Charlene Caldwell DeShields
Position: First Grade Teacher
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School: Easton Elementary School
School District: Talbot County Public Schools
City, State: Easton, MD
Music that Describes Charlene
Charlene Caldwell DeShields was nominated by an anonymous colleague.
It might be simple to view public school educators as a collective rather than as individuals, particularly in small rural communities. It is natural to lump them together amid the health crisis or during discussions over educational policies and decision-making. Unfortunately, by doing this, we neglect to acknowledge the fantastic abilities, dedication, and influence these exceptional people have on their students' lives. However, there is always that one teacher, who resonated with you, and fond remembrance of them made you smile.
One of those exceptional educators is Ms. DeShields, affectionately known as "Ms. D." A native of Talbot County, Easton, Maryland, Ms. D received her elementary and secondary education by attending Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School. Immediately following, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education from Bowie State University and, subsequently, a Master of Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel University.
As an educator with Talbot County Public Schools, Maryland, for over forty years, Ms. D teaches first grade at Easton Elementary School. The daughter of a former teacher, who taught in Talbot County Public Schools as well, Ms. D has dedicated her professional career to molding minds and fostering empowerment in the children under her care. Her level of commitment has never wavered. She has remained a stalwart supporter of public education by serving on various committees and organizations within the community.
Additionally, Ms. D works with first graders after school as a Building African American Minds(BAAM) teacher, providing support, extension, and enrichment in reading, math, and social skills. She advocates for her colleagues, serving as one of the building representatives and a delegate of the Talbot County Education Association. She is on the board of The Talbot Interfaith Shelter and The Talbot County Democratic Forum and attends Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, where she is an usher during Sunday morning church service.
Ms. D is a life member of the NAACP and a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Kappa Theta Omega Chapter, serving as a past chapter president and working on various committees. She is a mother, grandmother, educator, and civic leader. She enjoys traveling, dancing, music sounds of the '70s, and spending time with family, friends, and co-workers.
Beyond her dedication to education, however, it is evident that Ms. D resonates a love for her students, families, and community that reaffirms how fortunate the educational profession is to have someone as committed as this stellar individual. Mention Ms. D's name to any of the hundreds of her former students or their family members, and immediately the faces light up, and they are all too eager to share a kind word, heartwarming story on how Ms. D impacted their lives. In her own words, Ms. D continues to inspire her first-graders by challenging them daily to "Set your goals high and don't stop until you get there!" Ask yourselves: have you ever had a teacher that just the mere thought of them made you smile? Ms. D has set herself apart as a LifeChanger. Her positive influence is a lasting testimony to the lives she has touched and made all the better by dedicating her life to education.
I was happy to see that Charlene was nominated for this award. She certainly is deserving of it! Both my kids were fortunate to have her as their first grade teacher. She is a dynamo who has a pure love for her students. Volunteering in her classroom gave me a firsthand look at how she conducts her day. She creates a fun, encouraging atmosphere where even the shiest of students feels at ease. Her care and concern for her students and community goes beyond the classroom. I remember Christmas Pageants at William Hill Manor where her first graders gave awesome performances to the delight of the patients there- a great example of how she taught her students more than book work. Giving back to the community is important to Charlene and she leads by example as she is involved in numerous community activities. She never stops giving, never tires of her love for teaching and she is always encouraging young adults to further their education. There are few teachers as exemplary as Charlene. And…. 32 years later she doesn’t finish a conversation with me without asking about my kids, even calling them by name. She is extraordinary indeed!
