By Mikayla Heiss, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
ST. MICHAELS, Md., June 30, 2023 – Dozens of education professionals met critters living in CBMM’s oyster cages in the Miles River, grooved to live music, and enjoyed some sweet treats at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s first Education Professionals Gratitude Day last Friday.
Teachers, paraprofessionals, school and district administrators, and support staff were invited to spend a day by the water as guests of honor for the festivities.
“I live and grew up in this area, but we haven’t been to CBMM since my daughters were children,” said Michelle Smith, a second-grade teacher at White Marsh Elementary School. “I was so excited to come up here. We haven’t been here since they were little girls, and now they’re 21 and 23.”
The special guests stayed busy throughout the day, taking part in hands-on activities and exploring CBMM’s 18-acre campus.
A lighthouse enthusiast, Smith particularly enjoyed touring the Hooper Strait Lighthouse and learning more about the lighthouses of the Bay, while Jessica Kastel, an English Language Arts teacher at St Michaels Middle High, brought her son Chance to CBMM for a visit filled with relaxation and reminiscing.
“I’m just looking at how everything has changed since I was here in fifth grade,” Kastel said.
CBMM welcomes teachers from across Talbot County, the Eastern Shore, and beyond to campus on a daily basis during the school year.
Education Professionals Gratitude Day was born out of a desire to give back to these community leaders for their tireless work, compassion, and dedication. This year, the event was made possible by the generous support of CBMM’s community partners Easton Velocity, Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems, PNC Bank, and Shore United Bank.
“We were thrilled to welcome so many education professionals for this new event, recognizing all of the hard work they put in throughout the school year to support our PK-12 students” CBMM’s Vice President of Education & Interpretation Jill Ferris said. “We welcome education professionals all year on field trips, but Education Professionals Gratitude Day gave them a chance to start summer break by with a relaxing visit CBMM with their families and loved ones. With the support of our community partners, we look forward to continuing these efforts next year and beyond.”
Last week’s event was designed to celebrate everyone involved in education and attracted a wide range of attendees.
Makayla Moore is just getting started with her career in education. With some experience already under her belt, Moore is going to Chesapeake College to become a teacher.
“I really like working with kids and giving them a positive experience, especially with through the challenges presented by COVID, and showing them that they can do anything,” said Moore, who remembers participating in CBMM’s Lighthouse Overnight Adventure as a Girl Scout.
The festivities drew education professionals from across the region and as far away as San Francisco. That included plenty of guests who live and work on the Eastern Shore, and others, like Amy Higgins, who savored the opportunity to make a special trip here.
“I grew up in the area, and when I received the notice about the day today, I knew I wanted to come be a part of it,” said Higgins, a technical assistant for fine arts in the Howard County Public School System. “I grew up playing on these grounds. I feel like the chance to learn more about the Bay, and especially for our kids, is priceless.”
For more information on CBMM’s youth education programming, including Lighthouse Overnight Adventures, CBMM Summer Camp, STEAM Team, and more, visit cbmm.org/youtheducation.