Nicole Heinlein, a third-grade teacher at Carrolltowne Elementary School, was named Carroll County 2014 Teacher of the Year during the Board of Education's employee recognition ceremony on May 6.
Accolades are nothing new for Heinlein, who has been teaching at Carrolltowne Elementary since 2009. She was recognized in 2012 and again in 2014 as a Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Teacher.
"Mrs. Heinlein is an exceptional teacher who pursues excellence in all that she does. She will always give nothing less than 100 percent in any task she undertakes. She uses every available resource to meet the many learning styles of students in her classroom," said Vicki Winner, principal of Carrolltowne Elementary, in a release from Carroll County Public Schools.
Heinlein, who began her teaching career at The Goddard School in 2008, originally planned on attending law school until she recognized that her true passion was education.
"I was inspired to become a teacher because I believe that in order to make a true difference in education, one must be part of the solution, not just someone with an opinion," she said, according to the release.
Heinlein currently serves as the School Improvement Team chairwoman; a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) representative for the Maryland State Educator Effectiveness Academy; the third-grade team leader; a school liaison for Education That is Multicultural; and an intern host and supervisor for Stevenson University. In addition, she is a Liberty High School/Century High School early childhood education intern cooperating teacher.
According to the release, she believes her most significant contributions in teaching have included her work with STEM education, where she has improved a large number of students' experiences with STEM education by working with the school's entire staff. For the past two years, she has developed and executed professional development that explains to staff how STEM education can be incorporated into their classroom.
Throughout her teaching career in Carroll County Public Schools, Heinlein has served as a STEM curriculum author, a new teacher mentor, and a third-grade STEM workshop instructor.
Heinlein earned a Bachelor of Arts in political studies with a secondary emphasis in Latin American studies from Juniata College in 2005.
She received her Master of Science in instruction from Drexel University in 2008 and her English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification from McDaniel College in 2012.
The winner of the Carroll County Teacher of the Year Award represents Carroll County teachers in the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program. This year's finalists were selected by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce as winners of the Chamber's Outstanding Teacher Awards.