Back in 2007. I was new to the public school system. My daughter was entering the first grade and we had just found out that she had a learning disability. Miss D. was the best choice for a teacher for my daughter. I can’t believe how lucky we were to get Miss D. as a teacher. It was my understanding that pretty much everybody wanted her as the teacher but we were lucky enough to get her. She has a knack for teaching each child individually while teaching the group. Each child is special. Each child is given attention way beyond what one person can give to 30 children. Each lesson is adjusted to each child’s learning abilities. She has followed my child through her entire career as a student always asking how is she doing and giving praise would praises due and by the way, that child is getting ready to graduate from college with a bachelors degree. That is in part due to Miss D, and never giving up on any of her students She is so positive. She is so sweet she is so loving. She is one of the best teachers I have ever encountered in my entire life. If anyone deserves a life-changing award, it is Charlene Deshields.
I was thrilled to learn Charlene was nominated for this award. I can’t think of anyone more deserving! Our family had the pleasure of having this talented first grade teacher for all of three children. The start she gave to them in their school career and beyond is immeasurable. I often worked in the classroom and watched firsthand as she skillfully taught and managed a host of children all with different needs and abilities. ALWAYS full of energy and happiness in the classroom, certainly giving all the students the energy and excitement to learn. Outside the classroom, Charlene is deeply involved in the community and again shows the meaning of being a good citizen, leader, and hard worker…all characteristics she teaches her students. The friendship we developed through our children in school is over 35 years now and I can say, Charlene is just as much a fantastic teacher now as when we first met in 1992!
I first met Ms. Charlene DeShields 41 years ago, when she was my daughter's first grade teacher! I was very impressed with her then, and have been amazed by her ever since! For the past 11 years, I have volunteered at Easton Elementary School, visiting Special Needs Children with my Therapy Dogs. I have visited Ms. Charlene's classes, have observed her enthusiastic teaching methods, and the admiration of the students for her. Ms. Charlene never forgets a former student! She really cares about her students; their parents; and she is loved by all her fellow teachers and staff. Charlene's generousity does not stop at the school. Charlene is a huge presence in local groups and issues. She was recently decorated with awards, presented to her by U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin. There is no one more deserving of this award than Ms. Charlene DeShields! She has improved and changed thousands of lives!
Wow, there's no question that she should win this award. Unbelievable woman and teacher. The things she has taught her students in and out of the classroom cannot be learned in a textbook. She is caring and giving to everyone. Her smile is the most beautiful thing for every child to see in the morning. She has changed many lives and will continue to.
I had the distinct honor to work with Ms. Charlene for several years through a Summer Youth Employment Program. Ms. Charlene worked relentlessly to link the youth's Interest with a job, arranged transportation and eliminate barriers for a successful experience. Ms. Charlene showed compassion not only to the youth but parents and staff. Ms. Charlene's caring and loving spirit is contagious. One of her favorite quotes states, " We are.better together ". Ms. Charlene is truly a life changer.
I wholeheartedly support the nomination of Ms. Charlene DeShields, for the Lifechanger of the Year Award. Ms. DeShields is a wonderful human being, educator, community stakeholder and friend. She is consistently authentic and caring and always has a smile on her face. She is a connector and loves bringing people together for the greater good. I am honored to call her my friend.
She absolutely LOVES teaching, nurturing and supporting children, which extends far beyond the children in her classroom. I can attest to the fact that once she meets a child, she is immediately invested in their development and success. She has touched so many young lives, and those individuals have gone out into the world and touched others similarly because of her influence. In this regard, she has left an imprint on the world! I truly believe that she was born to be a teacher.
Community service is embedded in her DNA. She has committed much of her life to service, not only in the classroom, but in the larger community. She supports numerous initiatives and always gives back. I refer to her as a Stakeholder, because she has invested so much into her community and encourages others to do so. She makes the world a better place through her commitment to service.
Finally, she is a true friend. She’s always available, attentive, loving, and encouraging. She is a joy to be around and makes everyone feel so special, valued, and important. I can honestly state that she is a blessing to everyone who meets her, whether it’s for a few minutes or a lifetime.
Ms. DeShields is an immaculate human being and professional who has earned and truly deserves this prestigious honor, for she is a LIFECHANGER.
