J. Patrick Whitehurst, Harford County's Teacher of the Year, has been named one of seven finalists in the state Teacher of the Year competition.
The Bel Air High School social studies teacher was named the top teacher in Harford in April after being nominated by his students. He is known for dressing up as historical figures and teaching class as those characters. Mr. Whitehurst's students also have become a familiar presence at County Council, school board and other meetings, where he sends them to see government in action.
"I don't see this as an individual accomplishment, but an accomplishment for the Harford County Public School System, Bel Air High School and our teachers in general," Mr. Whitehurst said in a school system news release.
Mr. Whitehurst and the other finalists were chosen by a committee of educators and business leaders from around the state. The teachers answered questions about their teaching philosophy, community involvement, education issues and trends, and other topics.
The judging committee will interview each finalist in September, and the Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced Oct. 6 at a banquet. The other finalists are from Caroline, Cecil, Frederick, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties.