Oklahoma Road Middle is the leading middle school for Eldersburg students. Winning a Blue Ribbon award and Maryland School of the Year for Character Education they are succeeding in the county.
Here’s a look into the award-winning school through an interview with one of the school counselors.
Changes in Staff
Carroll County has a recurring theme of moving administration around. We wanted to see how that has impacted the students, if at all. We sat down with Beth Prestianni, School Counselor to ask some questions.
ORMS is fortunate not to have a change in administration this year, but in the past, there have been a few changes.
She said the change of the administration is always a mix of excitement and nerves. The staff is excited to see new ideas and experience from other schools. Nerves set in when staff worries the change will be too much. But from her experience, she states “changing administration has mostly resulted in a positive academic year.”
The changes in administration Prestianni said do not affect the kids in a drastic way at all. Most administration have consistent expectations when it comes to educating and providing the necessities for students.
Every school has different needs in the Carroll County and for Eldersburg, the parents and community have high expectations from the administration and staff along with reasonable goals for their children.
School Counselor’s View
Beth Prestianni has been a school counselor at ORMS for 16 years now and has seen her students grow tremendously. As a counselor of Oklahoma Road Middle School, they focus on three aspects. Career and college readiness, social/emotional behavior, and academic success.
She stated that the number one thing middle schoolers need in Eldersburg is a place to go where they feel comfortable and safe. To many adults a middles schoolers problems are minimal, but it’s all about someone listening to their concerns and validating their feelings especially at such a transforming age.
A great way Prestianni lets students feel heard is partaking as the advisor for Student Government Association. She previously was the advisor for five years back in 2003 taking a five-year break to then join again in 2012.
As the advisor of SGA for many years now, Prestianni has seen what the kids need and the changes as each class comes and go.
For this year SGA’s big end of the year project the students wanted to inspire positivity throughout the school community. Six students decided to dedicate their end of the school year and beginning of summer to this project.
Painting Inspirational quote was their amazing idea. They wanted to find areas of the school where students often went when they were stressed and needed a break. The perfect place, the bathroom. The bathrooms at this Eldersburg school are very plain and boring.
If you remember anything about school bathrooms students often carved or wrote on the stalls so to counteract the negative idea of damaging property the SGA students asked to paint quotes and drawings in the dull bathrooms.
Prestianni was on board the second the students asked. The idea Prestianni said is “students might see one of the paintings and it will make their day 100 times better.” Other organizations at ORMS have painted on walls in the hallways but no one had yet to conquer the boring bathrooms.
Oklahoma Road Middle is one of the top performing schools in the county and state based on testing. Prestianni believes the amazing faculty, strong parent support, and student motivation are the reasons for these top scores.