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Havre de Grace High’s Paige Milanoski is finalist for state Teacher of the Year award

Harford County 2019 Teacher of the Year Paige Milanoski got a big surprise Thursday.

The Havre de Grace High School English teacher was told she is one of seven finalists for the 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

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Wearing a yellow raincoat, Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Sean Bulson walked into Milanoski’s classroom holding a bouquet of roses during what Milanoski thought was filming for a video promo of this year’s Teacher of the Year.

“We’re not here for a promo, we’re here to let you know you’re a finalist for the state teacher of the year,” Bulson told her.

“Stop it!” she said.

The video Milanoski thought she was shooting, which is really the announcement, is posted on the Harford County Public Schools Facebook page.

Malinoski walked into the hallway where she was greeted with cheers and hugs by students and faculty, who soon began asking for a “speech, speech."

“I want to work hard for you every day, and if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t,” Milanoski said. “It’s yours, not mine.”

The yellow raincoats worn by Bulson and other members of the school leadership team harken to a comment Milanoski made when introducing Bulson at the school year kickoff at Harford Community College Aug. 23.

She told the story of how one day last year, she had to drop off paperwork at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air, in the rain. Wearing her “big yellow raincoat,” Milanoski was going into the building at the same time as Bulson, who made a comment to the effect of “it’s really coming down out there,” Milanoski said.

“And I said, ‘Yeah, sure is, want to get in my coat with me?’” she said to Bulson.

The takeaway, she said to the 2,500 staff, is “Even on your worst day, at least you didn’t ask the superintendent of schools to get in your coat with you.”

The 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on Oct. 25. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities and a new car valued at more than $25,000, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.

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