Deborah C. Harbaugh, a longtime English teacher who has been an innovator in Carroll County schools, is the school board's nominee for Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Assistant Superintendent Gary L. Dunkleberger announced Ms. Harbaugh as the nominee at last night's school board meeting at Manchester Elementary School. Ms. Harbaugh was unable to attend the meeting.
"On the issues and trends in education, Ms. Harbaugh reminds us that in education, our most important clientele are the students," Dr. Dunkleberger said. He said she has been on several committees that worked on new approaches to teaching and teacher training.
Ms. Harbaugh, of Littlestown, Pa., teaches English at Westminster High School and has taught in Carroll County for all of her 21-year career.
"She will try different approaches to engage the students in learning activities," said Edwin Davis, a former Westminster High School principal who now is director of pupil services for the schools.
"One of the things people may not know is she was part of the first interdisciplinary team started at Westminster High [in 1972]," Mr. Davis said. "The purpose of that team was to get to know students better, what their learning styles were.
"That team also coordinated activities so that one curriculum might support another. For example, an English teacher and a social studies teacher might assign a theme together," he said. "It has continued."
Ms. Harbaugh has been nominated for Teacher of the Year four other times. This year, she was nominated by the chairwoman of her department, Mary Kay Nevius-Maurer, who was once a county Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Harbaugh also has been nominated twice for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Teacher Award.
She received a bachelor of arts in secondary language arts education from the University of South Florida in 1974 and a master of liberal arts from Western Maryland College in 1981.