A veteran Anne Arundel County high school teacher was named Maryland Teacher of the Year on Friday night in front of hundreds of educators at an awards dinner in Baltimore County.
Joshua Carroll, a South River High School teacher, is known for his success teaching project-based lessons in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. He has worked in the Anne Arundel school system for 18 years.
Carroll, 40, will go on to compete for National Teacher of the Year, a designation that several Maryland teachers have received. In the past 11 years, the state has had five national finalists, three of whom went on to win the national award.
“I’m incredibly proud of my students,” Carroll said. “They have made me look good with their achievements.”
Athanasia Kyriakakos, an art teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in Baltimore City, who won last year, was a National Teacher of the Year finalist.
Carroll, who is in his 19th year of teaching, said he was “nervous” about competing for the national prize. “I don’t know what to expect,” he said, “but I could not be more excited.”
The selection of the state honoree is a closely guarded secret until the moment it is announced at the end of the dinner, which has been referred to as the Academy Awards for teachers.
“Joshua’s ability to recognize the contributions students make to their schools and communities builds positive morale school-wide,” Maryland Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said in a written statement. “Through encouraging involvement in the community, his students gain experience outside of the classroom, creating real-word understanding and establishing key skills. His innovative and comprehensive teaching style is an example to educators everywhere.”
Carroll has spent his career teaching at the high school level. He taught high school English before switching to the sciences. He also is a member of the Principal’s Leadership Team and chair of the Student Recognition Committee at South River. He taught high school English before switching to the sciences. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College.
Besides his contributions in the classroom, Carroll is the school’s head cross country coach and an assistant coach for track and field. He also serves on several committees for the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
“The legacy that one leaves behind cannot solely be defined by individual accomplishments, but it is in his or her ability to inspire others,” Bryan Burns, a former student of Carroll’s, said in a statement released by the Maryland State Department of Education. “Josh Carroll became that legacy for me seventeen years ago as he embodies the values of a Teacher of the Year.”
The other finalists for the award were Justin Holbrook of Baltimore City, Thomas McHugh of Carroll County, Heather Roth of Garrett County, Amy E. Mangold of Harford County,. Maddy Halbach of Howard County and Katie Fox of Talbot County.
A panel of judges from the state’s education organizations representing teachers unions, parents, school boards and principals chose Carroll. Finalists are judged on a set of national criteria.