HCPS 411 Update

September 19, 2019

Debra King, Harford Tech school nurse, named Maryland School Nurse of the Year!

Debra King, school nurse for Harford Technical High School, has been named Maryland’s School Nurse of the Year for 2019-2020 by the Maryland Association of School Health Nurses. She learned of the news in a surprise announcement at her school on September 18. Superintendent Bulson; Eric Davis, chief of administration; Bernard Hennigan, executive director of Student Support Services; Mary Nasuta, supervisor of Health Services; Mr. Joseph Collins, principal of Harford Technical High School; and others were there to celebrate with her.

According to the association, the award is presented to someone who exemplifies the best in school nursing practice through clinical expertise, research and education, management, mentoring, advocacy, and leadership.

Ms. King has been a nurse for 33 years and has spent 21 of those years as a school nurse in New Jersey and Maryland. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, Ms. King has obtained state certification in New Jersey and National Certification through the National Board of Certification for School Nurses.

Ms. King has assumed many leadership roles for HCPS. She is best known in the school system as the lead CPR teacher and is passionate about teaching this lifesaving skill to staff and families. She also has served as a well sought-after mentor for new school nurses and nursing students.

Serving her community is important to Ms. King’s school nurse mission. She has collaborated with the American Red Cross for blood donation drives and facilitated such programs as Jump Rope for Heart and Pennies for Patients to benefit persons with leukemia. Ms. King has been a swim coach at C. Milton Wright High School for the past 16 years and is also certified as a USA Swimming referee, starter, and stroke and turn official.

As the state winner, Ms. King will be honored at the Maryland Association of School Health Nurses Annual Conference in April, and she will be honored by the National Association of School Nurses at their conference in June.

Congratulations, Nurse King!

MASHN School Nurse of the Year- Debbie King

#HCPSGetFit Survey - Give Us Your Input!

As part of our #HCPSGetFit campaign, we will feature one video a month in the HCPS 411 Update from our partner Dr. Rob Reier, who has been serving our greater Harford County community since 1999. Dr. Reier is an active board member of Healthy Harford and also serves on the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake’s Board of Integrative Medicine at the Kaufman Cancer Center. The short videos he produces will serve as a way to provide more information, insight, and resources on health and wellness topics of most interest to you. Please let us know what type of videos you would like to see by completing a three-question, anonymous survey.

The deadline to complete this survey is Thursday, October 3. Please click the link below to get started. Thank you!

Social Media Sites Now Accessible to Employees on HCPS Computers

Social media has become an integral part of modern life, and HCPS understands the value of using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate with our school communities. As such, beginning on Monday, September 23, 2019, social media sites will be accessible to all HCPS employees via school system computers for educational purposes. Social media can be a powerful force for good, and we want to encourage our employees to use these communication tools in positive and responsible ways. Please be reminded that all communication via social media must adhere to the Professional Statement of Conduct found in the HCPS Employee Handbook, and ensure your online behavior reflects the same standards of professionalism, respect, and integrity as your face-to-face communications.

Save the Date: HCPS Annual College and Career Fair

HCPS will host its annual College and Career Fair on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Harford Community College APGFCU Arena. With more than 130 colleges and universities exhibiting, the fair modernizes college admissions and makes the process easier and more cost-effective by bringing students, parents/guardians, counselors, and higher education together at one location. In addition, there will be a Financial Aid Seminar (6:30 p.m.) and a Student-Athlete Eligibility Seminar (7:15 p.m.) held during the event. Local businesses representing a variety of technical, business, and STEM occupations will also participate. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest

Calling all artists! In honor of National School Bus Safety Week, the Transportation Office will be holding a contest for the best drawing or picture related to school bus safety. The winners will have their artwork hung in the Transportation Office and may also be featured on HCPS social media.


  • Submit your best safety drawing or picture to: Harford County Public Schools, Attention - Transportation Department, 102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014.
  • Please ensure the submission includes a name, grade, and home school.
  • The due date for submissions is October 18, 2019.

All submissions will be reviewed, and selected submissions will be displayed in the Transportation Office. Winners may also be featured on HCPS social media.

Questions regarding this should be directed to Cathy Bendis, director of Transportation, at Cathy.Bendis@hcps.org or x4092.

Looking Ahead to Retirement?

