HCPS 411 Update

October 6, 2022


Many of our positions are filled by word of mouth by our employees. We have added this section to the HCPS 411 Update so that you can help us share our employment needs.

  • Special Education Teacher at Church Creek Elementary School
  • Teacher Specialist - Literacy at Magnolia Middle School
  • Paraeducators (multiple locations)
  • Inclusion Helpers (multiple locations)

Follow us on social media @hcpsrecruiter and share our employment posts. To find a full list of our available positions, visit hcps.org and click on the sun!

Celebrating National Principals Month in October

National Principals Month honors principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our nation’s students. Join us as we celebrate and show appreciation for ALL HCPS principals throughout October.

We would like to highlight our newest HCPS principals in a video series, Five in Five, this month. Acting Supervisor of Leadership Development Audrey Vohs talks with each of our new principals to ask five questions in five minutes so we can get to know them better. Take a moment to hear from Bethany Farver, Principal of William S. James Elementary School, and Mark Truszkowski, Principal of Swan Creek School, in the videos linked below. Stay tuned for more new principal recognitions in HCPS 411 Updates this moth!

Meet Beth Farver, new principal at William S. James Elementary School

The Nomination Window is Open for the October 2022 Family Friendly School Award!

Calling all nominations for the October Family Friendly School Award!

Nominations for the award are being accepted now through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 10.

***ONLY nominations submitted during this window will be considered for this month's award.***

It takes just a few minutes to nominate a school...access the link to nominate here: https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

Please spread the word! Help your school be celebrated for their efforts to communicate well, engage and welcome all families, and support student success.

Winning schools receive the positive coverage of the award, a custom banner to display in the school, and a complimentary staff luncheon from Chick-fil-A of Harford County.

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Good Luck Tonight, Ms. Gereli!

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Littles University - October

Our Harford County Education Foundation (HCEF) partners have released the October Littles U book, and it's one you don't want to miss! Visit the HCEF webpage to register for your free book: Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy.
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Diversity 365

Join us as we continue to shine the light on how HCPS celebrates Diversity all year long. Each month, we will highlight a cultural/organizational holiday. All you have to do is take a picture or two and share the wonderful things your school or office is doing to celebrate the contributions we all make to HCPS.

This month, we are celebrating:

  • ADD/ADHD Awareness
  • Filipino American Heritage
  • German American Heritage
  • Italian American Heritage
  • Polish American Heritage

Please email your celebration pictures and a brief write up regarding the event to Sherron Foster-Moore, Diversity Retention & Recruitment Specialist, at sherron.fostermoore@hcps.org by Wednesday, October 27, 2022. This month’s celebrations will be shared in the November 3rd issue of the HCPS 411 Update.

New HCPS Leaders Tour Offices Throughout the System

New HCPS leaders recently had the opportunity to tour many of the offices that support their daily operations, including Operations, Transportation, Food and Nutrition, and Swan Creek. At each stop on the tour, leaders were provided with information on how that office supports students and staff in Harford County. The day concluded with a lunch hosted at the student-run Thomas Run Inn at Harford Technical High School. A very special thank you to Audrey Vohs, Acting Supervisor of Leadership Development in the Office of Organizational Development, for planning and coordinating the day's activities, and Cathy Bendis, Director of Transportation, for being the tour guide for the day.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program is seeking short-term and long-term tutors for the 2022-2023 school year. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of Reading and Mathematics for students in grades K-12, as well as Science and Social Studies for the graduation required courses at the high school level. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to select their desired content(s) and grade level(s). Tutors will also be able to determine the number of tutoring sessions that they would like to conduct each week. Elementary students will be supported in a virtual, one-on-one setting. Middle and high school students will be supported in a virtual, small group setting with three or fewer students. Tutors will be compensated at their per diem rate.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form:


Professional Development Announcements

University of Delaware - Seeking hosts for 2023 Winter Job Shadow and Internship Programs

The University of Delaware is seeking hosts for 2023 Winter Programs! Your expertise is valuable to Blue Hens!

