Choates, 75, spent all 37 years of her career as an educator – 1967 to 2004 – at Edgewood High School, serving as a business education teacher for 30 years before spending her final seven years as an assistant principal. During her time at Edgewood High, she worked with the first nine of the school’s principals. A native of York, Pa., Choates grew up one of six siblings in Harford County, graduating from the segregated Central Consolidated High School in Hickory, where she was involved in a number of school and extra-curricular activities, including cheerleading, chorus, band and several school clubs. Choates received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and, immediately after graduation, started her career at EHS. While at the school, she sponsored the Future Business Leaders of America and was a board member for the newly formed Academy of Finance. She exerted a unifying influence at Edgewood High, arriving just two years after total integration had been achieved. Choates was a key supporter of the Black Youth in Action (BYA) organization, which helped develop minority girls into mature and poised young women. For 25 years, she coached the EHS girls track team, leading them to several county and state championships. She also coached volleyball and cross country. Despite her busy schedule, Choates extended her influence with young people by teaching evening classes at Harford Community College and GED classes at her church. She earned her master’s degree from Morgan State University. Choates developed a reputation as a demanding yet caring teacher, holding her students to a high standard, an attitude she carried with her as assistant principal, requiring students “toe the line” while maturing into productive citizens. She is a longtime member of Zion Temple Apostolic Church in Edgewood, where she actively serves on the board of trustees, the Finance Committee and the church choir. Choates and her husband, Odell Choates, have been married 51 years, and have two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.