  • The 2019 Summer edition of The Mentor has been posted to the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System website for review. This edition of the newsletter contains information about: your annual personal statement of benefits; new survivor benefit; new forms; and more.

  • Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar will be held October 5, 2019. The HCPS retirement coordinators, via the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, announce a FREE, one-day seminar for HCPS employees and spouses. To register, please contact the Benefits Office at x5275 as seating is limited. Deadline for registration is Friday, September 27. This seminar provides vital retirement information to all members who are approaching retirement, whether it is normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include: planning for retirement, social security benefits, financial planning, state retirement pension benefits, and legal considerations. If you are within eight years of being eligible to retire, this seminar is for you! Registration is open to all HCPS employees who have not attended this seminar in the last four years.

  • Date: October 5, 2019

    Location: Harford Glen Outdoor Education Center, Dining Hall

    Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. (30-minute lunch break)

    Brown bag lunch is recommended.

  • Pre-Retirement Webinars: The State Retirement Agency hosts pre-retirement webinars every month. If you are unable to attend the October 5 session, you may want to register for one of the webinars by clicking here. These webinars provide a general overview of Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (MSRPS) benefits, including a general description of retirement eligibility and benefits provided by the MSRPS. Questions? Please contact State Retirement Agency Member Services at 410-625-5555 / 800-492-5909 or sra@sra.state.md.us.

Our Education Foundation is Doing Great Things!

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Reminder: Have You Completed the Annual Responsible Use Procedure Training?

The annual Responsible Use Procedure Training must be completed by September 30, 2019. If the training is not completed by this date, an employee’s Internet access will be limited to HCPS online resources ONLY. Principals and department supervisors will receive a list on September 23, 2019, of those who have not completed the training. Individuals who have not completed will also receive an email reminder. Internet access limitations will begin on October 1 for employees who have not completed the required training.

To begin your training, click here, or open an Internet browser, and from the HCPS home screen, click the RUP Training tile. If you access the training module from a non-HCPS networked computer, you will be prompted to log in to Office 365.

The Growing Exceptional Teachers (GET More) Program

The GET More Program is a program that provides tuition reimbursement assistance incentives to current HCPS employees who are represented by Harford County Education Services Council (HCESC) or the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The purpose of providing this tuition reimbursement assistance is to allow program participants to complete a teacher certification program in a high needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and returning to work as a public school teacher in Harford County Public Schools. For more information please visit GET MORE APPLICATION. Questions regarding this information should be directed to: Ben Richardson, Human Resources, at Benjamin.Richardson2@hcps.org or x5226.

Spotlight on Customer Service

  • "We would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our [Bakerfield Elementary School] main office. The ladies welcomed many new families and students to start our year. They worked as a team to get the job done in a way that helped everyone feel great about coming to a new school community." -Tara Dedeaux, principal of Bakerfield Elementary School

  • "I would like to shout out my coworker, Lisa Smith. She is a fourth grade teacher and teacher in charge at Dublin Elementary. She goes above and beyond for all the staff members and students. She genuinely cares about the adults and children alike. If you are in need of help or are in a pinch she is the first person step in and help. She helps solve a majority of the scheduling issues and just plain issues throughout the building. Lisa does all of this with a smile! She is such a team player and we are so lucky to have her!" - Jamie Williams, school counselor at Dublin Elementary School


Professional Development Announcements

  • Goucher College: Goucher’s Graduate Program in Education offers a wide range of opportunities for professional development, educational advancement, and teacher preparation. Goucher College will hold an information session for their graduate cohort program with HCPS on Wednesday, October 9, at the Edgewood Library. Click here for details. Questions should be directed to Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org or x5621.

  • Johns Hopkins University: Johns Hopkins School of Education is hosting a Fall Open House on Saturday, October 12, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 6740 Alexander Bell Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046. This two-hour event provides a comprehensive look at available programs. Programs that will be represented include: Counseling and Human Development, Interdisciplinary Studies, Special Education, and Administration and Leadership. Please see the Fall Open House flier for more information. Click here to register to attend.

  • Concordia University: Concordia University is kicking off the 2019-2020 school year with newly added programs. Check out the exclusive Partner Flier for updates on new offerings for our district. Scholarships are available: $4,000 scholarship for MEd programs; $10,000 scholarship for the EdD programs; 20% off tuition for certificate programs.
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Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, communications 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.