Five teachers – three from Edgewood area schools – are the finalists for the Harford County Public Schools 2014 Teacher of the Year award, that a former HCPS superintendent said is the highest honor a teacher can receive.
Three finalists are high school teachers, two are elementary teachers. The five, who teach different subjects, have been selected from more than 3,200 teachers in the Harford school system.
This year's winner will succeed Havre de Grace Elementary School teacher Kristin Schaub who received the honor a year ago.
The nomination process involves several steps.
The HCPS Teacher of the Year Judging Committee reviewed and scored all nomination packets and the points were tallied resulting in a group of 10 candidates who participated in an interview with a panel of six judges.
The judges then narrowed the pool to the top five finalists, one of whom will be crowned the 2014 Harford County Teacher of the Year.
The surprise announcement of the winner will be made at the annual Harford County Teacher of the Year banquet Wednesday, March 26, at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace.
The 2014 HCPS Teacher of the Year finalists are:
Jeanne M. Donlick
A Harford Technical High School mathematics teacher, Jeanne Donlick graduated from the New York State University at Cortland in 1999 with a bachelor of science in mathematics and secondary education. Her master of science degree was obtained in 2001 through the New York Institute of Technology, focusing on instructional technology for educators. Donlick continued her education and completed her master's plus degree in Differentiating Teaching and Teacher Leadership through St. Thomas University.
Donlick is the facilitator of the School Improvement Team, a leader for the Faculty Social Committee, a mentor teacher for college students and is the adviser for the National Honor Society. She has been awarded with the National Youth Leadership Most Inspirational Teacher award as well as being recognized as an exceptional mathematics educator for the William Sacco award.
Nicole L. Ivey
Nicole Ivey, an Edgewood High School social studies teacher, is a 16-year veteran of Harford County Public Schools. She received her bachelor of arts in political science from Washington College in 1993 and her master of arts in political science from American University in 1995 with certification to teach from the College of Notre Dame in 1997. She is pursuing her Administrative I certification.
Ivey serves as the Social Studies Department chair at Edgewood High School. She serves on the School Improvement Team and Eligibility Committee. She is active in curriculum writing and is the Harford County coordinator for Mock Trial, working closely with Baltimore County.
Alisa J. Janiski
Since 2006, Alisa Janiski has had a positive impact on the students, teachers, and community of Prospect Mill Elementary, where she is a fourth-grade teacher. She graduated with honors from Villa Julie College in 2006, earning her bachelor of science in elementary education. Janiski earned her master's degree in reading and math in 2009, her 30 Beyond in 2011 and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2012.
Janiski provides challenging, rigorous instruction using a variety of technology and hands-on techniques to motivate her students. Janiski serves as science facilitator, STEM representative, Environmental Literacy Leader, Science Curriculum Developer, team leader and NBCT mentor.
Lawrence M. Jehnert
Lawrence Jehnert, a third-grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary School, holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in elementary education, both earned at Towson University. Jehnert began his teaching career at Edgewood Elementary School in 2002. During his tenure, he has achieved the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation's Everyday Hero honor (2012) and Boys and Girls Clubs Teacher of the Year honor (2004).
Jehnert is team leader of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team at Edgewood Elementary School. He also volunteers often to coach youth sports for Bel Air Recreation Council in baseball, boys and girls basketball and football.
S. Craig Llewellyn
Samuel Craig Llewellyn is an artist/educator serving as art department chair at Edgewood High School. A lifelong Marylander, he earned his bachelor of fine arts from Frostburg University, holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in education and is working toward a masters of education in school improvement leadership from Goucher College.
During Llewellyn's 15 years in education, he has been named 2008 Maryland Art Education Association High School Art Teacher of the Year and 2011 National Art Education Association Eastern Region Art Educator of the Year. At Edgewood High School, Llewellyn has focused on building a vibrant collaborative culture that amplifies the community.