features » blairconnection


Charles, Emanuel

By Zoe Norvell | Oct. 3, 2005, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

At first glance, the guy leaning against the gym's wall, exchanging daps and a quick "What's up?" with the tall basketball players that walk by him, looks like a fellow student, ready to follow them on the court and "play some ball" with them. But in fact he's there to supervise the boys during open gym. The guy is Emanuel Charles, a second year Physical Education teacher at Blair.


Wisniewski, Anne

By Pria Anand | April 1, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

A young man arrived at a naval hospital in Bethesda during the Vietnam War, comatose after driving a truck into a brick wall. His prognosis was grim: doctors had little hope of recovery. Enter Anne Wisniewski and her fellow nurses. They walked him up and down his ward everyday, two propelling his legs and a third supporting him from behind. After a year, he could walk and talk independently.


Donaldson, Robert

By | April 1, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Cheers filled the air as a person stepped up to the podium to speak. As the person started to speak, it suddenly became deathly still as his voice was carried all the way to the back of the crowd by the microphone. Robert Donaldson stood there in place, entranced, as he listened, his light blue eyes fixed on the speaker. It is August 28, 1963, during the famous March on Washington, the pinnacle of the Civil Rights Movement.


Holmes, Abigail

By | March 31, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Special Ed teacher Abigail Holmes calmly sits in her chair with her legs crossed and a smile on her face. She wears a black dress and a pair of high-heeled shoes and leans onto her desk in a relaxed manner like a cat sitting by a sun-lit window.


Brandt, Karen

By | March 29, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Karen Brandt politely asks the students in her room to turn the volume down on the television. The music video becomes less noisy as one of the ten or fifteen students presses a button on the remote.


Clay, Adam

By | March 17, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Sitting behind his classroom's overhead projector, ninth grade English teacher Adam Clay twiddles his fingers. His eyes are tense as he realizes something important, and puts his hands on his knees.


Ivey, Sandra

By | March 16, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Sandra Ivey sits down after deciding how long to heat her lunch in the English department's microwave. She has a welcoming smile that encourages friendlyconversations. In fact, her whole manner reflects her friendly personality, from her casual blue jeans to her face that is always accompanied by a grin.


Cannon, Lisa

By | March 16, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

A river in Vermont is at flood stage. Water rushes rapidly, pushing a woman into a fallen tree. Her friends watch in terror as the woman is helplesslytrapped, pinned between the tree and her kayak. But suddenly, she is able to save herself.


Mogge, James

By | Feb. 19, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Leaning back in his office chair, James Mogge takes the time to recall his career in teaching. He places his hands behind his head, relaxed and focused on the questions at the same time. Mogge pauses for a second as he adds up the numbers in his head before revealing that he has taught at four different high schools over his 22-year career. He moves on to recollect the experiences of his life as a teacher.


Manuel, Anne

By | Feb. 18, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Many people make a career decision right after they earn their college degree. However, there are others, like Anne Manuel, who decided to take chances and pursue adventures before settling down.


Costello, Maria

By | Feb. 18, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Strum, Strum. Quietly but persistently, a lone guitar sings a song to all nearby. The melody seems out of place, alone, and the musician oblivious to his surroundings. Suddenly, a second pair of hands grabs the guitar, and wrench it from the owner's grasp. In a swift movement, the intruder swings the instrument through the air, straight at the guitarist's head. At the last moment, the attacker changes course, and the guitar instead smashes into a thousand pieces on the floor.


Ravilious, Rondai

By | Feb. 17, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

At 2:10 p.m., the rhythmic, pre-recorded bell sounds in Blair's hallways.Wading through the tide of rushing bodies and bulging backpacks, socialstudies teacher Rondai Ravilious pushes a paper-, book-, and file-filledcart on the way to her eighth-period classroom. Forty-six minutes andone AP World History class later, she works her way to the Social StudiesOffice but is stopped within the doorway when addressed by a student, ateacher, and an urgent telephone call.


O'Connor, Kelly

By | Feb. 17, 2004, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Kelly Newman takes a break from her busy day of teaching classes full of eager students. She speaks to the other English teachers in room 141 during 5A lunch, her gestures radiating an aura of enthusiasm.


MacDonald, John

By | June 16, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

After high school, John Macdonald looked forward to a future with professional baseball. However, soon after Macdonald graduated from Blair High school in 1980, he altered his aspirations and chose to become a teacher because of his attachment to Blair. "I feel very loyal to Blair High School. I wouldn't want to teach or coach anywhere else. I feel like I have been here since 1978. There really were only two years, 1981 and 1982, where I wasn't here," said Mr. MacDonald.


