A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
This will be my last blog post! It is time to give Kristin her place to inspire and reflect. I hope that she enjoys it as much as I have.
I am so thankful for the experience of this year. I have learned so much in the role of Harford County’s Teacher of the Year. This was an amazing opportunity for me to realize that my calling is still my calling and that my fire for it burns brightly.
In one of my favorite novels by Beth Hoffman entitled, “Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt”, a young character struggles to find her place in the world after her mother dies. Cee Cee, the main character, ends up living with her Aunt Tootie in Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie introduces Cee Cee to a crazy cast of characters but also guides her toward a purposeful life. One of my favorite passages reads,
“She glanced over her shoulder at the house, which was now bathed in a warm tint of yellow from the sun. “Yes, everyone needs to find the one thing that brings out her passion. It’s what we do and share with the world that matters. I believe it’s important that we leave our communities in better shape that we found them. Cecelia Rose," she said, reaching for my hand, "Far too many people die with a heart that's gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. Life will offer us amazing opportunities, but we've got to be awake to recognize them."She rested her hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. "If there's one thing I'd like most for you, it’s that you'll find your calling in life. That's where true happiness and purpose lie. Whether it’s taking care of abandoned animals, saving old houses from the wreckin' ball or reading to the blind, you've got to find your fire, sugar. You'll never be fulfilled if you don't.""But how will I know what my fire is?""Oh, you'll know. One day you'll do something, see something or get an idea that seems to pop up from nowhere. And you'll feel a kind of stirring- like a warm flicker inside your chest. When that happens, whatever you do, don't ignore it. Open your mind and explore the idea. Fan your flame. And when you do, you'll have found it.” Beth Hoffman, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
That flicker that started inside my chest almost twenty years ago still burns bright. I am still so proud to be a teacher. I still believe that connecting students to potent ideas will yield great things. I still believe in all that we do.
Once again, I need to say thank you to all of those colleagues, administrators, family and friends who have helped me to tend my fire as a teacher. I would not have been a Teacher of the Year without what you have given me.
It has been a pleasure. It has always been a pleasure to work with so many innovators, creators, dreamers, and leaders. I am excited to watch Kristin’s journey and to read her thoughts in the coming year!
“[...] each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves” Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
Thank you for the fire that you have given me this year! Blessings for continued success!
Christina O'Neill has served the students, staff and community of Harford County for the last 18 years. She has served as a teacher, reading specialist, literacy leader and volunteer with HCPS. Ms. O'Neill earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of Notre Dame in 1993, a Masters of Education from Loyola College in 1997 and administrative certification from Towson University in 2003. At the local, state, and national levels, she has presented on issues related to leading and learning, school improvement and state assessments. Currently, Ms. O'Neill is a member of the Instructional Leadership and School Improvement teams at Bel Air Middle School (BAMS). She volunteers her time and resources to initiate school-based service learning projects such as a letter writing campaign to the United States Military, collecting items for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and participating in American Heart Association's Hoops for the Heart initiative. Ms. O'Neill also organizes a book breakfast for the entire BAMS staff in January, giving teachers a chance to share and exchange current books, create reading profiles to engage students as readers and donate books to women's shelters and other organizations. When she is not dedicating her time and talents, Ms. O'Neill teaches Sunday school at her church and serves as a parent liaison for the Monkton Country Day Care Center.
Due to an ongoing power outage that is expected to last for a few more hours, North Bend will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. TODAY, Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
Primary and emergency contacts for students at North Bend Elementary School will receive this message via our mass notification system.
12/7/2022 10:47:57 AM
The following message will be sent to all staff, parents and guardians, via phone, email, and text message on December 7, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.:
On Friday, December 9, 2022, all schools will dismiss 3 hours early for students. Please note, half-day PreK will NOT meet on early dismissal dates.
Calendar information for the entire 2022-2023 school year can be found on hcps.org.
12/7/2022 8:11 AM
The following message will be sent to staff and families December 6, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. via phone, email, and text message:
The window is now open to nominate your favorite teacher from this year, or years past, for the 2023 Teacher of the Year!
Visit hcps.org and click “learn more” in the banner at the top of the page to share a few sentences on why you want your school to consider nominating your favorite teacher this year! The program will look slightly different this year as HCPS will celebrate a night of excellence in education when the Teacher of the Year is announced. In addition to announcing the 2023 Teacher of the Year, we will honor retired or former teachers who will be inducted into the Teacher Hall of Fame.
We want to thank HarfordTV who is planning to broadcast the culminating event on April 12, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. (mark your calendar now!) via their Facebook Live as well as recording for later viewing. Local businesses and community members continue to play an integral part in showing our appreciation for our educators and we look forward to celebrating with everyone again this year! If you or your business would like to support the program this year, please reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Nominations are due by January 4, 2023. Don't delay- submit your nomination here as soon as possible.
12/6/2022 10:55 AM
11/17/2022 12:59 PM
The following message will be sent via phone, email, and text message to all parents and guardians at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2022:
If you are active military personnel, a civilian or federal employee working and/or living on federal property, your child has received or will receive a form to be completed and returned to school. If your child is not attending school in person, please find a blank form attached to this email. It is very important that we receive the completed form from you, as this is a means of funding that will impact your child’s school system. Persons working on federal property, please be sure to complete the box indicating the specific location of your employment. The forms should be returned to school with your child no later than Friday, November 11, 2022. Blank forms are also available on www.hcps.org on the Resources for Parents page under ‘Forms and Documents.’ Please contact your school if you have any questions.
11/1/2022 8:00 AM
The following message will be sent via phone, email, and text message to all parents and guardians at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2022:
Maryland legislation now requires notification of parent/guardians when a student meal account balance becomes low.
This is to notify you that parents and guardians will soon begin to receive monthly automated communications via phone and email when your student’s meal account reaches $2.60. Notification at this amount will ensure you’re aware you have funds remaining for approximately one meal.
Students without funds on their account will still receive a meal that is charged to their account but will not be able to purchase any snack items, even with cash. Consequently, families with a balance LESS THAN $0 will receive a weekly call notifying that your account balance needs to be paid.
We encourage families to login to your MySchoolBucks account and set your own balance reminders above $2.60 to avoid receiving the monthly or weekly notices. Please note, if you opt out of the balance alerts when they begin, you will be opting yourself out of receiving all HCPS outreach communications.
Federal waivers allowing universally free school meals ended June 30, 2022 – students who do not qualify for meal benefits or whose applications for meal benefits from previous years expired must pay $2.50 for lunch in elementary schools or $2.60 for lunch in secondary schools. The online meal benefit application is available at www.hcpsmenus.com.
If you are unsure of your MySchoolBucks account or balance information, contact Food and Nutrition Services at 410-638-4078 for assistance.
10/27/2022 12:38 PM
10/4/2022 8:35 AM
Click Here to view archived alerts.