Opportunity 1 - Winter Term Job Shadow Program: Connect with a student one-on-one via Zoom for an informational interview or host a student in person for a full day, on-the-job shadowing experience to talk about your career path, industry insight and any advice you have for a student interested in potentially pursuing a similar career. LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP! The deadline to submit an opportunity is October 14, 2022.

Opportunity 2 - Winter Term Internship Program: Do you need assistance with a short-term work project? Consider offering a Blue Hen a project-based, three- to five-week internship. The University of Delaware Career Center staff will help match your needs with a student who has the drive and skills required for the position. LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP! The deadline to submit an opportunity is November 4, 2022.

Register today: Effective Parenting

Parent Academy, together with the Harford County Local Management Board, is excited to share details about an upcoming free and uplifting workshop. We hope you will join us on Thursday, October 13, 7:00 p.m. at Patterson Mill High School (85 Patterson Mill Road, Bel Air, MD 21015) for Effective Parenting: A positive, strength-based approach to raising your child.

This workshop will be presented by Charlie Appelstein, MSW, an internationally prominent youth care specialist and author of three youth care books widely used within his field. Mr. Appelstein will deliver a message of hope and possibility as he covers topics such as:

  • What is strength-based parenting?
  • Helping your child learn a positive, growth mindset
  • Strategies for enhancing your child’s self esteem
  • How to respond instead of reacting to your child
  • And more!

Register for the event here.

We hope you will mark your calendar now to join us at Patterson Mill High School on October 13 for this awesome event!

Fall Diversity Networking Social

What better way to start an exciting new school year than by connecting with colleagues and making new friends? HCPS hosted our fall Show Up & Shine Diversity Networking Social at Edgewood Elementary School. Thanks to everyone who joined us and made the evening a wonderful success. Special thanks to Dr. Eric Davis, Dr. Paula Stanton, Dr. Peter Carpenter, Cynthia Womack, Ben Richardson, Jessica Chesson and the talented Edgewood High School Culinary students.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The deadline for the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Limited Waiver is October 31, 2022. This limited waiver allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not have qualified for PSLF. For more information, visit the US Department of Education's PSLF stakeholder resource page.

All PSLF forms may be sent via email to certification@hcps.org or by interoffice mail to Human Resources/Certification.

New Process for Teacher Certification

MSDE has released The Educator Application and Certification Hub (TEACH). Existing applicants and certificate holders will need to complete a one-time registration by visiting https://certificationhub.msde.maryland.gov. You will be required to upload verification of identification such as a driver’s license or passport. Verification of your identification must be completed before any service or request can be completed. When registering, please ensure your email address is updated. The Certification Department will provide updates and notification to teachers through TEACH as well as your HCPS email. TEACH requires educators to submit an application/request for initial certification, renewal of a certificate, adding an endorsement or name change. This must be done on MSDE TEACH through the educator’s dashboard.

For those who have a Maryland teaching certificate that is expiring DECEMBER 31, 2022; if you have not done so already, please log onto TEACH and request a renewal of your certificate. More information regarding this process can be found in the MSDE TEACH INFORMATION 9-2022 document on SharePoint, Human Resources, Certification, under Certification Forms & Information.

In order to renew certificates in a timely manner, please have your dashboard and request completed by November 1, 2022.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to CJ Harbach, Certification Assistant, or Aretha Young, Certification Coordinator, at Certification@hcps.org or 410-588-5258.

MRSPA Mini-Grant Opportunity

The Maryland Retired School Personnel Association (MRSPA) is offering six (6) Mini-Grants of up to $300 to classroom teachers across Maryland. The grants may be used on special projects or activities that are not funded through the school system or Parent Teacher Organization. Applications and additional information can be found at MRSPA.org. Applications can be submitted from October 1, 2022, through November 1, 2022. Please view MRSPA.org or contact wtwigg@mrspa.org for additional information.