Bohorquez, Margarita

By | May 1, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Modern World and ESOL teacher Margarita Bohorquez is an easy-going, laid back kind of person. She sits at her desk smiling, decked out in a sweatshirt and jeans. However, she did not always want to be a teacher. "I was after fortune and fame [in college], so law became important, "Bohorquez said, chuckling. When Bohorquez was six, her role model was her grandmother, who was a teacher. From that point on, she knew she wanted to get into a profession where she could help people. However, once she became a lawyer, she realized that she was not achieving her goal to the fullest. "I found I could do more in education,” she said, comparing her ability to help people in the two professions. "In law I was more often mending fences than actually helping people.”


Lindsey, Earl W.

By | May 1, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Upon first glance at math teacher Earl W. Lindsey, the first thing you would not think is not that he teaches geometry, or that he is married with three children. Instead, you would wonder to yourself, "Who is this young man, and how does he juggle teaching math, coaching the Blair JV football team, and spending time with his family all at one time?” The answer to your question would be a simple one: with determination, patience, and a dream of helping to shape America's future.


Bosse, Angelique

By | May 1, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

KISS, Motley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Ratt: all hard rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s that any grungy metalhead would gleefully slam around to. As science teacher Ms. Angelique Bosse proves, petite and down to earth mothers of two can love these bands as well.


Grossman, Mark

By | April 30, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Mark Grossman, 28, is excited about his first year of teaching. He was born in Silver Spring, but Grossman grew up in Bexley, Ohio where he attended high school there. He returned to Maryland to attend Goucher College in Baltimore where he majored in European Colonial History and minored in economics. He enjoys gardening, swimming, reading, and playing guitar. However, despite these ordinary hobbies, his life has been nothing of the sort.


Backus, Leslie

By | April 30, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Leslie Backus deals with plants every day as the horticulture teacher at Montgomery Blair High School. Her leisure pursuits include gardening, motorcycling and devouring books. "I read a lot of science fiction and mysteries,” Backus explained. She also enjoys whipping up her own concoctions in the kitchen. "I'm an improvisational cook,” Backus joked. She loves flexible recipes she can tweak to her liking. Backus is also a music lover. She sings in a church choir, and she has been playing piano since she was seven years old. In the past, Backus has sponsored a Dungeons and Dragons club at Blair, but no longer has the schedule to participate in clubs due to the time she now spends with her two children.


Stephens, Todd

By | April 30, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Todd Stephens, U.S. History teacher at Montgomery Blair High School, has a smile radiant like the sun, reflecting many pearly white indentures. With a boisterous rolling laugh and a strong positive attitude, Stephens emits a positive aura around him. He is a first year full time teacher at Blair, has found teaching to be an overall rewarding experience from the very beginning of his career. His ultimate goal was


Josey, Sara M.

By | April 30, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Music teacher Sara Josey is often spotted walking along Broadway corridor, greeting students and faculty and exchanging smiles. Like many other staff members, Josey is a committed teacher, as well as a wife and mother. Her friendly manner and cheerful personality tell a story unknown to many.


Hoelman, Louis

By | April 22, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

In Louis Hoelman's office, the walls are covered with pictures of Montgomery Blair High School's athletes. He coaches three teams at Blair and teaches two physical education classes. Hoelman said he loves teaching gym at Blair, one of the largest and most diverse schools in the county. "I wouldn't want to teach anywhere else," he said.


Shilling, Karen

By | April 10, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

For most teachers at Montgomery Blair High School, the school day begins at 7:25 in the morning and ends by 3:00 in the afternoon. For teacher Karen Shilling, the amount of time she puts into her student's lives extends far beyond these hours. This is because Shilling is an ESOL (English as a Second Language), a job that requires her to play a large roll in her students' lives. Everyday room 156 is a place where Shilling and her students are continually learning about eachother and the cultures that make each of them unique.


Williams, Bertina

By | April 10, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Sporting a trendy brown velour suit and bright red fingernails, Business/Computer Science instructor Bertina Williams sat comfortably in her second floor classroom. Her warm and friendly nature gave one the feeling that this educator was pre-destined to become a teacher.


Giacalone, Suzanne

By | March 31, 2003, midnight | In Teacher Feature »

Suzanne Giacalone's round face looks long like that of a wise woman's. Her head is resting on her hand, Jackie-O style reading glasses sitting on the desk in front of her. The phone rings and Giacalone gets up still speaking and leaves the room briefly, her words trailing off. Upon returning she sighs.

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