 has earned well over $2, 000,000 in scholarships and grants!!!!!! We have enjoyed an inspiring AVID End-of-Year Celebration and look forward to the upcoming AVID Signing Day where our AVID Scholars will “reveal” their chosen institution for higher learning and be feted for their achievements this eventful year.

One evaluator stated of PHS during the validation visit, I would love to work here. I would love to send my kids here. I would love to send my grandkids here.” We appreciate that our school is held in such high regard.

It is with PRIDE and HONOR that I announce Omer Reshid’s SUCCESS in receiving the recognition of Student Member of the Board (SMOB) for over 113,000 BCPS students!!!!!!!!!!

Omer, a Junior, marks the second PHS student in only three years to serve in this elite and influential manner. We are immensely proud of this decision to be an ambassador and voice of EVERY SINGLE student in our large county!


Evan Flaks, Varsity basketball player, was the Army Impact Player of the month of March.

Our Model UN students were represented strongly and had the unique opportunity to meet with dignitaries. In so doing, they gained full exposure to this authentic and meaningful experience.

PHS student, F. Virtudes, with the assistance of MRAD (Multiculturally Rising Above Differences) and several PHS Honor Societies, led a “Treasures for Teachers” campaign where they packed backpacks with needful items for disadvantaged students.

Our STEM program, under the leadership of department chair Will Knipscher, was recognized and recertified by BCPS.

Congrats to Amanda Leavitt and Katelyn Flaks for being this year’s artists who represented PHS at the annual BMA art is for Everyone BCPS Exhibition.

PHS was highlighted on BCPS TV for our student-run Help Desk initiated through the CTE (Career Technology) Office. Our Panthers who are interested in computer science are gaining marketable skills that will help them to graduate with more than a diploma.

We were excited to host Ms. Cheryl Pasteur, Member of the Board of Education, for the first time this year to PHS.

Dream Girls, our Spring Musical, under the direction of Doug Kotula, was a hit for Pikesville Players.

In our first year of dance, our PHS Dancers exhibited their talent at the BCPS Dance Festival.

Our Visual and Performing Arts department hosted a very successful showcase night, “Pikesvile Performs”, that highlighted the multi-faceted gifts of our student population.

Eleena Feinberg and Farruh Nabiev placed first in Photography and Painting in the 10th Annual Young Artist Studio Exhibition sponsored by the Optimist’s Club.

PHS’ Steve Parsons and his AP Human Geography students, along with the MRAD members, welcomed Israeli Jewish and Arab high school students from the Galilee Dreamers Program.

Congratulations to Ms. Labriciossa who is both Instructional Leadership Teams’ and PHS’ Teacher of the Month. John Jimenez is honored as our Student of the Month.

Ms. Heather Corasaniti, World Language Chair, was received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship that will afford her the unique opportunity to study abroad in Colombia, South America for a month this summer.

We celebrated our PAWsome APs – Allison Seymour, Adam Carney, and Phil Robinson during AP Week, and duly recognize all they do to help maintain a “PAWsitive” environment at PHS.

We deservedly feted Jen Meltzer, our Library Media Specialist Extraordinaire. We are very grateful for her stellar service.

Congrats to Sophie Garonzik, Junior, who was selected as the PNC Achiever of the Week earlier this month.

We have engaged students in a multitude of field trips to supplement their knowledge and broaden their scope including events at UMBC, in Annapolis, at Northrup Drummond, just to mention a few.

Altruism abounds as Morgan Suchin, a senior, led the Medical Explorer Club she founded with preparing 800+ sandwiches for the economically disadvantaged through a grant she wrote for her “Feed the Hungry” campaign!

Our rising seniors just enjoyed a PAWsome and memorable Junior Prom with a Parisienne theme.

A sizable amount of our scholars was recently inducted into the National Honor Society!!!! We congratulate them and their families.

Our EDUCATORS RISING, and MRAD members were recently inducted in a warming ceremony!

PHS Faculty played impressively in the Zirkin-Faculty Game that is always a spirited and fun-filled event for our students. We appreciate Sen. Zirkin and his staff for their continual support of PHS!!

Our Project Lead the Way (pre-engineering) program, under the direction of Will Knipscher, just won in all three of the top honors at a recent Shark Tank Competition held at the Engineer’s Club downtown.

When you next come to PHS, you will see some beautiful display cases in our vestibule and by the auditorium. We thank Mr. Arnold Potler and the Distinguished Alum committee for their support in securing these for us so that we are now able to showcase historic PHS- the people, awards, and recognitions that are a part of our school’s rich legacy.

Dr. Sanford Siegal and Mr. Patrick Russell ae the newest members of PHS’ Distinguished Alumni and were honored by students and staff earlier this month.

Congratulations our staff members who have recently given us “Little Panthers”! We welcome the newest additions to our school family afforded to us by Allison Seymour, Atom Zerfas, Steve Parsons, and Erin Haroth.

