Assignment Education

Local Teachers Named Contest Finalists

Two neighborhood teachers were recently chosen as finalists in The Gazette’s “My Favorite Teacher” contest. Among the Montgomery County nominees, Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES) first grade teacher Erika Huyck was selected as a finalist in the elementary school category, and Lakelands Park Middle School (LPMS) health teacher Matthew Bittner was named a finalist in the middle school category.

Students wrote essays to nominate teachers for the contest, and 10 were selected as finalists from each level (elementary, middle and high school) in the county.

Huyck, a first grade teacher, was nominated by former student Lindsey Farber. In her essay she described how Huyck helped her overcome selective mutism by fostering trust and giving her individualized attention.

“Lindsey’s essay brought me to tears,” said Hyuck. “I knew we had a special connection, but her willingness to bring her difficulties to light for me to win an award … that was unbelieveable.”

Hyuck has been a RCES teacher for four years. “I love the children here,” she said. “They have so much to share and give to each other from their own life experiences. It is a really wonderful place to learn because of the children who come here.”

Seventh grader Hannah Crook nominated Bittner for the contest, saying he is her role model.

Now in his 21st year of teaching, Bittner has taught health at LPMS for six years, since the school opened.

“I love this school,” he said in a recent Town Courier interview. “We have got great kids and great parents.”

Online voting for the contest ended on Nov. 12. Winners will be announced in December.

— Claire Fleischer

QOHS Announces Deadline for National Arts Competition, “Reflections”

Quince Orchard High School is participating for the second year in the National PTA “Reflections” competition, which recognizes student achievement in the arts. The competition is intended to let students express their creativity and receive positive recognition for original works of art. It is also intended to increase community awareness on the importance of art in education.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Together We Can …”. Students are encouraged to create an original work of art based on the theme and may submit entries in any of six categories: Literature, Musical Composition, Photography, Visual Arts, Dance Choreography, and Film/Video Production. Entries will be judged first at the local level where selected works will continue to compete at subsequent levels.

The contest deadline is Dec. 3 at the end of the school day. Late entries cannot be accepted. Entry forms and rules are available online at or in room 119G. See Ms. Newcomer for additional information, or contact PTSA Chair Sharon Amatetti at Information on the national competition is available at

Barnes & Noble Book Sale to Benefit QOHS PTSA

Is someone on your shopping list asking for books, DVDs, CDs, educational toys and games, the NOOK or even Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes? Do your shopping at the Washingtonian Center Barnes & Noble, get your purchases gift wrapped for free, and help out the Quince Orchard High School (QOHS) PTSA.

The QOHS PTSA will earn a percentage of anything bought in the store on Thursday, Dec. 9 between 9 a.m. and
11 p.m. as long as you mention the QOHS Book Fair #10310050 at the register.

Even online purchases will benefit the school. Simply shop online at bookfairs” from Dec. 9 to 14 and include the Book Fair #10310050 on the payment page during checkout.

Art Sale for City Scholarship

Fundraising Adventures is sponsoring a unique shopping event to raise money for the Dolores Swoyer Summer Camp Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to deserving children who might not otherwise afford to attend City of Gaithersburg summer camps.

“Creative Women and Their Art” will take place on Nov. 27, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Holiday Inn at 2 Montgomery Village Avenue in Gaithersburg. The event will showcase works by local artists who make their unique creations available for purchase. These pieces include original watercolor and oil paintings, innovative jewelry, stunning pottery, fashion accessories, and quilts. Admission to the event is free.

Formed as a nonprofit organization in 2009, Fundraising Adventures hosts lectures, art and music events in unique venues that are designed to expand the way patrons view the world. Through admission fees and art sales, the organization raises funds for community causes, including the Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship Fund in Gaithersburg. For more information, please contact Dianne J. Lange at 301.946.4983, or Grace D. Eitreim at 301.740.9526,