Charlene is an extraordinary person. Her words and actions inspire. I’ve seen her working in the community as president/member of her sorority, AKA, creating scholarships for high school kids each year, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Talbot Interfaith Shelter in multiple roles. She is warm and kind and professional. Parents all around admire her and call her an awesome teacher. She is someone who exemplifies positivity and hope!
Charlene demonstrates her “can do” spirit in all her community activities even beyond her excellent capabilities as a teacher and mentor. I have worked with her as a fellow committee member. She serves as an education advocate for her school district and has educated us on ways we can support the Talbot County education system including the award of scholarships for deserving students. She is a fountain of positivity in a world that is commonly full of so much discord. She is truly a Life Changer,
I served on the Democratic Forum board with Charlene, and I thought she was terrific.
Ever since meeting Charlene, I have seen her enthusiasm for any project in which she becomes involved. I can only imagine what a great teacher she is since this same upbeat, enthusiastic energy can only have a positive effect on her students. I don't know how she finds the time to be the amazing leader that she is within our Talbot County community. I feel honored to know her and be inspired by her.
Whether it’s a classroom, a meeting, after school program, a run in at the store, a pass in the hallway or a conversation for advice your day immediately is better for crossing Charlene’s path. She brings a light, a warmth, knowledge, wisdom, positivity and magically makes you feel seen, empowered and cared for! Personally, I have worked with Ms. D in the following capacities: instructional assistant, substitute teacher, BAAM tutor, college internship, colleague, and as a union member. In my early days at old Dobson and as a BAAM tutor Charlene was central in helping me hone my practice in management, instruction, and student relationships. One of her classroom mantras, “never let it rest until your good is your better and your better is your best”, is demonstrated by Charlene in a way that pushes those around her to strive to be the best versions of themselves. “We are better together”, as Ms. D says, our school district and community are forever marked and honored by her presence. Charlene Deshields embodies a life changer in every way!
Congratulations, Charlene. We are, thanks to you and to use your very words, "stronger together". Nobody I know exudes more positive energy except maybe our new Governor. Two peas in a pod.
As a volunteer in the Talbot County Elementary Schools, I visited Charlene's first grade classroom many times over a four year period. The relationship she has with her students is extraordinary. She consistently brought out the best in every one of her kids and consistently reenforced the positive lessons that I shared with her students. She is the kind of teacher students remember when they have kids of their own and hope their children are lucky enough to have a teacher who clearly loves every one of her students.
I have seen Ms D for many years now in and around Easton Elementary School. She truly has a passion and a love for her students, co-workers and many volunteers that frequent EES. I have also seen her in many different ways attending community events. She has been a great community positive influence. I hope she gets this award and is recognized for her dedication to the many people who know and love her.
Charlene is a dedicated educator and devoted community member. We are fortunate that she calls our community home. She shares love and high expectations with each student she interacts with. I hope she reads all of these comments that celebrate the difference she makes every day.
Charlene always makes me smile and feel hopeful. I first met her when my children and her son were little kids and she was teaching a parks and recreation program. My kids just loved her. Then she worked with me on a program designed to encourage more minority participation at the Academy Art Museum; later we worked together again in the BAAM after school program, where she enthusiastically supported our mindfulness program and vouched for me as a friend, which clearly counted with the kids I was working with. Finally, when my daughter considered giving up on law school to follow her second dream of elementary school teaching, Charlene invited her to shadow her classes one day. It was a great experience for my daughter and we have talked many times of how wonderful it would be to start each day with a class full of 1st graders who are excited to see you and think you -- as they think of Charlene-- are just about perfect. You would have seen that, had you walked into one of Charlene's classes on any day. My daughter decided to stick with law school, but we both remember that day as really special. I can't say that Charlene changed the trajectory of my life, but I can certainly say that she enriched it!
