4th-grade teacher awarded Sallie Mae prize of $1,000 Lockard name familiar in schools


Steven A. Lockard, a Frederick County teacher who grew up in Westminster, is one of 100 winners nationwide of the Sallie Mae First-Year Teacher Awards.

Mr. Lockard, 23, now lives in Rockville and is in his second year as a fourth-grade teacher at Green Valley Elementary School in Monrovia. He graduated from Westminster High School in 1988 and from Frostburg State University in 1992.

His father is Brian Lockard, deputy superintendent of Carroll County schools and a former sixth-grade teacher and principal. His grandfather was the late teacher and Sandymount Elementary School principal Holmes Lockard.

Mr. Lockard said he, too, may seek an administrative post in the future. He is enrolled in graduate school at Western Maryland College.

However, he said he went into teaching not because of family tradition, but because the field posed a challenge to him.

"It was really exciting to me to see the learning process in action," he said.

Qualifications for the Sallie Mae award included classroom performance, general knowledge and activities outside school. Mr. Lockard in his first year was involved with the parent-teacher association, scouting and other activities.

"I was so busy last year," he said. "It was a very demanding schedule. I had to learn a lot of things. My teammates showed me the ropes. They deserve the award as much as I do."

Green Valley Principal Jerry Strum and Mr. Lockard's teammates -- fellow fourth-grade teachers Mary Jo Contesti, Joe Swisher and Susan Clark -- nominated him for the award.

Sallie Mae (Student Loan Marketing Association) is a corporation that finances student loans and other education services. It has sponsored the first-year teacher awards for nine years. Winners do not need to be student-loan recipients, however.

Mr. Lockard and other winners will receive $1,000 from Sallie Mae.

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