Schools Notebook 5-18-05

Schools Notebook 5-18-05

Churchill Spring Carnival; Beverly Farms' New Principal


Humans can’t always distinguish between apples and oranges, but Ben Morse built a robot that can. Morse, a Churchill sophomore and member of the school’s Robotics Club, demonstrated the club’s creation at the first annual Churchill Spring Carnival on Saturday, May 14.

Anybody forking over a $1 ticket at the carnival could see a demonstration of the club’s BotBall robots, which operated without remote control through sonar, color, infrared, level, optical-range or light sensors. Morse used a bright orange ball to lure a color-sensitive robot along Churchill’s athletic track.

More than 30 student clubs at Churchill ran booths at the carnival, each offering food, games or activities. Between 800 and 1,000 people attended the carnival, and Churchill collected 200 cans and sold $2,400 worth of tickets.

“We learned a lot, and already have ideas on how to make it better,” said Matthew Schilling, a Churchill social studies teacher and student government sponsor.

Schilling led Churchill’s Student Government Association’s efforts to launch the event. All the booths were constructed and painted in the two weeks prior to the carnival. “We basically just slaved away the last two days,” said Catherine Lien, treasurer for Churchill’s junior class.

The hope was to begin a tradition that will appeal to families throughout the area — not just high-school students. The carnival included balloon animals, a moon bounce, a clown and a magic show that attracted younger children (and a few high-schoolers).

“We really hit the mark about getting the whole community involved,” Lien said. “We really got the little kids involved. … We didn’t want it to be a Churchill carnival, we wanted it to be a community carnival.”


Beth Brown was named principal of Beverly Farms Elementary School by Montgomery County Public Schools last week. Brown is a principal intern at Fallsmead Elementary this year, and was previously and assistant principal at Flower Hill Elementary.

Beverly Farms made a positive impression on Brown the first time she ever walked out of her car and into the school, she said. “The atmosphere is so wonderful there,” said Brown. “Everyone was happy.”

Brown grew up in Fairhaven, Mass. She moved to Maryland in 1980, knowing she wanted to teach. “There weren’t many teaching positions in Massachusetts available at the time,” Brown said. She taught for four years at the Woods Academy, a private school in Bethesda, then joined Montgomery’s public schools as a technology instructor for school staff.

Since then, Brown has taught all grades from kindergarten through sixth, and worked with students of all middle-school and elementary-school ages.

“The principals that made a lasting impression on me are those that set high expectations,” Brown said. “I think it’s all about working together, forming teams [and] making sure the kids are our bottom line.”

Brown will officially succeed outgoing principal Laura Seigelbaum on July 1. Siegelbaum is retiring after 11 years as principal at Beverly Farms.