School and Classroom Enrichment Grants From Harford County Education Foundation

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Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinics

Get Your Flu Shot Without Leaving Your Car

HCPS, in partnership with CVS, will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Events will be held on various days in school parking lots throughout the county. Employees and their families (ages 3+) are welcome to attend an event to receive their flu shot.

Pre-registration is preferred but not required. To register, click on the school location+ and date you wish to attend.

Please be sure to bring your insurance card and identification with you. Flu shots will be billed to your insurance*. Questions? Email the Benefits Office at benefits@hcps.org.

*HCPS medical plans cover flu shots at 100% with no member liability.

+Events will be held at the school location listed per the selected link.

Ready for Your New Fall Fitness Routine with BurnAlong?

Are you looking for a quick workout or a jumpstart to a new fall fitness routine? Check out the BurnAlong playlist, "Monte's Greatest Hits," featuring some of Monte Sanders' most popular BurnAlong classes, along with eight (8) brand new workouts from America's Favorite Trainer. Click here to check out the playlist and get started with a quick workout, or meet Monte Sanders with a quick intro video.

October is for Raising Awareness about Cancer

With nearly two million new cancer diagnoses every year, changes are you or someone you love is navigating treatment, management, and healing. BurnAlong will be hosting live events and some class suggestions to focus on cancer wellness.

Take BurnAlong with You

Join thousands of others on their health and wellness journey by downloading the Mobile App. Available in iOS and Android, take BurnAlong with you by downloading the app today!

What is BurnAlong?

As a reminder, BurnAlong is our health and wellness partner who provides you and your family with access to more than 23,000 live and on-demand online classes from 5,000+ credentialed instructors at no cost to you.

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To activate your complimentary account, get started by visiting https://fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you have any trouble accessing your account, contact customercare@burnalong.com. Find out more about BurnAlong in this brief video.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: Think Pink!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, we challenge you to spread awareness of not only the prevalence and impact of breast cancer but also the importance of early detection. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's October Wellness Newsletter.

October Recipe of the Month: Hulled Barley Vegetable Soup

Few things warm your body and spirits like a steaming bowl of soup. Click here to try this healthy barley vegetable soup for a cozy night.

EAP Webinar: Open Communication - Talking about Talking

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

We often spend most of our communication energy trying to get our point across and feel understood and heard by others. This month, participants will attain the skills to have open and effective communication at work and home. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available now on demand

Broadcast Length: 50 minutes
How to Access: Go to your EAP website: www.EAPHelpLink.com. Enter your code: HCPS and look for Online Seminars in the lower left-hand corner of this homepage, or you can search for them by title.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees and their families anytime, any day, and is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Employees and their family members can call KEPRO 24-hours per day, seven days per week toll-free at (866) 795-5701 to visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

Save the Date: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, Harford County Public Schools announces a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members within eight (8) years of retirement, whether normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include:

  • HCPS Retiree Benefits
  • State Retirement Pension Benefits
  • Legal Consideration
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Financial Planning

This year's pre-retirement session will be held virtually on November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Watch future HCPS 411 Update newsletters for more information on registering and obtaining a day of event link.

Access Healthcare Anywhere with CloseKnit

Virtual-First Primary Care Practice through CareFirst

CloseKnit is a virtual-first primary care practice that offers preventive, urgent, and mental health services through an easy-to-use app. As a CloseKnit member, you'll receive a dedicated Care Team to manage your health, navigate billing and benefits, and coordinate in-person and specialty care. Chats with your Care Team are FREE, and there are no annual or monthly membership fees.

