Kids attend same Prince George’s Co. elementary school that mom and dad did

The question was “What makes a great teacher?” The blue sticky note is the response from Prince George’s County School CEO Dr. Monica Goldson. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

 

Lots of parents sign up to volunteer at their child’s school, but for one Prince George’s County resident, the ties to Montpelier Elementary School run deep.

Jamie Cousins, a digital marketing professional, attended Montpelier. So did the man she married.

They met in first grade.

“We officially became friends though, in second grade,” she said with a broad smile and a laugh. “We went to two different middle schools,” she said, but they dated, and were in touch throughout high school.

After graduation, “He went off to the Army, I was in college. He was in Afghanistan, I was in D.C. at Howard University.”

Eventually, Cousins said, “One thing led to another, and we came back together!”

Jamie Cousins attended Montpelier Elementary in Laurel. So did her husband. Now their two children go there and she hopes to substitute teach there as well. She is a fan of the county school system. “My primary education happened in [Prince George’s] County and I ended up going to Howard University on a full scholarship.”
Their two children now attend the same school they attended as children in Laurel, Maryland. She pointed to a classroom down the hall from the main office.

“Our second grader is in the same exact second-grade class that my husband had!”

On Tuesday, Cousins’ youngest son started his first day of kindergarten. While she chatted in the hallway, a line of kindergartners filed past. Her youngest was among them. He spotted her and waved.

“It looks like he’s doing great! Wonderful!” she said.

One of his teachers replied, “He’s doing fine, he said he was so excited for the first day of school!” There had apparently been some first day jitters before the school day started, but judging by her son’s smile as he got back in line with classmates, those concerns were gone.

While Cousins attended a private high school, she is a staunch supporter of the Prince George’s County school system.

“School is really what you make it. It’s definitely a combination of what’s going on at home and what’s happening in the academic setting.”

She said her oldest son started in Howard County schools, but she moved him to Montpelier, which has a gifted and talented program.

“They’re very focused on the student’s educational progress.”

Cousins not only volunteers at the school, but hopes to start substitute teaching as well. Cousins said she’d like to play a more direct role in elementary education for children.

“So they grow up and become productive members of society.”

She credits Prince George’s County schools with giving her the foundation she needed to pursue her goals. “My primary education happened in [Prince George’s] County and I ended up going to Howard University on a full scholarship.”

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