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Staff Focus

Photos of exceptional staff

A world-class educational system fully leverages the talent, energy and creativity of highly engaged staff. Staff engagement is a prerequisite to student engagement so we foster a culture that brings out the best in our employees.

Staff Focus: Kathleen Wojcik, Agricultural Science Academy Teacher, Applications and Research Laboratory

Kathleen Wojcik exudes strength and competence as the first teacher of the newly re-established Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy (Agricultural Science Academy). All her experiences have equipped her for this role as not only teacher, but advocate for the agriculture industry and students considering an agriculture career path.

Staff Focus: Dr. Cherise Hunter, Policy Manager

Whether it’s ensuring all children receive an equitable education or finding a new slow cooker recipe her children will enjoy, HCPSS Policy Manager Dr. Cherise Hunter is always looking to improve the world around her–at work, in the community and at home.

Staff Focus: Derek Jackson, Second Grade Teacher, Gorman Crossing Elementary School

“It takes a village to raise a child” and “never ever give up, there shall be brighter days” are two mantras that ring true for Gorman Crossing Elementary School second grade teacher Derek Jackson, who found his adoptive family from the foster care system.

Staff Focus: Dawson Robertson, Program Head of Work Study/Transition

Dawson Robertson, HCPSS program head of Work Study/Transition, spent a decade exploring careers and the country before settling down in his home state to pursue his calling to help others.

Staff Focus: Lori Miller, ESOL Support Counselor

Growing up, HCPSS ESOL Support Counselor Lori Miller’s dream job was to be a foreign ambassador. In her current role, Miller supports English learners at Long Reach High School, Oakland Mills High School and the Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL), so as she sees it: “I feel that’s what I do now by working with families and students from all over the world.”

Staff Focus: Diane Caporaletti, Manager, Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School

Diane Caporaletti is the longtime manager of the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School, where she combines her facility management experience with her love of education. An alumna of Wilde Lake, Caporaletti excels as a jack of all trades, doing whatever needs to be done to help the shows shine bright.

Staff Focus: Kimberlyn Pratesi, Principal, Hammond Elementary School

Hammond Elementary School Principal Kimberlyn Pratesi’s passion for education has never wavered, from her childhood days playing school in her basement to winning this year’s HCPSS 2018 Principal of the Year award.

Staff Focus, Tracy Spillman, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher, Lime Kiln Middle School

Originally from Prince George’s County, Tracy Spillman began her teaching career at a Prince George’s elementary school. She was convinced by her then principal to look into and apply to teach in Howard County.

Staff Focus: Jen Andres, Mailroom Clerk

HCPSS Central Office Mailroom Clerk Jen Andres is a lifelong Howard County resident and Oakland Mills High School alumna. Central Office has enjoyed Andres’ infectious smile and passion for Baltimore sports during her 12 years working in the mailroom.

Staff Focus: Stephanie Geddie, Title I Point of Contact, Laurel Woods Elementary School

Laurel Woods Elementary School Title I Point of Contact Stephanie Geddie has journeyed from homelessness to Teacher of the Year. She channels the support of the strong community she had growing up into her current work engaging families and connecting with students, especially those in similar situations.