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MCPS officials offer recommendations on school safety

  • Published in Local

MCPS logoLocal school officials say there is much to be done to insure greater school safety in the county.

Officials with Montgomery County Public Schools recently published an interim report on school safety and security in its 25 high schools. Superintendent Jack Smith commissioned this report last spring after an alleged rape case — which prosecutors later dropped — involving Rockville High School students in aschool bathroom garnered national attention.

The MCPS Department of School Safety and Security collaborated with school administrators and the Office School Support and Improvement along with two outside consulting experts to develop this report.

The study’s 30 recommendations are divided into seven key priority areas, which include systemwide prevention and early intervention programs and collaboration with law enforcement and other partner agencies. The recommendations themselves range from more intensive screening for hiring security personnel, to regular staff meetings on monitoring and responding to critical incidents.

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Rockville Rams make a comeback in soccer game over RM Rockets, 3-2

  • Published in Sports

MPI RMvR 0332 EditedDespite RM Rockets keeper Vicente Quispe’s best efforts, Feliz Rivera scores what would be the game-winning point for the Rockville Rams. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE – The Rockville Rams completed a 3-2 comeback in boys varsity soccer Saturday afternoon to defeat the Richard Montgomery Rockets.

Dominating possession and opening the score in the first half, Rockville went behind but managed to score. The Rams' efforts paid off as they scored the only goal in the second half to win the match.

"We went down early but we had to keep working hard and I think coming back and holding out for 20-plus minutes says a lot about our team and our character," said senior midfielder Bryce Orsini.

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Paint Branch Panthers beat RM Rockets 21-9

  • Published in Sports

PB Panthers

ROCKVILLE- The Paint Branch Panthers dominated the Richard Montgomery Rockets 21-9 Friday night. The Panthers now ride a two-game unbeaten streak as they handed the Rockets their first loss of the season.

The Rockets put up a good defensive showing, but could not keep up the pressure in the second half.

“Leaving a very good team and a very well-coached team like RM in the game, and you have scoring opportunities, was a mistake, cause I knew they would make us pay for it,” said Panthers head coach Mike Nesmith.

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Shay named MCPS 'Teacher of the Year'

  • Published in Local

MPI MoCoTchr 0010Nancy Shay, 2017 Montgomery County Teacher of the Year, strives to bring out the best in her students. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Nancy Shay sat perched atop her chair, encouraging her Richard Montgomery High School students not just to sing “Happy Birthday” to a fellow student, but to do it with as much feeling as they could possibly muster.

Whether it’s a simple song, a book the class is reading or a review of a movie they just saw, Shay, who was just named Montgomery County Public School Teacher of the Year, is determined to challenge every single one of her teenage students.

And her students know it.

“Her intonation, the way she gives life to books and films, and the way she is passionate” are the things that make Shay such a good teacher, said Emma McLeond, a junior.

“She’s always energized,” said junior Skyler Bozeman.

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Judge sets bond at $75k for MCPS security guard

  • Published in Crime

Yantsos-225x300Mark Yantsos. COURTESY PHOTO  

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division arrested a man Thursday who was a security officer for Montgomery County Public Schools, on the charge of inappropriate contact with a minor, according to a news release. A County District Court Judge placed the suspect on $75,000 bond Friday.

Police arrested Mark Christopher Yantsos, 57, at his home on the 600 block of Warfield Drive, according to the release. Police charged him with sexual abuse of a minor and fourth-degree sexual offense and then took him to the Central Processing Unit.

“It was reported to us by the school that he (Yantsos) was having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old,” Montgomery County Police spokesperson Officer Rick Goodale said.

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Rockville embraces culture, diversity at MLK celebration

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – The modern-day dream was the theme as performances and presentations honored slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday at a 45th annual celebration.

The event, held at Richard Montgomery, included dance, musical performances, poetry by students and an adult community member, awards and a keynote speech.

The tribute began with a procession consisting of West African choreography performed by dancers from Katherine Smith Contemporary Dance Ensemble, which is based in Prince George’s County. The dancers went up the aisles toward the stage in vibrant costumes. A drum group called Soul in Motion led the procession and accompanied the dancers on African drums.

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Police charge three in R.M. protest scuffle

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Rockville Police charged three 17-year-old boys with second-degree assault of a 15-year-old during a high school protest in downtown Rockville Nov. 16 , police spokesperson Maj. Eric Over said.

Police reviewed additional video footage of the incident in order to identify the individuals involved and determine the charges, Over said. The case will be passed on to the family crimes division of Montgomery County Police.

“Family crimes division will get a copy of the report, and they’ll pull the videos,” Over said. “It could be a matter of weeks.”

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Vandalism and Protests!

  • Published in Local

Protesters take to county streets after vandals strike at churches and schools

MP1 3780High school students from Richard Montgomery marched into Rockville Wednesday afternoon to protest.  PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

ROCKVILLE – Hundreds of Richard Montgomery High School students walked out of school Wednesday morning, and gathered at the old Montgomery County Court House protesting Donald Trump’s presidential election.

Meanwhile in Silver Spring, students from Blake, Springbrook and Paint Branch also took to the streets in protest of the election, chanting, “Love trumps hate,” a chant echoed by their fellow students in Rockville.

Seneca Valley and Northwest students also walked out in Germantown and Quince Orchard students did the same in Gaithersburg, according to Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala.

While students voiced different opinions about the purpose of the protest, the common theme they expressed was one of unity, repeatedly chanting Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan “Stronger Together.”

“Unfortunately, the election was an election of hate,” said sophomore Allison Kuentz into a loud speaker. “Sexism won. Hate won. Racism won. Homophobia won. Trump didn’t win. And we’re going to keep fighting because we’re stronger together. Always remember, we’re stronger together, So long as we keep fighting for what we believe in, we have hope for the future.”

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