Harford County’s finalists for 2018 Teacher of the Year were honored Monday by the Harford County Board of Education ahead of the annual banquet Wednesday, when the winner will be chosen.
The finalists are Amanda Roberts, a social studies teacher at Harford Technical High School; Nicole Shank, a fifth-grade teacher at Ring Factory Elementary School; Deanna Smith, a business education teacher at Bel Air High School; Paula Stanton, an English teacher at Bel Air High School; and Dawn Stone, a fine arts educator at North Bend Elementary School.
“To be considered worth worthy is an amazing accomplishment and one our finalists should be extremely proud of,” Superintendent Barbara Canavan said as she introduced each of the five finalists during Monday’s meeting. “I thank you for all you do every day. You are shining stars and when I group up I want to be just like you.”
The 2018 winner will be announced at the annual Harford County Teacher of the Year Banquet to be held on Wednesday, April 4, at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace.
Board president Joe Voskuhl also congratulated the finalists.
“It’s too bad only one of you can be a winner; you’re all deserving,” Voskuhl said.
Also recognized at Monday’s meeting were teachers who obtained their national board certification in teaching.
In Harford, 95 teachers have earned the designation. In the 2016-2017 school year, 21 educators achieved their certification and five renewed theirs, Lader said.
Teachers with the certification receive an extra $3,000 per year for 10 years ($1,000 from Maryland and $2,000 from Harford County).
Rebecca Gault, teacher specialist for professional development, said the national board certification “is another level of excellence… that makes our system very, very special.”
The teachers honored Monday represent 764 years of teaching among them, Gault said. Harford has a pass rate of 78 percent for initial national certification, which is twice the national average and one of the highest pass rates in the country, she said.
But what’s really important, she said, is the students.
“We know who our students are. We know their achievement levels, but more importantly we know their character, their desires, their interests, their goals for the future,” Gault said. “Tens of thousands of students lives have been impacted by the teachers in this room.”
The National Board’s two-part certification system uses sophisticated performance-based assessments that measure teachers’ performance against the standards in their area of practice.
Teachers must develop three extensive portfolios, which contain student work samples and recordings of classroom instruction.
During the second part of the National Board process, teachers go to an assessment center where they demonstrate content knowledge and their understanding of successful teaching methods.
Voskuhl also congratulated the certified and recertified teachers for 2017.
“I congratulate each and every one of you on your great accomplishment and dedication to the teaching profession,” he said. “This will benefit every kid who comes in your classroom.”
Canavan told the teachers “a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.”
“Your journey is not over. You need to start another one with this great renown that you’ve just received,” Canavan said.
Among those becoming National Board Certified Teachers in Harford were Meghan Grammer, Jarrettsville Elementary School; Crystal Rufenacht, Church Creek Elementary School; Emily Pump, Deerfield Elementary School; Christina Gray, Bakerfield Elementary School; Dawn Zipay, Ring Factory Elementary School; Catherine Bernard, Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School; Stacey Scarff, Fallston Middle School; Sarah DeVan, Youth's Benefit Elementary School; Katherine Dorsey, Emmorton Elementary School; Dr. Alexandra Greenwood, Fallston Middle School; Cybil Rohner, Fallston Middle School; Claire Ring, Fallston Middle School; Christina O’Neill, Bel Air Middle School; Tracie Moots, Patterson Mill Middle School; Erin Baker, Bel Air Middle School; Ryan Bayne, Bel Air Middle School; Sarah Ashley, Aberdeen High School; Tammy Carcirieri, Aberdeen High School; Anne Lehman Pape, Edgewood High School; Dr. Paula Stanton, Bel Air High School; and Tammy Taylor, Harford Technical High School.
Teachers receiving their renewals this year include Cindy Lippencott, a Gifted and Talented Resource teacher at Magnolia and Emmorton Elementary Schools; Dawn Gardner, an instructional facilitator at Abingdon and Homestead/Wakefield Elementary schools; Dr. Jennifer Palmer, an instructional facilitator at Ring Factory, Emmorton and William S. James Elementary Schools; Heather Hamilton, a pre-K teacher at Magnolia Elementary School; and Andrew Grant, a social studies teacher at Aberdeen High School.