Nov 21, 2021

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.  Its members, throughout the United States and the world, are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in public and private sectors.

On December 17, 2020, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wicomico County Branch hosted the Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers Ceremony via Zoom, due to Covid-19 guidelines to keep all safe and healthy.

Willie Flowers, President of Maryland State Conference of Branches, was the Keynote Speaker during the Installation Ceremony.

The Wicomico County Education Association (WCEA) proudly congratulates each of the newly elected officers, who will serve from January 1, 2021- December 31, 2022:  Dr. Brante’ Dashiell, President; Amanda Hopkins, 1st Vice President; Kelsie Mattox, 2nd Vice President; Dionne Church, Secretary; Ethel Taylor, Treasurer; Members-at-Large – Bishop Leon Wilson, Sandra Martin and President Emeritus Mary Ashanti.

President Emeritus Mary Ashanti, a forceful leader in the NAACP for 24 years was honored for her tireless work and numerous accomplishments to ensure equality and the rights of all people.

In her first report as president, President Brante’ Dashiell spoke of her plans.  One major effort is to improve education for all children, particularly during the COVID pandemic.   President Dashiell will work to ensure that all children receive equitable educational resources.

WCEA extends deepest sympathy to the family of Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, you are in our thoughts and in our prayers. 

Pinehurst Elementary School’s Jill Gilmore Named the 2020 WCEA Education Support Professional of the Year

Pinehurst Elementary School’s Jill Gilmore, an Instructional Assistant, was named the 2020 Wicomico County Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year June 1, 2020 in a surprise announcement video through social media.

To see the surprise video announcement, please visit: https://youtu.be/3lbuZT7M2MA

Ms. Jill Gilmore has been an Instructional Assistant at Pinehurst Elementary School for several years.  As an Instructional Assistant, Jill has functioned at both the right and left hand of teachers:  implementing instructional programs, reinforcing instruction, helping to assess students’ progress, and performing other duties to support instruction.  She successfully deals with students individually and in small groups.

As a member and Building Representative of WCEA, Jill has actively recruited several new members.  She participates in local trainings and she helps prepare WCEA SWAG bags for the WCEA New Teacher Luncheon. Additionally, Jill operates the welcome table, hands out WCEA SWAG bags, and photographs New Teachers and WCEA recruiters in action.

Jill has been a WCEA Support Staff Team Negotiator. The year that our Support Staff chose to declare the negotiations at impasse resulted in several important “contract language” wins.

Jill has also been a part of the WCEA Elections Committee overseeing the elections process, procedures and announcing the results.  This year Jill chaired the committee.

Ms. Jill Gilmore’s tireless work with students and within WCEA have led to this nomination for WCEA ESP of the Year.

Finalists were evaluated according to the following five criteria: Professional Practice; Member Advocacy and Association Involvement; Community Engagement; Personal Achievement and Enhancement of ESP Image.

On Enhancement ESP Image, Jill said “ESP’s are needed to make the school day run efficiently. I think it is important for everyone to recognize custodians, nurses, office staff and instructional assistants. This year I have taken part in after-school events like our Boards and Books Night and our Drama Department’s play this year. This year I have collaborated with fellow teachers and Instructional Assistants on video messages and posts to our staff and students, showing a camaraderie that unifies the school. When ESP are part of these events, it lets the community know that our staff are invested in our students.”

This is not the first time that Ms. Gilmore has been recognized as an outstanding ESP. She was nominated for the WCEA ESP of the Year award consistently over the past three years.

Her thoughts on professional practice as part her writing prompt: “As an Instructional Assistant at Pinehurst Elementary, I have been entrusted with producing the morning announcements which broadcast school wide. I make sure to highlight and reinforce material from all grades, special areas, Adaptive classes, and extra-curricular activities. I include trivia for both students and staff, create songs and props based on what may be happening during ELA lessons, P.E., or during testing season. I try to incorporate how our school pledge can guide students in being a successful and kind person every day. I try to incorporate historical information to teach how it has influenced why we do certain things today.  During my class time, I often try to supplement what the teacher is working on by bringing in materials or examples of what they are teaching. I believe the more varied exposure our students have to a subject, the better they will absorb the material. Additionally, taking care of the students I work with is especially important to me. Having them know that I am there for THEM creates a feeling of trust and security for the student. Over the past few years, I feel I have gained more assertiveness regarding all of our Instructional Assistants and issues that concern them. I have always carried myself professionally and earned positive evaluations every year. I attend Professional Development sessions provided to I.A.’s to learn new concepts and apply them in the classroom. I am always learning something new.”

Ms. Gilmore received an Associate’s degree in Elementary Education from Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts, and was hired in September 2010 at South Elementary School in Somerset, Massachusetts. She worked there until June 2015. Ms. Gilmore then moved to Maryland and was hired at Pinehurst Elementary School in January 2016.

2020 ESP of the Year Jill Gilmore represents the outstanding educational support staff of Wicomico County Public Schools that are members of the Wicomico County Education Association. For the next year, she will represent the education support staff of the Wicomico County Education Association and will move onto the state level of the Maryland State Education Association level competition.

Top ESP Members

The Wicomico County Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year program spotlights not just the year’s most outstanding ESP member, but all Wicomico educational support members who demonstrate professional Practice; member advocacy and association involvement; community engagement; personal achievement and enhancement of ESP image. Many ESP members were nominated for ESP of the Year. After rating reviews by the selection committee, 8 semifinalists were selected.

The finalists and winner would have been named at the End of the Year Social traditionally held in May or June, but the social was put on hold along with all other events when schools were closed as part of the pandemic response. The three finalists were asked to participate in a surprise announcement meeting with Mr. James McCrobie, WCEA ESP of the Year Selection Committee Chair and Ms. Joan Smith, WCEA President on June 1st. During this surprise announcement, Ms. Smith shared the good news.

Finalists, in addition to Ms. Gilmore, are:

Michelle Gale: Instructional Assistant, Parkside High/CTE

Kim Upton: School Nurse, Bennett Middle

The other 2020 semifinalists are:

Lakeisha Branyon: Instructional Assistant, East Salisbury Elementary

Steve Fitz Coy: Home School Liaison, Wicomico Middle

Rasheidra Harmon: Instructional Assistant, Choices Academy

Annette Jones: Instructional Assistant, Pemberton Elementary

Kristen Spicer: Braille Transcriptionist, James M. Bennett High- Vision Department

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