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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.

Sung Kim, International Achievement Liaison, Dunloggin and Ellicott Mills Middle Schools

International Achievement Liaison, Ellicott Mills and Dunloggin Middle Schools Sung Kim approaches his art and helping students and families acclimate to a new environment with care and respect.

Elizabeth Pak, Strings Teacher, Glenwood Middle School and Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School

For violinist Elizabeth Pak, teaching young students to blossom as musicians is a dream come true. Pak leads the orchestras and string ensembles at Glenwood Middle School and Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, where she encourages her students to discover the fun in music, express themselves, relieve stress and be the best musicians they can be.

Lora Koehler, Media Specialist, Hammond Middle School

Hammond Middle School Media Specialist Lora Koehler is most driven by encouraging collaboration and providing access.

Judi Schneider, Cafeteria Manager, Hollifield Station Elementary School

Cafeteria Manager Judi Schneider is called the “lunch teacher” at her school, Hollifield Station. She works to make sure the students are healthy and strong, so they can succeed in school and life.

Nicole Meshbesher, School Psychologist, Patapsco Middle School and Thunder Hill Elementary School

School psychologist Dr. Nicole Meshbesher can list a multitude of reasons why she loves her job: the variety, the collaborative problem solving, and the opportunities to make a schoolwide impact and learn from her colleagues and students.

Kevin Gilbert, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Gilbert is at the center of supporting Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano’s equity-focused vision by serving on the superintendent’s cabinet, and overseeing the implementation and coordination of systemwide initiatives on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Yoko Fines, Paraeducator, Cedar Lane School

Fines’ dedication to her students comes from a place of warmth: “I instruct them, motivate them and encourage them to find their success.”

Kevin Lee, Pupil Personnel Worker, Oakland Mills Middle School and Oakland Mills High School

Lee realized his calling was to help students and families in need. Now he is out front removing barriers, so student can come ready to succeed in classrooms.

Michael Martirano, Interim Superintendent

Dr. Michael Martirano returned to the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in May as acting superintendent, and was recently named interim superintendent. A former HCPSS parent and director of school administration, Martirano looks forward to “getting back to the root of what I do–working with kids–at a place I love.”

Pete Merson, Carpenter Supervisor

Merson, a lifetime Howard County resident and alumnus, has worked in HCPSS for 24 years. As carpenter supervisor, he and his team ensure every school’s learning environment is at its best.