Drista Bowser, a gifted and talented resource teacher at Northwest and Mount Airy middle schools, and Francis Scott Key and South Carroll high schools, received the Outstanding Educator in Gifted and Talented Education – Teacher as Leader Award, presented by the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education and the Maryland State Department of Education.
Bowser was recognized for her successful completion of the McDaniel College Gifted and Talented Education Specialist program, which allowed her to earn state endorsement as Gifted and Talented Education Specialist. She completed 18 credits of coursework aligned with the NAGC-CEC Standards for Teacher Preparation in Gifted and Talented Education. As part of the McDaniel GATES program, Bowser completed an on-site internship in which she compiled a portfolio of artifacts she created and implemented to demonstrate mastery of the seven NAGC-CEC standards. Bowser also led the EGATE recertification application process for Northwest Middle School, which became one of the first EGATE schools in the state and continues to be the only one in Carroll County. Bowser provides direct services to identified students, professional development to teachers, and workshops for parents. She develops differentiated curriculum and lesson extensions for her students. Her services at the high school primarily support gifted students' social/emotional and educational counseling needs.
Bowser was nominated for the award by Dr. Jeanne Paynter, Faculty, Curriculum and Instruction Graduate and Professional Studies at McDaniel College.