How to Get Started or Learn More about CloseKnit Health:

1. Visit https://www.closeknithealth.com/register or download the free app using your phone or tablet.

2. Register and create your profile using your CareFirst member ID.

3. Start accessing the care you need.

COVID-19 Breakthrough Leave Survey Link

Employees who have received the primary vaccine series and at least one (1) booster can submit verification of their vaccination status through an online employee survey to be eligible for COVID Breakthrough Leave for the 2022-2023 school year. Individuals who already submitted both their primary vaccine series and booster information during the 2021-2022 school year will not need to complete this survey again. Information collected from the COVID Breakthrough Leave survey will be utilized for the 2022-2023 school year to determine COVID Breakthrough Leave eligibility. The survey can be accessed by clicking here.

The complete MOU specific to your bargaining unit can be found on the Staff Relations SharePoint page. Questions about COVID Breakthrough Leave can be directed to Staff and Labor Relations Office at (410) 588-5311.

Upcoming Webinar Workshop: A Parent's Guide to Kids and Money

For many of us, as children, discussing money was off-limits. Questions were ignored or received vague, incomplete answers. But times have changed. Today, you need to teach your kids good money habits and how to make sound spending, saving, and investing decisions. That is why MetLife is offering HCPS employees the upcoming workshop, A Parent's Guide to Kids and Money: Toddlers to Teen Workshop.

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

If asked for the company name, enter Harford County Public Schools.

Click here to reserve your spot! Register online now. Space may be limited.

On the fence? Here's a sneak peek of what to expect. Spouses and partners are welcome!

Joppatowne High School Counselor Katisi Henderson Participates in Teacher Externship Program

Katisi Henderson, Joppatowne High School counselor, is featured in the video below by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce highlighting her involvement with the summer teacher externship program working at Constellation Energy.

2022 Teacher Externship Program - BGE

Shout Out!

"Damaris Castello, a rockstar Food Service employee and prior Dining Hall Kitchen Manager at Harford Glen, deserves all the SHOUT OUTS in the world for assisting Tracey Hankins with her first session of Harford Glen residential students. Damaris came over early and stayed late to show Tracey the ropes of running a clean, efficient, and courteous kitchen team at Harford Glen. The Harford Glen team is super grateful for Damaris who orchestrated and directed the meals with Tracey all session to provide the Bel Air Elementary students and teachers with the best experience possible. Damaris’ ‘You’ve Got It’ attitude and ‘Can Do’ spirit is exactly the way Harford Glen operates and we’re glad Tracey has adopted the same style. Damaris was the perfect role model for Tracey to set her up for success the remainder of the school year. Damaris is welcome back at Harford Glen to assist any time she’d like. We love you, Damaris!"

~The Harford Glen Team (Amanda, Mel, Chris, Kristie, Kathy, Tivis & Howard)

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the following new members of the HCPS family!

  • LaMia Gilliam, Kindergarten Teacher, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Heather Baker, Inclusion Helper, Red Pump Elementary School
  • David Blackwell, Custodian I - Shift 2, John Archer School
  • Christopher Bold, Custodian I - Shift 2, Joppatowne High School
  • Mary Crawley, Inclusion Helper, Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School
  • Alexia Day, Inclusion Helper, Roye-Williams Elementary School
  • Britney Edelman, Inclusion Helper, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Kimberly Fitzpatrick, Inclusion Helper, Fountain Green Elementary School
  • John Gonzalez, Paraeducator, Magnolia Middle School
  • Meredith Lloyd, Inclusion Helper, Southampton Middle School
  • Anita Rezvani, Paraeducator, Edgewood Elementary School
  • Alexandra Rowles, Paraeducator, Roye-Williams Elementary School
  • Quinton Scott, Custodian I - Shift 2, Havre de Grace Middle School
  • Mariam Seedat, Inclusion Helper, Emmorton Elementary School
  • Donna Siegel, Media Technician, Harford Technical High School
  • Amanda Spliedt, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Magnolia Middle School

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, Innovation Specialist

To submit an HCPS Shout Out or recognize a colleague in the Spotlight on Customer Service, please email the information and photo (if available) to HCPS.411@hcps.org.