The Baltimore Sun

Md. teacher of year finalists are named

Southern High School teacher Alicia Appel has been named one of seven finalists for 2007 Maryland Teacher of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education, marking the second straight year an Anne Arundel County teacher has been a finalist for the top honor.

Appel, who teaches English and Advancement Via Individual Determination courses at the school in Harwood, was named county Teacher of the Year in April.

"With all the excitement that comes from getting kids back into the classroom and the anticipation of a new school year, this news comes at the perfect time," said Appel, who was greeted with a standing ovation from her colleagues at a school staff meeting Thursday when the news was announced.

Crofton Middle School language arts teacher Susan Casler was a finalist for the state honor last year.

Final judging for the Maryland Teacher of the Year competition will take place during the second week of September. The MSDE will name this year's winner at a gala and reception dinner Oct. 5 at Martin's West in Baltimore. The state winner also advances to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced next spring.

Public meeting on education Sept. 11

As the new school year begins, the Maryland State Teachers Association will hold a series of public meetings, including one in Annapolis, to get people talking about public schools.

The MSTA is seeking ideas on how to guarantee that all children have access to a high-quality public education. This input will be shared with state lawmakers as they look for ways to close the budget deficit, as well as with local officials, to help them understand the importance of maintaining Maryland's commitment to public school students and how they can help.

The local meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in the auditorium of Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Road.

To learn more MSTA's Great Public Schools campaign, visit

New member named to MSAC board

The Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools recently named Mary Gable of Edgewater a member of its board of commissioners.

Gable currently serves as the director of instructional programs for Maryland State Department of Education. She previously served as principal of Severna Park and Old Mill high schools and as director of high schools for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, along with other positions in a 40-year career in education.

As a Middle States commissioner, Gable will help promote the improvement of secondary education through accreditation and foster communication between secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

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