Running Brook Elementary School principal Troy Todd and Applications and Research Laboratory teacher Maddy Halbach received this year's Principal and Teacher of the Year awards on Thursday from Howard County Public School System.
Todd was chosen out of five nominees for Principal of the Year, and Halbach was selected from 20 Teacher of the Year nominees. Both staff members will represent the county for the Washington Post Principal and Teacher of the Year award, with Halbach also in the running for Maryland State Teacher of the Year.
With more than 20 years in county schools, Todd started as a teacher in Howard County and became principal of Running Brook Elementary School in 2008. Schools spokesman John White said Todd's efforts to lead and create a positive atmosphere in the school system made him an excellent choice for Principal of the Year.
Running Brook's math support teacher, Kristen Mangus, nominated Todd, sharing examples of his "dedication and caring" nature in her nomination letter.
After receiving her award Thursday morning, Halbach said she felt honored yet humble when superintendent Renee Foose told her she was selected.
"She surprised me this morning and it made me cry," Halbach said. "There are so many good teachers here in the county who do tremendous work. It's mind-blowing that they wanted to honor me this year."
At Applications and Research Laboratory, Career and Technology Education coordinator Sharon Kramer nominated Halbach. Halbach has been an Academy of Finance instructor since 2007 and was recognized for her "passion and high academic standards" in the classroom.
Halbach said she's pleased to have such an "amazing group of kids" in the finance program and looks forward to each day in the classroom.
"My students are awesome," she said. "I'm really lucky."