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Baltimore's Best

Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2022 people & media

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to veterinary practice. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.

Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.

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For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.

Best School Principal

Cheyanne Zahrt, City Neighbors High School

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5609 Sefton Ave., Baltimore. 443-642-2119. cityneighborshighschool.org

While Cheyanne Zahrt didn’t always want to be an educator, she felt like she was called to do so.

Zahrt, the principal of City Neighbors High School, cites the relationships she’s built with her students and their families as her reasoning for sticking with the field.

Beginning her career as a Teach for America Corps member, she was placed at Lake Clifton Eastern High School in 2002. Since then, Zahrt, now 43, has been with Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) for 20 years and at City Neighbors for 11 years.

“What made me stay in teaching for this long has been the students and their families,” Zahrt said.

Growing up in Nevada and going to college in Washington, she didn’t know anyone when she moved to Baltimore City and began working in BCPS. However, Zahrt, who lives in Waltherson, said her students and their families welcomed her.

While she cannot pinpoint one singular interaction with her students that has been the most meaningful, she said the yearly graduation ceremonies are particularly special. This year, Zahrt saw her 16th class of seniors walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas.

Aside from the general excitement surrounding the day, she said this past graduation was especially meaningful because two of the graduating seniors are the children of students she taught 18 years ago at Lake High School.

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As for the future, Zahrt said she’ll be at the school for at least five more years in her current role, a promise she made to one of the teachers on her staff who expressed apprehension about a possible departure.

Further, she said the teaching landscape has changed drastically since her start 20 years ago, specifically citing the emphasis on standardized testing and the impact of mobile technology on learning. And while this year has been challenging, she said the culture of City Neighbors is what helps them prevail through challenges.

“I think a lot of times successful schools have a strong school culture,” she said. “And that has to be at the forefront of the work that we do. And it’s a lot of work to create a culture where, you know, our motto at City Neighbors is kids are known and loved and inspired, and it takes a lot of work to create that culture. But we’ve worked really hard to have that be true to who we are as a school.”

— Caitlyn Freeman


Activist: April Watts, April Watts Enterprises LLC.

Honorable mentions:

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Kim Lane, Pigtown Main Street

Carol Ott, Tenant Advocacy Director at Fair Housing Action Center of Maryland

Kate Cook, Hands On HIIT

Clergyperson: Shea Strickland, Grace Fellowship Church

Honorable mentions:

Walter Scott Thomas, New Psalmist Baptist Church

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Louis A. Bianco, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen

Jeff S. Dauses, Immaculate Heart of Mary

College athlete: Angel Reese, formerly of Maryland

Honorable mentions:

Jaia Alexander, Coppin State

Rakim Jarrett, Maryland

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College professor: Gina Laupert, Towson University

Honorable mentions:

Elgin Klugh, Coppin State University

Ernest Shaw Jr., Maryland Institute College of Art

Tasha Lewis, Loyola University

DJ: DJ Boobie

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Honorable mentions:

DJ Twisted

DJ Steezy

DJ Kenny K

Instagram account: @thebaltimorefoodie

Honorable mentions:

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@Wine.Dine.Repeat

@Cousinkim_

@valleyDENTALhealth

Meteorologist: Justin Berk, Just In Weather LLC.

Honorable mentions:

Ava Marie, WBAL-TV 11

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Stevie Daniels, WMAR-2

Meg McNamara, WJZ-TV 13

Oriole: Trey Mancini

Honorable mentions:

Cedric Mullins

Bruce Zimmermann

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John Means

Personal trainer: Justin Inman, Dr. Baltimore Big House Fitness

Honorable mentions:

Troy Harris, Unboxed Boxing and Fitness

Kate Cook, Hands On HIIT

Ashley Wilson, The BYDI Brand

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Podcast: No Pix After Dark Podcast

Honorable mentions:

No Class Podcast

The Real Spill Podcast

Baltimore Positive Podcast

Politician/government official: Gov. Larry Hogan

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Honorable mentions:

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott

Odette Ramos, Baltimore City Council, District 14

John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County Executive

Radio host: Intern John, HOT 99.5

Honorable mentions:

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Priestly, Baltimore Mix 106.5

Francesca, Laurie DeYoung Morning Show 93.1 WPOC

#MrGotDatGlow Chee, 1500 Radio

Radio station: 98 Rock, WIYY-FM

Honorable mentions:

WYPR-FM 88.1

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WLIF Today’s 101.9

WJZ-FM 105.7 The Fan

Raven: Justin Tucker

Honorable mentions:

Lamar Jackson

Mark Andrews

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Rashod Bateman

Redditor: Puptrait

Honorable mention:

BaltimoreTom

School principal: Cheyanne Zahrt, City Neighbors High School

Honorable mentions:

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Dianne Kestler, St. Joan of Arc School

Charles Stembler, Calvert Hall College High School

Roz Cauthen, Baltimore School for the Arts

Sports talk show: Gerry Sandusky, WBAL talk-show

Honorable mentions:

Big Bad Morning Show, 105.7 The Fan

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Glenn Clark Radio

TV personality: Lowell Melser, WBAL-TV 11

Honorable mentions:

Bob Turk, WJZ-TV 13

Rick Ritter, WJZ-TV 13

Christian Schaffer, WMAR-2

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Twitter feed: @Charmcitytable

Honorable mentions:

@theJabeski

@LisaMcCray

@ArchbaltSchools

Visual artist: Juliet Ames, Broken Plate Co.

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Honorable mentions:

J.B. Shepard

Dish Baltimore

Dish Baltimore

Weekly

Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

Ernest Shaw Jr.

Megan Lewis

Writer: Dan Rodricks, The Baltimore Sun

Honorable mentions:

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Laura Lippman

D. Watkins

Johnni Sherri


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