Area teachers honored by Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce honored five teachers at area schools and an organization for its exemplary work May 31.

More than 120 people attended the chamber's first event to recognize Catonsville teacher. The event featured nominees from eight public and private schools.

Kate Jaudon, a second-grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School, took home the Outstanding Teacher Award in the elementary school division.

St. Agnes School seventh-grade teacher Phuong Vu received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the middle school division.

The chamber gave Kim Bickerstaff, a biology and ecology teacher at Western School of Technology and Environmental Science, the Outstanding Teacher Award in the high school division.

The fourth-grade team of Gerry Fromm and Melissa Fosnaught at St. Mark School earned the Outstanding Team Award.

For its work distributing 1,300 dictionaries to third-grade students in the greater Catonsville area, the Rotary Club of Catonsville received the Distinguished Service Award.

Teal Cary, the executive director of the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, said chamber members with an expertise in education judged the nominees.

Tonja Ringgold, the former campus dean of Community College Baltimore County and an employee of the Maryland Higher Education Commission; and Kristen Gartland, operator of the Catonsville Huntington Learning Center, were among the judges.

Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Joe Hairston was the keynote speaker at the event, which was held on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

State Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, who represents District 12, which includes Catonsville; and Gary Keedy, the liberal arts dean at CCBC-Catonsville, also spoke.

The ceremony had nominees from Catonsville, Hillcrest and Westchester elementary schools; St. Mark School; Our Lady of Victory School; St. Agnes School; Catonsville High School; and Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.

"I'm sure it'll be much bigger next year," Cary said.

Next year, the chamber would like to hold the banquet earlier in the school year and give schools more notice leading up to the event, Cary said.

Still, Cary said the chamber was pleased with the turnout at the event and expects it to grow.

"It'll take a couple of years before it gets off the ground and becomes a Catonsville event," Cary said.

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