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Marley Elementary Guidance Counselor Honored

Denise Drenning was recently named the Educator of the Month for January by Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) recognizes educators, employees and volunteers each month from September to June during the school year. Awards are presented at Board of Education meetings and Patch is pleased to announce the honorees.

The January "Educator of the Month" is Denise Drenning, a guidance counselor at Marley Elementary School. According to the AACPS website, The Educator of the Month is chosen by a committee made up of members of the Anne Arundel County Retired School Personnel Association (AARSPA).

Here is the text of the speech presented at the Jan. 9 meeting in honor of Drenning:

Today we honor an educator in our school system who is much more than an educator.  She is an effective counselor, an avid supporter of her students and their families, a dedicated volunteer, and a very creative person who genuinely cares about the people whose lives she touches each day.

Denise Drenning, elementary school guidance counselor at Marley Elementary School, works tirelessly with the families at Marley in support of her students.  Her office is constantly busy with students who need to talk, need a snack because they have come to school hungry, are checking in for the goals that they have set for themselves, or simply need to see her friendly face.  She works cohesively with the learning lab technician to support the “red zone students.”

A casual observer would see student faces “light up” when Denise comes to their classroom to teach guidance lessons, as her lessons are always tailored to meet the needs of the particular classroom.  As a member of the behavior committee she always has a creative way to work with students to help them succeed in school. 

Ms. Drenning puts her heart and soul in to her work at Marley.  She organizes Harvest for the Hungry, involving the students in ways that make them enjoy helping those in need.  For example, Mondays are “yellow days,” when teachers dress to the theme and everyone brings in Mac and Cheese.  Denise also heads up the Leadership team, working closely with students on their PVA applications.

Ms. Drenning works in support of the families of Marley as well as the children.  She often meets with parents who might want to discuss issues at home or need help finding appropriate resources in the county to assist the needy.  She works with the bilingual facilitator to get support for families and she even helps families make doctors’ appointments for their children when the families are new to the county.  She organizes holiday help for families through the Sharing Foundation, so that all students can have a Christmas with gifts under the tree.  For the past two years she has organized the Food for Friends Program through the Maryland Food Bank.  Marley had over 75 students receive a bag of food every Friday to share with their family over the weekend.  This took an amazing effort and coordination on her part.

Denise Drenning – you are to be commended and admired for all your hard work – not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom as well.   It is obvious that you genuinely care about the people whose lives you touch and it is obvious by your actions that for you, it is all about the students and making sure their needs are met.  Thank you for all you do, and congratulations on being selected Educator of the Month for January 2013!

Click here to nominate a deserving AACPS educator, employee or volunteer.

Do you know Denise Drenning? Tell us in the comments.

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