August 11, 2020
Harford County Public School (HCPS) and Freedom Federal Credit Union leadership and staff representatives gather on the steps of HCPS Headquarters to showcase the new masks that will be distributed to HCPS employees across the school system.
Seated (Left to Right): HCPS Transportation Coordinator Tina Hockaday, representing HCPS support staff, and Halls Cross Roads Elementary School Teacher Laura S. Pohlenz, representing HCPS teachers.
Standing Left from Freedom Federal Credit Union (Front to Back): President and CEO Michael MacPherson, Business Development Director Lisa Snodgrass, and Senior Vice President of Marketing Carmen Mirabile.
Standing Right from Harford County Public Schools (Front to Back): Superintendent Dr. Sean Bulson, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Jean Mantegna, and Chief of Administration Eric Davis.
Freedom Federal Credit Union, in partnership with Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), is providing all teachers and support staff with protective, reusable face masks for the upcoming school year. Six thousand masks will be distributed to all teachers, office workers, food service staff, facilities staff, transportation staff, teacher substitutes, and new hires.
Additionally, 30 infrared no-contact thermometers have been donated by Freedom for use in all HCPS school buildings and offices to supplement similar thermometers already available in each school’s health suite. The $26,000 contribution to purchase the masks and thermometers is intended to show appreciation for every HCPS employee’s contribution and dedication, and to provide critical protective equipment to help support HCPS protocols to keep all HCPS employees safe and healthy during the upcoming year.
Freedom Federal Credit Union was originally slated to sponsor the HCPS Annual Employee Service Recognition Program and Awards Dinner, which they have sponsored since 2013. The program recognized hundreds of employees annually who had reached 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years of service milestones. Due to the statewide closure of schools, and social function restrictions, the 2020 recognition program was cancelled. Freedom, working closely with school administrators, believed that the face masks would be a great way to show appreciation for all HCPS staff- both in and out of the classroom.
Prior to the decision on whether or not the upcoming school year would resume in person or virtually, both Freedom and HCPS administration recognized that many hundreds of staff members will continue to be required to report in person either regularly or periodically, and that all staff, including those working remotely, would continue to need face coverings for use in any public setting.
“In the best of times, we have always made it a priority to show our teachers that we care about their well-being and appreciate their dedication to the children in our community,” stated President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, Mike MacPherson. “In what now feels like the worst of times, we know that the pressures our educators, and all those who support our education system, face, will be great, and we hope this sponsorship will show our appreciation for all they do while supporting their health and safety.”
Invited to represent HCPS teachers in a photograph showcasing the new masks, Laura S. Pohlenz, a vocal music teacher at Halls Cross Roads Elementary School, recently completed her 30th year teaching for HCPS. Ms. Pohlenz expressed, “I am happy to represent teachers in this partnership with Freedom Federal Credit Union, and would like to personally thank them for this generous gift of face masks to the school system, in an effort to ensure the safety for our students and staff during this time.”
Representing HCPS support staff in this partnership, Transportation Coordinator, Tina Hockaday, who has been with HCPS for 14 years, remarked, “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Freedom Federal Credit Union. Thank you for thinking of the safety of our students and staff.”
In the July 29, 2020 Superintendent’s Bulletin, Dr. Sean Bulson, acknowledged the contribution. “This year, FFCU has chosen to recognize all employees of HCPS by donating a protective face mask for every employee. By means of this generous contribution, they would like to honor and show their appreciation for the work done by every HCPS employee as we continue to educate the students of HCPS, while maintaining a safe and protected environment for staff and students. We hope that you will join us in expressing our appreciation to Freedom Federal Credit Union for this generous contribution!”
About Freedom Federal Credit Union
Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford and Baltimore Counties. Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford and Baltimore Counties. To learn more, visit freedomfcu.org.
About Harford County Public Schools
The mission of Harford County Public Schools is that each student will attain academic and personal success in a safe and caring environment that honors the diversity of our students and staff. The vision of the Board of Education of Harford County is to inspire and prepare each student to achieve success in college and career.