My son's are 42 & 44 ,but they still remember their dynamic 1st grade teacher ,Charlene DeShields! This energizer bunny keeps inspiring students year after year, and is involved in so many activities that help make our community a great place to live- from being part of a lip-sync group that participates in raising funds for our homeless shelter, to engaging in after-school enrichment programs, she is to be encountered just about everywhere around our town & county.
Charlene has a passion for life and learning that is contagious!. I have worked with her on numerous projects in the community, and whatever we did, we had fun, and I felt blessed from being with her. She has my husband and I reading to her first graders, and it is a joy to be in her class and watch her inspire her little people to be insightful, respectful and to love learning. A truly great woman, awe inspiring, and a role model!
As a former student, I loved Ms. DeShields. She was always so loving and kind and a great teacher. I loved coming to school every day, because of her. I would visit her after I left her classroom.
Charlene, this nomination is a well deserved honor. You have touched so many lives, children and adults, over the years you’ve taught. Your enthusiasm, exuberant singing, dedication and love for the kiddoes is most impressive.
I had Ms. D when i was in first grade. Ms. D is always bright and full of life whenever you see her! She deserves to be recognized for her positive lasting impact on not just her students but our community as well.
You have always been the same smiling beautiful person you are today! Proud to know you!
Charlene "Ms. D" is is awesome teacher/ person. She remembers all her students and their siblings. My children are in their 30's and when they run into her she still knows them. She is one of the teachers everyone wants. We all love her. Ms. D seems as though she never has a bad, she is always happy in front of her students.
I can not think of a more deserving person to be nominated for this but Charlene Deshields. She is the beginning for all the students that she has taught. She is an outstanding person in her community. Everybody in the world knows Charlene. She is also a true friend. Congratulations Sista Girlfriend!!!
Ms. D has always been a big part of my life since I was very little. Even though I wasn’t one of her students myself she always gave me this sense of comfort when she was around. All she wanted was to make sure each one of her students succeeds and became the best version of themselves. She has been a big part of my life and hundreds of kids lives. I believe Ms. D truly deserves this award! She has brought so much to this community and smiles to so many faces!
Mom Mom, Mary Ann Wood thought the world of you-especially as a fellow educator!
You were a phenomenal teacher to my Grandson, Kai Eckert.
Congratulations on your achievement!
We worked at bath and body together a few years ago, it was always a pleasure. Customers would come in asking for you, some former students now parents so thankful for your touch & proud to know you. You always showed up smiling and encouraging us all. Hoping you're good karma returns to you x10!!
Ms. Charlene was my manager in the Summer Youth Program. She was FULL of energy and always ready to fill everyone’s cup. She really loved the children and she rarely took on the spirit of defeat. She deserves to be acknowledged for all of her hard work and dedication. I can hear her now saying “Nickie all hands on deck”. Way to go Ms. Charlene!!
Well deserved! I pray you take home the big win! You are a STAR!
Morgan and I love you. That is all lol
I had the pleasure of working alongside of Mrs.D and enjoyed every minute! She is a wonderful, energetic and loving teacher. She deserves every award you can give her.
Ms. DeShields has consistently carried a reputation as a wonderful teacher ever since my now big kid started in elementary school years ago. She greets people by name and with a sincere smile. She brings enthusiasm and sincerity to her classroom, along with years of experience, structure and a deep commitment to building learners.
Having known Charlene since coming to the Eastern Shore, I've not only been encouraged by her positive outlook and dedication to the community and her students, I have frequently thought that having "Ms.D" as a first grade teacher was every student's good fortune.
Charlene is a wonderful person who is dedicated to her students, family and community. Congratulations!
Congratulations! Ms. DeShields truly deserves this award for her dedication to her students, the field of education, and her community.
Recently Ms, D invited me to read a children's story that my daughter had written.The hour I spent reading to these first graders was so inspiring. The class was well behaved, attentive, and inquisitive. Following my reading several girls came up and hugged me. An experience like this doesn't just happen.It is the result of the teaching skills, dedication, and love of a very special person. We are so fortunate to have such an individual teaching in our schools. Congratulates Ms. D on your nomination. It is an honor to be your friend.
