Cumberland Times-News

February 5, 2010

Allegany County staff, students to receive state gifted/talented education awards

For the Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County educators and students will be honored by the Maryland State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education at a reception in Annapolis later this month.

Supervisor of Social Studies Dan Whetzel, Allegany High School teacher Brian White and Fort Hill High School sophomore Amanda Carlin will be recognized along with Allegany High School’s annual oral history project at the Feb. 24 event. Allegany County PTA President Donna Shaffer submitted the nominations.

The reception recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of educators, students and community members who represent a number of school systems throughout Maryland.

Whetzel has been nominated for the Outstanding Educator/Program Coordinator award for significant contributions to expanding and improving school programs and his leadership in gifted and talented education at the state and national levels. He taught social studies for 28 years prior to being named supervisor.

Whetzel has authored two books on local history and is a staff writer for a regional publication that features historical and cultural highlights of Western Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

White has been nominated for the Outstanding Educator/Teacher as a Leader award. He works directly with many talented students, pursues ongoing professional development, and demonstrates peer leadership in gifted and talented education. White teaches advanced placement U.S. history and human geography and historical research methods. For the past 10 years, students enrolled in historical research methods have published an oral history book documenting events and time periods in local history. It is the only course of its kind in the country. He is also the assistant band director and coach of the varsity mock trial team.

Carlin is a sophomore who has been nominated for the student award because she performs at remarkably high levels and has participated in gifted and talented programs at school. She carries a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in all honors courses and recently completed honors algebra II in one semester.

A member of the mock trial and debate teams, Student Advisory Committee and Girl Scouts of America, she is also the vice president of her sophomore class. Carlin hopes to attend MIT or Carnegie Mellon upon graduation and plans to major in engineering or aero space.

Allegany High School’s oral history projects for the past 10 years will be on display during the reception. Most recently, students from Allegany and Fort Hill High School’s oral history courses collaborated to produce a book titled “Hidden Stories, Discovered Voices: A History of African Americans in Cumberland, Maryland.”