Friday, November 26, 2010

Leadership Video: How to Start a Movement

This production was made by Derek Sivers, who put the voiceover onto an existing YouTube clip - a mashup of the highest order in terms of adding value by interpreting. Derek then used it as a talk at the TED conference and got a standing ovation. (Source: The Leadership Hub)

Here's the link to Derek's original post with the full transcript on his blog:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

When I sit down this afternoon to eat dinner, I will be thankful for the following: my wonderful family, my two healthy kids, a great place to work and my friends who make me laugh.

I hope you enjoy your wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Wired: WLMS's Success is Featured at the ASBO Conference

I had the privilege of presenting at the Fall Conference for the Association of School Business Officials' this past Friday with two of my HCPSS colleagues Mike Borkoski and Jenny Elam. We shared how Wilde Lake Middle School's wireless and netbook pilot had been conceived, developed and successfully implemented during the last school year. We shared how thrilled students, staff and community members are about the success we have experienced due to this pilot and how this project is now being duplicated in other county schools.

I thoroughly enjoyed attending this conference and finding out more about the business side of public education. For more information about this organization and other events they hold, check out this link:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Dutch Visit WLMS

Yesterday, a commission of Dutch educators visited WLMS to see our award winning after school program. The commission is comprised of superintendents, school board members, policy makers and other educational professionals who have been charged with the task of exploring ways to reform the educational programs in the Netherlands. It seems educational reform is not only popular in the U.S.

It was a great opportunity to talk to these educators about our extended day programs that we offer and to share some of the lessons we have learned about providing extra time for students who need additional help. The Dutch educators explained that they are interested in extending their school day by providing additional support for students who were not born in the Netherlands and those students who are struggling.

This group of Dutch educators is visiting the U.S. this week to study programs developed by the University of Maryland, visit successful public schools in the state of Maryland and conduct meetings with officials from U.S . Department of Education. They hope to gain ideas on how they can enact reform like we are attempting to do here in the states.

It was truly an honor to have these folks visit our school. I want to thank my friend Jim DeGeorge, former HCPSS Principal and now a faculty member at the University of Maryland, for bringing this delegation to our school.

Thanks to Ms. Carmean, Ms. Smithson and our After School at the Lake staff for doing such a great job hosting our international visitors. From all reports, they were very impressed by what are students were doing. Great job!

Holocaust Survivor Visits WLMS and Makes Big Impact

Thanks to Ms. Swank, our students have been studying the Holocaust and the horrible consequences that result when people act out their hate. As a culmination to the unit, Mrs. Agi Geva visited our school to share her inspiring story about surviving the German death camps that were used during World War II that killed over 6 million Jews, as well as other people, who were hated by Hitler and his followers. Mrs. Geva shared with our 7th graders that no matter how dark and scary situations can get...there is always hope.

Agi Geva Agi Geva

Agi Geva was born in Budapest, Hungary on June 2, 1930. When the German occupation of Hungary occurred on March 19, 1944, Agi, her younger sister Zsuzsanna and her parents, Rozsa and Zoltan Laszlo had been living in Miskolcz.

Rozsa, Agi and Zsuzsanna were deported to Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi death camp in Poland. Despite many selections, Rozsa and her daughters managed to remain together throughout their ordeal.

After they had been in Auschwitz for several weeks they were transferred to Plaszow, where conditions became worse. When the camp at Plaszow was liquidated, the Nazis transported them back to Auschwitz. Harsher selections followed, yet they still succeeded to stick together.

A short time later they found themselves among 180 Hungarian and 20 Polish women who were selected for factory work. They were all transported to a small labor camp in Rochlitz, Austria, near Leipzig. There, they were trained to work at a factory that manufactured spare parts for airplanes. After the training period they were sent to the factory in Calw, near Stuttgart, Germany.

After working at the factory for several months, all of the women were sent on a forced march of 400 kilometers. The women on the march were liberated by the American army on April 28, 1945. Agi remained with her mother and sister in Innsbruck for eight months, and then they all returned to Hungary.

In 1949 Agi and Zsuzsanna immigrated to Israel. There, they each married (Zsuzsanna to a fellow survivor). Agi had two children and her sister had three. Zsuzsa went to live in Kibbutz Haogen where she still lives today. Agi’s mother, Rozsa, had remarried while she lived in Miskolcz. In 1956 she and her second husband, Dr. Sugar Gyula, made aliya to Israel. Rozsa died at the age of 98. She is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

After living in Israel for 53 years, Agi came to the United States to reside with her daughter. She has been a volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum since 2002. (resource:

Way to go Ms. Swank...thanks for inspiring us all to be our very best!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Fun Night Is A lot of Fun!

Thanks to the Wilde Lake Middle School Family Involvement Team (FIT) for organizing our annual Family Fun Night.

Here are some pictures from the festivities:

Sunday, November 14, 2010