Awesome! I truly believe Charlene deserves this , she is definitely a life changer, being able to teach and instruct the little minds of children everyday with the heart and Soul of an Educational Soldier.
I've had the privilege of knowing Charlene for a few years now. There is no kinder person, dedicated volunteer, or fiercer friend. She is one of Talbot County's unsung heroes and has been the beloved lifechanging educator of multiple generations of Talbot's students. In terms of ensuring everyone's voice is heard and counted, I think it's worth noting the 40+ comments and 30+ shares on TCPS' Facebook Post about Charlene's nomination (https://www.facebook.com/TalbotCountyPublicSchools/posts/pfbid0311SRdmD5n1nX9ZrWu98sXuP17j8SfFgicpTvev1crjwLUQNQ4VbA1VAtAK9fZgpvl)
Charlene represents the best of our teachers and our county. She is certainly deserving of this recognition.
Congratulations Charlene on receiving the nomination for the LifeChanger of the Year Award!! This is an amazing accomplishment and shows your wonderful dedication and commitment to changing the lives of children. You showed me that same desire to help children when I was in the first grade and you were in high school at SSPP. I remember you checking on me to see how I was doing. My parents (Roland and Loistine) were always grateful when they heard about your generosity. Congratulations again on this well-deserved accolade!
I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Charlene DeShields! It is truly a joy to walk into her classroom and see and hear her enthusiasm and love. She encourages, inspires and challenges her students to be the very best they can be and she is truly a leader in her school and her community. It is awesome to think of the number of lives she has CHANGED for the better in her 40+ years as an educator.
Charlene has more energy than anyone I know. She makes learning exciting and excellent for her students. No matter where she goes you find a current or student they run to her calling out Miss D.
Her support and enthusiasm of many community is beyond and above. She supports the with her whole heart and asks for nothing in return.
Congratulations to you on this accomplishment because you're a great teacher
Congratulations! You deserve this plus more. If there were more teachers like you, this world would be a much better place.
This incredible lady deserves all the recognition and more!! Her impact on me was never forgotten!!!! From the moment I walked into her first grade classroom, I knew I wanted to teach like Ms. Charlene DeShields! She has been a teacher, mentor, and now I am sooo blessed to say co-worker and friend! I am so lucky to teach across the hallway from my “why!” She still has the same energy and impression on every child that walks through her door, student or not, as she tells them to be their best! When compliments are given to her, and believe me they are- her response is always “Together we’re better!, which is true, but we are ALL better because of what you have done for us and our community!! I love you more than you know!!!
Charlene DeShields has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. We love her for her spirit and love for each and every one of her students. May God continue to bless you on your journey through this thing we call life.
What an honor, Ms. DeShields! Congratulations! I agree with all that was written about Ms. D! Anyone most certainly will light up when they see Ms. D simply because she is the LIGHT and resemblance of JOY. I am glad she was anonymously nominated because this recognition is well-deserved! All of her first graders— past and present, are blessed to experience an educator like Ms. DeShields!
Congratulations Mrs D. Well Deserved thanks for all you Do!!
So proud Charlene that you are receiving this recognition. You have always been the inspiration and shining light for your students. Your time, your expertise and your commitment can never be replaced or forgotten. You have touched so many lives in your classroom, school and community. May your light continue to shine my friend and continue to spread God’s blessings.
Not only have you always been so positive and uplifting, you gave hope to the hood when we could not see it anywhere we looked. You've inspired many me included you will always have a place in my heart! #keepbeingAmazing
You changed the life of a little 6 year old girl many years ago!! I knew then that I wanted to be an educator because of YOU!! Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is your better and your better is your best!! Love you forever and always!!
so grateful to get to know charlene through helping @ sspp. my sons and i absolutely adore her zest for life!
