Williamsport teachers and students, Eastern Elementary School honored by state

22 February 2024- The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education is honoring two Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) teachers, two WCPS students, and Eastern Elementary School with awards recognizing their accomplishments in gifted and talented education.

Williamsport Elementary School teachers Kimberlie Grabenstein and Stephanie Twigg have each been honored with Teacher Accomplishment in Gifted and Talented Education Awards. The awards recognize teachers who address the needs of gifted and talented students beyond the required expectations of their positions, participate in ongoing professional development, and demonstrate leadership by coaching and mentoring peers as well as developing curriculum.

Pictured above: Eastern Elementary staff, Keilani Davis, Board of Education members

Keilani Davis and Williamsport Elementary School student Daniella Ayenu were both recognized with Student Accomplishment in Gifted and Talented Education Awards. Davis’ award came in recognition of her leadership and performance in the classroom as well as her participation in numerous clubs and extracurricular activities. Ayenu was honored for her high academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activities, and her award-winning summer research project focusing on the idea of green living at the William Brish Planetarium of Washington County Public Schools.

Pictured above (L to R): Stephanie Twigg, Daniella Ayenu, and Kimberlie Grabenstein; Board of Education members

In addition, Eastern Elementary School has been designated a 2023 Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School. Just 14 schools from across the state received the designation this year.

The EGATE designation recognizes PK-12 Maryland Public Schools that have gifted and talented education programs aligned with Maryland’s Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13a.04.07 Gifted and Talented Education. The EGATE designation lasts for five years.

Schools seeking the EGATE designation must complete an intensive application process and submit an ePortfolio describing the achievements of their gifted and talented education program from the last two school years and the start of the submission school year. The application and ePortfolio must also document how the school’s gifted and talented program aligns with state guidelines and regulations.