(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

Ms. Saniya Vashist graduated from River Hill School in 2020. She is attending Stanford University, majoring International Relations and Economics.

Saniya will talk about her gap year choice and her experience receiving support from the Bill&Melinda Gaits Foundation on her CodeHer project. codeHER is an international female youth-run nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, minorities, and at-risk youth. This project was reported on BaltimoreSun https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland…

You will find more interesting story from her in this interview. Please tune in.

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

Ms. Luz Angelica Serna graduated from Hammond High School in 2019. She is attending University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring in psychology.

In the interview, Luz shared her experience on to balance on activities, overcoming challenges and charged forward to find her interest. Luz also shared why she chose UMBC and psychology as her major. She also talked about the challenge Hammond High School was facing, for example, not renovated for a long time. The good news is that Hammond High School is under renovation (unfortunately after Luz’s graduation) and due to complete in 2023.

There is more to learn. Please tune in.

My article on Baltimore Sun: Proposal for central library in downtown Columbia

I wrote a short article on the Baltimore Sun ( which will be shared on Howard County Times, Columbia Flier).

I am worried about the lack of coherent plan and long term vision for the county. There is a plan to relocate the central library in the 2016 Downtown Columbia TIF plan. Now the County Executive and County Council changed hand, there has not been any discussion (or serious discussion) any more. Recent discussion on the Toby theater, Downtown Culture Center, Affordable housing prompted me to write this article. Columbia will be totally built out soon and we need to process with caution on every land use.

I also shared similar concerns during yesterday’s BOE and County Council meeting. Where do we find school site land for the students from planned 30,000 population for Downtown Columbia?

Any decisions we make today will have a long-term impact for our future. One example is the Turf Vally development where APFO requirement was waived and no school site was reserved. Now we need pay over 6.5 million dollars for an elementary school site (around 10 acres). If they planned/reserved for a school site 20 years, it was probably free.

The reality is that people made those decision some time ago either moved up or retired. We are bearing the consequence now. I believe we can do better.

(23) 2020 Interview with Abigail Furman, Howard High School, UMCP

(23) 2020 Interview with Abigail Furman, Howard High School, UMCP

Ms. Abigail Furman graduated from Howard High School in 2020. She will join University of Maryland, College Park and her major is English, Literature and Language.

Abigail shared her way to have a good routine using a hand-written calendar in her senior, jogging between academics, extra-curriculum activities and internships. She discussed her experience in the Project Lead the Way at ARL, which was difficult, but very valuable. Her advice: That one test does not matter. It is going to be OK. Don’t burn out.

Please tune in for more.

(22) 2020 Interview with Bridgette Kim, Johns Hopkins University

(22) 2020 Interview with Bridgette Kim, Johns Hopkins University

Ms. Bridgette Kim graduated from Pointers Run Elementary School and Lime Kiln Middle School and Our Lady of Good Counsel High School of Montgomery County in 2019. She is attending the Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University.

Bridgette is the first student I interviewed who graduated from a private high school, but attended the elementary school and middle school in HCPSS. In the interview, she compared the difference between her private high school experience and her friends’ HCPSS experience. She talked about sports, academics, clubs and many extra-curriculum activities, even her college intern experience. She is actively serving communities both locally and in Baltimore City.

There is more to share. Please tune in.

(21) 2020 Interview with Ian Lang, Wilde Lake High School, UMBC

(21) 2020 Interview with Ian Lang, Wilde Lake High School, UMBC

Mr. Ian Lang, graduated from Wilde Lake High School in 2019. He is attending University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring mathematics and economics. I

n high school, he did a lot of music program. His challenge in the senior year came from his chamber choir, a GT level choir course. He adjusted his learning style and pace eventually and built his confidence. He also shared his experience on how he received his first C grade, and then adjust himself and overcame the challenge. He found his interest in math and eventually chose math as his major, while exploring interest in economics.

There are more to share. Please tune in.

HCPSS superintendent’s report 2020-10-08

In this week’s report, Dr. Martirano talked about

  • Recognition of National Board Certified Nurses,
  • Jumpstart Participation
  • Partnership Report
  • Online Learning
  • Small Group In-Person Support
  • SRO Review Process
  • Hybrid/Transportation Survey
  • Meals
  • Testing
  • Access to Learning Fund and Bright Minds Golf Tournament Update
  • Social distancing/health reminder
  • Athletics

The report is here:

Timbers at Troy Revenue and Expenses in the last 10 years

Last week I made a motion to put HS 14 in Elkridge back into HCPSS long term capital budget and the board approved that motion. I have been receiving some feedbacks from the community. One feedback is about the Timbers at Troy golf course. That golf course was discussed as one possible HS 14 site.

Here is the Timbers at Troy revenue and expenses in the last ten years. The golf court unfortunately is running red for the last several years. It lost 1.4 million in 2017, 0.439 million in 2018 and 1.5 million in 2019.

I am wondering how many golf courses the county owns and how well they are running in the last 10 years. I know Columbia Association’s golf courses have been facing some financial difficulties in the past several years too. How can we improve this situation? Or the sport of golf is not as attractive as before?

Apply to Participate in a Focus Group About SROs

Here is FAQ for SRO.


Apply to Participate in a Focus Group About SROs

Howard County Government and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) are sponsoring a series of virtual feedback sessions, designed to hear from as many stakeholders as possible on the School Resource Officer (SRO) program in HCPSS. The first of these sessions is a virtual focus group for the students and families of middle and high schools with SROs, because we feel it is important to hear from the young people who interact with SROs on a daily basis while at school.  

The virtual focus group will be held on October 5, 2020 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Interested participants should fill out this application no later than Thursday, October 1, 2020. Please make sure to answer all required fields. After the deadline, a randomly selected group of applicants will be chosen to participate in the focus group, divided equally among those who support SROs, are opposed to SROs, and have no position on SROs. The number of participants will be a representative sample of the number of applicants who submit. Information on the number of completed applications and the percentage selected to participate will be made public; however, the names of the participants will not be identified to protect privacy and the validity of the data collected.
To participate, students need parent or legal guardian approval and one parent or guardian willing to attend the virtual focus group with the student. If you are interested in participating in the focus group, please apply at the link below:
SROs in Schools Student and Families Virtual Focus Group (October 5, 2020, 6:30-8 p.m.)
Selected participants will receive an email containing log in information for the focus group. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kevin Gilbert at kevin_gilbert@hcpss.org or Stephanie Wall at swall@howardcountymd.gov.
Please note, those not chosen to participate in this focus group will have an opportunity to give their feedback on SROs as part of a virtual town hall scheduled on November 12, 2020.

(20) 2020 Interview with Ethan Fan, Atholton High School, Georgetown University

(20) 2020 Interview with Ethan Fan, Atholton High School, Georgetown University

Mr. Ethan Fan graduated from Atholton High School. He will join Georgetown University, majoring Biology of Global Health.

In his college application, he said: Don’t let perfection become procrastination. At first, he hesitated to write the application. Then he realized he just needed to write something, little by little and built on that.

He shared that a mindset of going forward and trying something new was critical for the high school success. One reason for his college choice is because he wants to stay close to his parent during the pandemic.

There are much more to learn. Please tune in.