The first to speak was Pastor from Hickory Elementary.

He started off by saying he is "proud to be a Harford County employee," but "none of us would be in the position we are without the teachers" who have influenced us and deserve respect.

Susan Kotschenreuther, a third-grade teacher at Hickory, said she has met with Superintendent Robert Tomback during various meetings and he has said that the teachers need to "promote themselves."

The teacher said she is "too busy" teaching, planning and grading to make her presence known frequently, but "can no longer afford to not promote myself."

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She continued that teachers are "outraged" at not being compensated fairly and have made personal sacrifices over the years for the benefit of the children they teach.

Kotschenreuther challenged the board to spend a day with a teacher to see what they do and make funding a priority.

She also read a letter written by a colleague who wished not to speak that evening.

The letter stated that instead of being viewed as "pawns" teachers should bee seen as "trophies."

"Trophies demand respect and honor," Kotschenreuther read, "and so do we."

Gregory Plotycia was succinct in his message to board members.

The Aberdeen High School teacher who has been an educator since 1978 said the board was responsible for "degrading this school system" and they should be "ashamed."

George Curry, a teacher at North Harford Middle School, said he is not only an school system employee, he also has kids in the school system.

Curry said the schools couldn't afford to "expect any more sacrifices from the instructional staff," as they've given all they can. "[The teachers] are stretched to their limits."

Behind the many accolades the school system receives year to year, he continued, is the instructional staff.

He said an eighth-grade student who recently came to his classroom to help out asked if he would be in the same room next year, but hesitated with his answer.

"I don't know where I'm going to be," Curry said.

Cerveny also addressed the board.

He said he doesn't feel they have "put up much of a fight" for public education funding and they should "do what it takes to make that happen."

Mike Moore, a science teacher at Fallston Middle, is also the husband of a special education teacher at C. Milton Wright High School who was unable to attend that night's meeting because she was at her second job tutoring at Huntington Learning Center.

He noted that he and his wife both work three jobs each every year, including during the summer, and because of time devoted to their jobs and a lack of income over the years have been unable to start a family as soon as they had hoped "because we simply cannot afford it."