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Thursday, May 12, 2005

M.B.A. Graduates Keep SU in the Family

class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---At most graduations, all the matching caps and gowns make the auditorium look like a sea of penguins.  Fortunately, eyes adjust and distinctions appear.  At Salisbury University’s commencement on Saturday, May 21, however, audiences will be seeing double when at least two sets of twins walk across the stage. And proving that commencement is a family affair, a husband, wife and wife’s mother will all march together as each receives a Master of Education.

class=""MsoNormal"">Michael “Charlie” Charlton, his wife, Heather Charlton, and his mother-in-law, Debra Giles,  all teachers, have been working on their master’s at night and during the summer, he in administration and mother and daughter in early childhood education.   For Heather, in particular, it’s almost been like not leaving home. She first took three classes with her husband. Then her mother returned to grad school and after a couple of catch-up courses, ended up in the same classes as her daughter.

class=""MsoNormal"">Heather says she’s loved it.  The courses with her husband were challenging.  As a former pro-soccer player (his team was New Castle United), competition is in his blood.  “He’s from England and has a strong background in writing,” she added.  “I’d get A’s in our classes; he’d get A pluses.”

class=""MsoNormal"">Mom was no pushover, either: “She observed me when I was student teaching and was tougher on me than my supervising teacher!”  But growing up, Heather had helped her mother put up bulletin boards in her classroom and such teamwork continued in graduate school.  This time as peers, the two collaborated on group projects.  At first they didn’t tell their teachers or classmates about their relationship.  “But after awhile students noticed similarities and finally one of our teachers (Dr. Carolyn Bowden) figured it out.”

class=""MsoNormal"">The situation “was unique but fun,” said Debra Giles. “And we learned we had similar philosophies of education.” Heather praises her mom for being a role model in the classroom and for helping put her brother, Justin; father, Charles Giles; and Heather through school. All four teach: Heather second grade at Hurlock Elementary, Justin seventh grade history at Easton Middle, and Dad also seventh grade history at Stephen Decatur Middle.  Mom is a gifted and talented science resources teacher at Pocomoke Elementary.  All are SU alumni.

class=""MsoNormal"">Also receiving their Master of Education in reading instruction are twins Catherine and Frances Monte.  Commencement will be bittersweet for these 24-year-old sisters.  Grad assistants at SU where they share an apartment, following commencement they will be separating after nearly a quarter century of living together, going on to separate lives in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey area, their home.

class=""MsoNormal"">Finally, twins Suzanne and April Carley of Newcomb, MD, also will be receiving diplomas together although they go to different universities!  Suzanne is an SU Perdue School business major and April is a Frostburg State University undergrad majoring in recreation/park management.  The two campuses, which are holding commencement the same day, made arrangements for Suzanne to walk with her sister here, allowing their parents to see both of their daughters graduate. So don’t think of penguins on Saturday, May 21.  It’s more complicated than that! "


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