Maximizing student achievement

WORTON — Kent County High School inducted its 2024 class of the Minority Scholars Program on Wednesday night, Feb. 21.

In pairs, much like the annual high school graduation ceremony, the inductees solemnly walked into the auditorium where their families and friends were seated. Each wore black clothing. They were accompanied by advisors Michelle Phillips, who helped to launch the chapter in 2019, Tilise Brown and LaToya Johnson. Jaeda Hoxter and Kamryn Murray, the chapter president and vice president, respectively, led the processional.

The other officers are Ariel Purnell, secretary; Aryan Sharma, treasurer; and Alyesha Williams, public relations.

Sharma and Williams will graduate in June, a year early, with all the credits they need.

Marone Brown, a triple-threat athlete and state champion in football and lacrosse from the KCHS Class of 1991, delivered the keynote address.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in criminal justice/criminology, another master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in clinical psychology and then a doctorate in educational psychology from Drexel University.

He is currently employed with Prince George’s County Public Schools as a school psychologist. He previously spent five years with the Maryland State Department of Education and 15 years with the Department of Juvenile Services.

He also maintains a private counseling and consulting practice.

Brown, who now lives in York, Pennsylvania, shared the challenges he faced while pursuing a Ph.D. to anecdotally impart lessons on living in your truth and finding your authentic self. He also talked about the importance of perseverance and taking the high ground in times of disagreement and tension.

Next, the 26 new inductees were called to the stage one by one to receive a certificate of induction and to be robed in a black and gold-trimmed stole.

Wednesday night’s ceremony also included soloist and Pastor Ashley Jones-Wayman of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church, a student-athlete from the KCHS Class of 2000, and closing remarks from Principal Kris Hemstetter.

KCHS is following the Minority Scholars Program movement that started at Walter Johnson High School in Montgomery County in 2005 to address the lack of minority students in rigorous classes and extracurricular activities.

The program is student led, student based and student driven with the primary objective of closing the achievement gap.

At Kent County High School, MSP also is an acronym for Maximizing Student Potential. Criteria for membership include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

There are currently 45 members in the KCHS chapter of MSP; all but three have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

There are four key initiatives that all Minority Scholars Programs have in common: community outreach; peer-to-peer tutoring and mentoring; college visits; and a speaker series.

“These key initiatives and all other MSP efforts are aimed at positively changing the various school cultures such that success and achievement are no longer predictable by race, class, ethnicity and/or gender,” the program for the Feb. 21 event at KCHS stated.

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