Anne Arundel's teacher of the year


At a time when many teachers in Anne Arundel County's public schools feel defensive and beleaguered, Mayo Elementary's Linda Adamson's selection recently as Maryland Teacher of the Year provides a welcome shot in the arm. This is the highest teaching award in the state, and the fact that Mrs. Adamson has been chosen makes the whole school system look good.

Mostly, of course, it reflects well on her. Chosen from among teachers from 23 school systems, Mrs. Adamson has forged a reputation as an innovative educator. She devotes her summers to teaching literacy in Guatemala. A former student said she has a knack of "forcing" kids to learn, but in such an engaging way that they don't realize what she's doing. What a compliment.

Mrs. Adamson now becomes Maryland's nominee for national Teacher of the Year. Whether she wins or not, her presence in a competition of this stature cannot help but boost morale in a teaching community that sorely needs it.

Good luck to her.

FIXING THE PENSION: Some Anne Arundel taxpayers will be dismayed to see that the County Council has allowed most of the 17 county workers mistakenly included in a controversial pension plan for elected and appointed officials to keep their benefits.

Considering that the plan is underfunded and has undermined faith in government among some who see the county rewarding its own at their expense, we felt the council would have been wise to remove the officials from the plan and move them into the less generous regular employees' plan. (We absolutely opposed the idea of making these workers pay back benefits already accrued.) But a Pension Oversight Committee said such a transfer would be unfair, giving the council justification for allowing the employees to remain in the plan.

Before people get too outraged over this, there is some merit to the committee's argument. Taxpayers should also take comfort that the county is making progress toward reforming the plan and reducing its unfunded liability. Sensible measures, such as requiring employees to transfer assets from one pension plan to another when they move from one plan to another, are expected to cut the deficit from a high of $14 million last year to $5.8 million by January.

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