Ryan Twentey, an advance placement photography teacher at Parkville High School and a resident of Bel Air, won $10,000 this week as one of two national honorees of the ASCD 2013 Outstanding Young Educator Award.
The award was announced Sunday at the association's 68th annual Conference in Chicago.
Twentey said he was "humbled to be recognized for what I enjoy most about teaching: empowering my students with skills to succeed," Twentey said.
School officials said that during his 12 years at Parkville High, Twentey has worked on systemwide curriculum projects and served as chairman of Parkville's Career and Technology Education program
School officials said Twentey is known for working to help students define, and develop, skills they need for their chosen fields. To aid that process, he creates specialized course tutorials that help students learn at their own pace.
Twentey said he works to create an environment of support, "so that through our experiences and triumphs we all develop, progress and master knowledge, techniques and communication."
As an Advanced Placement teacher, Twentey works with the Community College of Baltimore County to make sure students prepare reviewed portfolio that allow them to earn college credit for their high school art classes. As a result, his photography and multimedia students have achieved a 100 percent pass rate for AP tests.
In 2011, Twentey was honored as the Maryland Art Teacher of the Year for the high school division.
"In today's world, teachers must draw clear correlations between work in the classroom and work in the real world," said S. Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, in a statement. "Ryan shapes his instruction to provide students with the skills necessary to be college and career ready."
As for his own photography, Twentey maintains a portfolio on photo.net, and states that, "When I get time to walk outside with my camera, I like to grab the little things we forget to pay attention to and probably will forget about even if we did."
The OYEA award recognizes teachers and administrators under age 40 who "are making a difference in children's lives." Winners receive the $10,000 cash award, as well as membership in ASCD and networking and professional development opportunities.
Twentey received the award with fellow honoree Joshua Garcia, deputy superintendent of the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Schools.