We were thrilled to honor our AMAZING Administrative Professionals– Ms. Michalski, Ms. Billingslea, Ms. Pope, Ms. Ward, Ms Bridge, and Ms. McAlister -for their “labor of love” directed towards PHS!

We remain enthused at our second-to-none Megan Thomas, PHS’ Teacher of the Year, as she was recently recognized as a nominee for BCPS’ TOY at a recent ceremony.

Hasani James, an 12th grader, was just featured by BCPS for being PHS’ Ethic Awards winner and for beautifully demonstrating PRIDE HONOR AND SUCCESS!!


  • Staffing- Our next year’s school population is expected to increase next year to approximately 1007 students.

  • Senior Events- Senior Awards will be held on Monday, May 20th at from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. in our school auditorium. We will honor those students chosen to receive recognition for their efforts, perseverance, and commitment to educational excellence. This will be followed by the Senior Prom on May 23rd at the Valley Mansion. We anticipate senior students’ last day of school to be on May 24th!

  • Our FIRST induction of students into the English Honor Society will take place this May.

  • Third quarter report cards were distributed on April 23rd. Fourth quarter interims were given to students on Thursday, May 9th. The last day of school for all students is Monday, June 17th.


T is for talented that you surely are
E is for explaining so patiently
A is for the ability to make the class fun
C is for correcting us when we were wrong
H is for helping us in every way
E is for encouraging us to do our best
R is for rare, there is only one of you!

Thank you for recognizing our teachers the entire week of May 6th. We have some tremendous, caring, and talented educators who are true craftsmen in designing learning opportunities that optimizes student engagement and skill. Please feel free to share your appreciation via Schoology or via a note. I know our teachers would love to hear from you.

It is impossible to do this important work for students without your encouragement, involvement, and support! Thank you for being SUCH a special part of our Pikesville High School community. Never doubt your impact as committed and connected stakeholders.

Yours in Education,

Sandra G. Reid

Important Dates to Remember

May 20 Senior Awards in the morning in the Auditorium

May 21 Senior Graduation Rehearsal and Picnic. Mandatory Rehearsal at 1pm in the Gym. Picnic to follow.

May 23 Senior Prom, Valley Mansion in Hunt Valley 8pm.

May 24 Last Day for Seniors

May 27 School closed for Memorial Day

May 28 Commencement Exercises

May 30 Graduation, SECU Arena

For a full calendar, click here

Girls' Basketball Wins in the Class 1A State Basketball Championship

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Pikesville Track Boys are 1A North Region Champions and Girls are 6th!

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Brandon Schwartzberg, '21, forehand against Overlea

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Senior Class News

Important Dates for the Class of 2019

May 20 Senior Awards in the morning in the Auditorium

May 21 Senior Graduation Rehearsal and Picnic. Mandatory Rehearsal at 1pm in the Gym. Picnic to follow.

May 23 Senior Prom, Valley Mansion in Hunt Valley 8pm.

May 30 Graduation, SECU Arena

Graduation tickets will be distributed on Friday, May 17th to all students who have cleared all obligations. Each student gets seven tickets. TWO additional tickets may be purchased for $5 each and will be available for purchase the week after the distribution. Graduation coordinator Mr. Dave Kreller ( will have more information about the graduation, which is scheduled for May 30th at Towson University.

The senior awards ceremony will be held in Pikesville High School’s auditorium at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 20. Any questions about the event should be sent to Mr. Jeremy Goldman (, who is the chair of the school counseling department.

The graduation rehearsal, WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR ANY STUDENT WHO IS GRADUATING, will be held at 1pm in the school’s gymnasium on Tuesday, May 21th.

The class of 2019 senior picnic will be held at 2:30 pm, AFTER the rehearsal, in the school’s stadium. Attendance at the rehearsal is required for the picnic. Entry passes and food passes (all free!!!) will be distributed at the rehearsal.

Senior questions should be sent to co-advisors, Mr. Goodman ( or Mr. Kotula (

Don’t be Stressed about Exam Season!

When Students and Parents hear PARCC, SAT or AP exams there is almost a collective cry of “AHHH!” Test anxiety is common and has a long history of creating panic, doubt, sleeplessness and distraction. Biologically speaking, anxiety forces us to do more, to pay attention, to put forth more effort and to be ready. This is instinctual and when we lived in caves, it helped us survive. Now we are more evolved and don’t have to worry about saber tooth tigers coming after us, it just a test, a tool to measure our knowledge and help students, parents and teachers understand what still needs to be taught or explained. The good news is we can manage it. Here are some useful tips to reduce our natural anxiety, it will not eliminate it, it will better prepare us to handle what comes our way: Change your mindset: stress is not the enemy, it is your friend and wants you to excel and achieve your goals.

  • Plan your time: look through all your material, put aside what you know and prioritize what you need to focus on. Cramming does not work effectively for most of us.
  • Meet your human needs: get enough sleep, eat healthy (junk food does not feed your brain) and move around (walk, run, play to burn off the worries and have a clear head).
  • Find time to laugh, meditate or enjoy life: Tests will come and go. Anxiety will come and go. You will always be there for you, nurture yourself and be there for yourself during these moments of challenge. You can only do the best that you can at any given moment and there is always time to keep trying.

