Patricia DiLeonardi, who began her career at Liberty High School as a substitute teacher in 2001, was announced Thursday, April 26, as Carroll County's 2012 Teacher of the Year.
A social studies teacher at Liberty High, DiLeonardi was honored during the Carroll County Board of Education's employee recognition ceremony Thursday, April 26.
After starting as a substitute, she has been a full time teacher at Liberty since 2005.
Her classes include advance placement history, honors U.S. history, government, psychology, "Issues in American Society," sociology, political science and teen leadership.
DiLeonardi credits her mother and father, as well as many of her teachers, for her decision to become a teacher.
"I wanted to have a hand in molding the future," she said in a statement from the school system, "I believe that each child is unique, and has something amazing to offer the world."
Tom Clowes, principal at Liberty High School, was on hand for the awards ceremony on Thursday, and said that DiLeonardi, "is a very caring, compassionate teacher who strives to make sure that each student feels wanted and respected in the class."
DiLeonardi received her undergraduate degree in history from then-Towson State University and a master of arts in teaching from Towson University in 2005.
She is a member of several professional associations, including the National Council for the Social Studies, the Carroll County Education Association, the Maryland State Education Association and the National Education Association.
DiLeonardi served on the FLEX mod steering committee at Liberty High School, which in 2011 installed a 30-minute period — Promoting Achievement With Students, or PAWS — for students to catch up on homework of pursue other needs. As part of that process, she presented sessions to faculty on its implementation.
She is also involved as a mentor, not only with new teachers, but with student interns as well. DiLeonardi also serves as Student Government Association adviser at Liberty High.
In addition to her involvement at Liberty, DiLeonardi has been involved in teaching county educators how to infuse the curriculum with service learning opportunities, and also with writing the new "Issues in American Society" curriculum — which focuses on poverty and violence in the media. She also wrote curriculum with service learning components for U.S. History.
As Carroll County's Teacher of the Year , DiLeonardi will now advance to represent the county in the Maryland Teacher of the Year program, and possibly the National Teacher of the Year Program.
In a partnership between the CCPS and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, this year's finalists for Teacher of the Year were selected by the chamber as winners of its annual Outstanding Teacher Awards.
Those finalists were announced on March 28. In addition to DiLeonardi, the other finalists were:
• Anthony Cimino, drama teacher, Liberty High School.
• Janel Fosnot, mathematics teacher, Shiloh Middle School.
• Deanne McGrath, mathematics teacher, West Middle School.
• Thomas McHugh, English teacher, Century High School.
• Patrick Rudolph, technology education teacher/graphics/yearbook, Century High School.
• Mary Schlipper, physical education teacher, Mechanicsville Elementary School.
• Marti Tomko, earth science teacher, West Middle School..