Ms. D was my mentor teacher for undergrad. I learned so much from her that I’ve carried into my own classroom. I wouldn’t be the educator I am today without her showing me the ropes. I truly cherish her wisdom and teaching philosophy. Ms. D touches the lives of everyone she meets and make a lasting impression! No one is more deserving of a Life Changer award than her! “Together we are better!”
Our son Brian will tell everyone that you were his favorite teacher.
I can’t think of anyone more deserving of such an award! She has been one of the best, most selfless pillars of our school system and this community. My son had her as his teacher and it has been the best year of his school career so far. We always knew that we had nothing to worry about and that he would gain valuable knowledge and life lessons with her as his teacher and that she would always be a part of his life as he continues to grow.
Congratulations Charlene DeShields on your nomination for the LifeChanger of the year award. I praise your knowledge and skills as a life long educator with a great passion for teaching. May your light continue to shine in the children you touch every day.
Ms. D, as she is greatly known, is a supreme educator for our community. She brightens any room she walks into, and she cares and loves every child that enters her classroom just like her very own. Every first grader wants to be in Ms. D’s class, because she is simply awesome! I wholeheartedly nominate Ms. Charlene Caldwell DeShields for the Lifechanger of the Year award!
Congratulations Charlene DeShields on receiving the nomination for the LifeChanger of the Year Award. Your passion and dedication to the students that you serve daily have made a positive impact on their lives and lives of others. Your unyielding service in the field of education is very much appreciated and applauded.
Ms. DeShields is not only an outstanding educator, she is a phenomenal woman who is kind to everyone who is fortunate to be in her presence. A classy ball of positive energy at all times!
Life Changer is the perfect title for Charlene Caldwell DeShields. Anyone who is fortunate enough to be in her presence cannot help but be changed for the better. Her radiant smile and positive attitude draws you in but it’s her heart for helping all people that leaves a lasting impression.
Well deserved. Congratulations!
A lifechanger can look a lot of ways, but there is no way it can look like Ms. DeShields’ decades in education.
She eats in the cafeteria with her students every day to help keep them settled so they can be ready to learn upon return to the classroom.
She is an equity leader in the county and leads countless professional development opportunities for colleagues, but more importantly, she lives the work.
I truly don’t know when she sleeps from the amount of community service she does to support the families in her lives.
She always answers the phone..for every question, every thought, every concern. Everything.
She doesn’t forget a student, a family, a colleague…anyone. Everyone is a better person just knowing her.
I am a better person every time we talk. Have one conversation with her and you will be too. ??
Very nice lady Charlene
Had all three of my sons in first grade Was & is a great teacher Love you
Mrs. DeShields is truly a blessing to the community. Congratulations! Well deserved ??
Charlene, you are an incredible teacher, friend, and so much more. I am so thankful to know and work with you. Congratulations!!
Congratulations Ms.D.!! You are truly an amazing and devoted teacher! Our daughter Hailey had the best experience in first grade! She woke up everyday and jumped out of bed because she wanted to get to school and learn with you! You really kept her engaged and excited about learning! She learned how to set goals and stay on target! You made her and all you students feel important, smart, and proud of themselves! As a parent I always felt like you were available for guidance and encouragement. I loved the way you communicated each week to let the parents know what was going on in your classroom! We can't thank you enough for all your hardwork ! You were a blessing to our family and if we could have had you as Hailey's teacher every year we would!!
Congratulations and many Thanks!
Love , The Lockhart Family
Ms. D is one of my daughter’s favorite people. She had her last year in 1st grade and not only taught Molly to read, but also inspired her in so many ways to be kind, inclusive, and always strive to do her best. After spending much of her PreK and Kindergarten years adjusting to remote learning and multiple schedule changes, her first grade year was transformational thanks to Ms. D. Molly still talks about being one of Ms. D’s Goal Getters and we are forever grateful for her inspiration.