-Maureen McGuire, LCSW-C

From the Health Suite

Pick Up Your Child's Medication

If you have a child who that a controlled medication with Nurse Merani, please come and pick up the meds before JUNE 17 or they will be discarded. If your child has an inhaler and/or an epi pen that will not expire it is fine to leave them over the summer. Nurse Merani will reach out to those parents that will have expired medication.

Physicals and Forms

Please consider to have all those sports physicals, Health Maintenance Physicals and Forms completed before the Fall Starts.

Do not hesitate to schedule a conference with Nurse Merani prior to school starting to advise of any important Health Concerns or Health Needs prior to the Fall.

Health Passes

If your child needs a special Health Pass to use the Bathroom in the Health Suite- Please also advise Nurse Merani at the beginning of the Fall.

Have a Safe and Healthy Summer!

Summer Wellness for Families of Teens

As we move through spring and approach summer, everyone has the itch to get outside. Teens are ready for school to be over and have some freedom. For parents, it can be a bit nerve racking to trust that their teen and or their friends will make wise decisions when they are not around.

Developmentally, teens need to try new behaviors and test limits as a way of learning and growing to become adult decision makers someday. As parents, we can support them in this venture by allowing freedom with clear boundaries as well as giving them some responsibilities to access privileges. I mean, this is how the world works for us as adults! If we work, we get paid; if we follow traffic laws, we enjoy better insurance rates! Think about this as you enter summer when the structure of school ends.

For teens, consider camps, sports, travel, summer jobs, internships, volunteering, learning a new hobby and increasing responsibilities as a way of expanding experiences. For parents, this will offer some structure to summer and others (camp counselors, coaches, bosses, teachers etc.) will hold your teen accountable under their supervision.

Below is a quick read about teens needing rules and consequences. Wishing everyone a safe and fun summer!

Book Club News

The book club met in March to discuss Piecing me Together by Renee Watson. The book club members had a rich discussion surrounding the themes in this book and created a beautiful poster that displays the highlights of the story. Its on display outside of the Learning Commons and we encourage you to take a look! Additionally, we selected our next and final title for the year which is Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham. This book is “a compelling dual-narrated tale from Jennifer Latham that questions how far we've come with race relations. When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past. Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self-discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced
page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions
about the complex state of US race relations--both yesterday and today.”

The book club will meet for their final meeting to discuss this novel on
Wednesday, May 22nd. All are welcome!

School-wide Summer Reading:
Our school-wide title for this summer will be What The Eyes Don’t See, A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha. The book chronicles Dr. Mona’s relentless pursuit to uncover the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s drinking water, which would lead to her testifying in front of Congress. Gripping and emotional, Dr. Mona’s personal account reads like a scientific thriller as she vividly recounts the effects lead poisoning had on her young patients and the evidence she gathered to share with the world. Our hope is that this title will unify our school community as we engage in conversations surrounding this book across content areas, as it relates to themes in science, social studies and English.

We will have 30 copies available for checkout on a first come- first served basis.
Additionally, this book is available for $7.82 on Amazon in

Students who read and complete an assignment of their choice based on the book will be
invited to the annual summer reading celebration which
will be held in the Learning Commons after school in late September. The assignment options will be available in the Learning Commons and on Twitter at @PHS_Library. This event will offer food and festivities and we would love for parents and community members to participate. Please email Jen Meltzer, the library media specialist, at with any questions.

Additionally, don’t forget that the catalog of eBooks found in BCPS Digital Content are available to students all summer long! Don’t let the “summer slide” effect your development as a life-long learner, stay engaged all summer!

Don’t forget to get more PHS Library updates on Twitter @PHS_Library!

Order Your Yearbook before it's Too Late!

Time is running out to order your 2019 Pikesville High School yearbook. Don’t miss out on this opportunity which captures the highlights of the year.

You can order online at OR click on the Jostens link on the school website. You can also pay by check (to Pikesville High School) $68.90. Bring checks to Room 128 or leave in Mrs. Leiby’s mailbox.

Community News & Events

Information here is neither sponsored by nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Baltimore County, the Superintendent, or this school or office.

Pikesville High School Vision

Pikesville High, the heartbeat of our culturally-diverse community, is where pride in our work, and honor for ourselves and others, combine to ensure success in cultivating our globally-competitive students.

About Us

Important Numbers

Main Number: 410- 443-809-1217

Guidance: 410- 443-809-1219

Nurse: 410- 443-809-3003

Athletic Director: 410- 443-809-1257


Mrs. Sandra Reid

Assistant Principals

Grade 10 and A-F grade 9, Mrs. Seymour

Grade 11 and P-Z grade 9, Mr. Robinson,

Grade 12 and G-O grade 9, Mr. Carney