Parkdale teacher to travel to Kentucky to study Morrison
May 12, 2005

Parkdale High School English teacher Yvonne Brown wants to follow in the footsteps of one of her favorite authors.

And this summer she will get to do just that.

Brown will travel July 9 to 17 to Kentucky University for a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop on author Toni Morrison.

Brown is one of 20 educators who was selected from a national pool to study all nine of Morrison's novels. Brown will get to study her favorite Morrison novel, "Love."

Brown of College Park became interested in Morrison when she was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park.

"I am extremely thankful for this experience," she said. "I can not wait to meet Toni Morrison!"

Brown has been a teacher at Parkdale since 2003, and plans to share her experience with all of her students.

"I am proud to say that I am one out of 20 high school teachers chosen nationwide for this awesome opportunity," she said. "This means so much to me because as I am an English teacher. It is my dream to be the next 'Iranian American Toni Morrison.'"

Rwanda project update

The fund-raiser for Rwandan school children done by Beltsville Elementary school pupils with the help of High Point High School graduate Shanley Pinchotti has been a success.

"We reached the $3,000 goal!" she wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette. "Now I am waiting for the Rwandan government to approve the tax free shipment. That could take some time still, but my friends in Rwanda are working on it."

For information on Pinchotti's experience visit,

Swim club welcomes spring with tree planting

The College Park Woods Swim Club celebrated Arbor Day April 26 with a tree planting. Community members attended and the pool provided refreshments, said Marie Mackie, a pool member.

"We had many of the kids from the pool read stories and poetry. We had a little lesson on saving trees and we had four, pre-schoolers dress as the seasons," she said.

There was an educational display on the cherry tree and three bonsai trees were on exhibit. College Park Councilwoman Karen Hampton (Dist. 4) and Andrew Rein, a member of the city's Committee for a Better Environment took photos. Swim club President Brian Moffitt also attended the event.

Judo players win gold metals national championships

Two judo competitors, who train at the Beltsville Community Center, traveled to Virginia Beach to participate in the 2005 USA Judo National Championships. Diane Jackson of Landover and Karen Whilden of Vienna, who train with local judo instructor Kevin Tamai, received three gold medals at the event. They also received gold medals for overall performance, Tamai said. Jackson and Whilden performed three datas, preset forms of judo techniques.

Judo, which means gentle way, is a sport practiced by millions around the world, Tamai said. Kenneth Tamai, Kevin Tamai's father began a judo club in Berwyn Heights in the early '70s. That club grew to become the current Beltsville club called Hui-O-Judo.

Hui-O is a Hawaiian word, coined by Tamai's father who was Hawaiian.

In Judo, the students quickly learn to cooperate and help each other to advance in their training, Tamia said. This concept of cooperation can all be applied in or association with others in life. The originator of judo, Jigoro Kano, said that final aim or goal of judo is self perfection or harmonious development and eventual perfection of human character.

Jackson, who is Tamai's sister, has been doing Judo in the county since she was 8.

Her father, a Rokudan, or sixth- degree black belt, who taught her, died recently.

Originally from Landover, she attended Saint Ambrose Elementary School in Cheverly, Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg and the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been a volunteer judo teacher at the Beltsville Community Center for more than 25 years. Jackson is also a nuclear engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jackson and Whilden will travel to Puerto Rico for the Pan American Championships later this month. They have been selected as the top team to represent the United States in this event. In June, they will be representing the nation as they travel to the World Master Championship in Toronto Canada.

Military news

Navy Seaman Jamie R. Marriott, son of Jennifer Williams of Adelphi, made a port visit to Gibraltar, United Kingdom, during a routine scheduled deployment, while assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez, homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Marriott, and his fellow shipmates, enjoyed sightseeing, visiting historical sites and shopping.

Marriott's ship deployed as part of the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group, along with USS Ashland and USS Ponce, in support of the global war on terrorism and Operations Enduring/Iraqi Freedom.

The primary mission of Marriott's ship is to provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. U.S.S. Gonzalez is capable of operating independently or as part of a strike group. Its flexibility provides presence with a purpose and strike power to support joint and allied forces afloat and ashore.

Marriott is a 2002 graduate of Northwestern High School and joined the Navy in 2002.