The three newest members into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame came from widely different backgrounds, but each became known for her devotion to her students and community.
Doris G. Carey, Yolanda Waldon Presberry and Dr. Rachel R. Reid became the 189th, 190th and 191st members of the Hall of Fame, respectively, during a brief induction ceremony as part of Monday's Harford County Board of Education meeting.
The board room was nearly full with well-wishers, who included family members, friends, longtime former colleagues and students and other retired school personnel, including former superintendent of schools A.A. Roberty, who was leading the school system when all three were hired.
Doris G. Carey
A native of Virginia, Carey relocated to Harford County in 1972 when her husband, who was an Army officer, was assigned to Morgan State University. She recalled the family was looking for a good place to settle with their three young children, and some acquaintances mentioned Harford County, where they moved.
"My children got a wonderful education in Harford County," Carey said following her induction, which she called "a tremendous honor."
A 1963 graduate of St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Va., Carey earned a master's degree in elementary education from Morgan State and, later, completed 30 hours beyond that degree in educational administration and supervision at Loyola College.
Carey began teaching in Harford County Public Schools in 1977, first at the elementary level and later in middle schools. From 1978-80, she accompanied her husband, Richard, on his military assignment in Germany. Upon their return to Harford County, Carey became supervisor of federal programs for HCPS, serving 14 years until her retirement in 2004.
Carey was instrumental in working with minority students to help them learn more about their cultural heritage. Her team developed a special reading achievement program geared toward non-readers and a home visitor program to help parents prepare their preschool children for learning. Carey has been a longtime volunteer with the Hosanna School Museum in Darlington and previously served eight years on the Harford Community College Board of Trustees.
"I have had a wonderful experience," said Carey, who thanked several of her mentors, including former teacher and fellow Hosanna Museum advocate Christine Tolbert, the late school board members Percy Williams and George B. Lisby, who mentored her. She also gave a shout-out to her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters, several of whom were in the audience.
Yolanda Waldon Presberry
A Havre de Grace native and a member of two prominent Harford County families, Presberry said she was encouraged to become a teacher by family members.
After earning a bachelor's degree in secondary art education from the University of Maryland College Park, Presberry became an art teacher at Havre de Grace Middle School in 1977. It was noted that she never wanted to leave her home community and remained at the school until her retirement in 2010.
Tom Owen, who was representing the Harford County Retired School Personnel Association, praised Presberry, whom he supervised, saying, "Yolanda was the kind of person you want in the classroom."
Owen and several other speakers lauded Presberry for her contributions to the fine arts in her community and throughout Harford County, and Presberry herself said she was gratified so many of her students went on to have successful careers, including in the fine arts. In addition to Owen, she also thanked one of her former principals, Bob Williams, who was in the audience.
"I love teaching," Presberry, who paints and has illustrated children's books since her retirement, said. "I always wanted to encourage and mentor as many young adults as possible."
State Sen. Bob Cassilly, who presented each inductee with a proclamation on behalf of the Maryland Senate, told Presberry, who was joined by her husband, Lloyd, "When people talk about art in Harford County, your name always comes up."
Rachael R. Reid
A native of Michigan, Reid moved to Maryland in 1955 when her husband, Ared H. (Pete) Reid was drafted into the Army and assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Reid said she majored in journalism at Michigan State University and intended to one day enter that field. Settling in Harford County, she learned the county had a teacher shortage and entered a special training program at Towson State in 1966. She had been assisting her daughter's teacher at Wakefield Elementary in Bel Air, and the teacher recommended her to HCPS personnel as a teacher candidate.
Reid was hired to teach fifth grade at Jarrettsville Elementary in 1967 and then went on Homestead Elementary and William Paca/Old Post Road. She later became a special education teacher, served as associate principal and elementary supervisor before becoming principal at Deerfield Elementary in 1991 and serving until her retirement in 1999.
Several of Reid's former Deerfield associates were in the audience for her induction and gave her a standing ovation. She thanked them "for putting up with some of my ideas."
Following her retirement from HCPS, Reid taught graduate courses at Notre Dame University of Maryland and later taught introductory elementary and special education courses at HCC.
Reid was named a Harford Living Treasure by the Harford County Council in 2012.
In addition to receiving proclamations from the retired educators association and state senators, the new hall of fame members also received them from the Harford County Council, County Executive Barry Glassman and the Maryland House of Delegates.