Martin Tierney, principal of Manchester Elementary School, and Troy Barnes, assistant principal at Westminster High School, were named winners of the annual Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrators during the Board of Education's employee recognition ceremony on May 6.

Tierney was recognized as an exceptional administrator who shows great compassion and commitment to the students and staff at Manchester Elementary School, as well as the entire community.

"If you look up the word 'heart', you will find Mr. Tierney's picture there for sure! I consider Mr. Tierney a partner in helping others, whether at school or in the community," said Sharon Bonner, a Manchester parent, according to a release from Carroll County Public Schools.

Tierney has served as principal of Manchester Elementary since 2007. His 31 years in education with Carroll County Public Schools, began in 1982 as a speech language pathologist. He became assistant principal at Mechanicsville Elementary School in 1993 and was named principal of Carrolltowne Elementary in 1998.

Barnes has also spent all of his years in education in Carroll County Public Schools.

"Mr. Barnes possesses an aptitude for simultaneously understanding the perspectives of teachers, students, and parents equally. He makes students, teachers, and parents feel valued and important, a wonderful talent, indeed," said Brian Drake, an instrumental music teacher at Westminster High School, in a release from the school system.

Barnes began his career as a teacher at Liberty High School in 1990 and was a member of the Instructional Leadership Team for Century High School. He served as an academy leader and teacher at Century High School until his appointment as acting assistant principal in 2005. He spent three years as assistant principal at North Carroll High School before moving to Westminster High School in 2008.

The Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrators was created in memory of Rita Board Dowd, who taught biology and science at North Carroll High School from 1997 to 2002. She was a member of the faculty that opened Winters Mill High School in 2002 and taught biology until her appointment as assistant principal in 2006. She died in May 2009.

The goal of the award is to recognize exceptional educational leadership in serving Carroll County Public Schools and its students.

Any full-time elementary, middle, high school, career and technology, or alternative program principal or assistant principal in the Carroll County Public School System may be nominated for the award by any student, administrator, teacher, parent, faculty or staff member, or other individual.

The selection committee is composed of a member of Rita Board Dowd's family, the previous year's winners, school directors, and the assistant superintendent of instruction.