Maryland Teachers of the Year 2013 - 2014
Nominees by City / County
Click on the smaller photo for a larger photo and bio.
Teacher Of The Year Bios 2013-2014
Allegany County – Center for Career and Technical Education
Carol Garner, Environmental Science Teacher
Carol Garner graduated from Frostburg State University with a Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees. She is currently an Environmental Science teacher at the Center for Career and Technical Education where she is a member of the Student Improvement Team (SIT), Student Assistance Program (SAP), and is a Science Instructional Leader, Liaison for Environmental Literacy initiatives, Veterans Day Chair and the Envirothon Advisor. Ms. Garner’s services to the community have included volunteer work supporting all facets of watershed sustainability, bereaved parents, and shelter animals. Carol shares her love of nature with her husband Michael and children, Lily and Caleb.
Anne Arundel County – South River High School
Jodie Hogan, Spanish and STEM Teacher
At South River High School, Jodie Hogan inspires her students to be global citizens and use their command of Spanish to communicate in business settings and traveling the world. She is chairperson of the Equity Team, facilitates professional development and writes curriculum combining Spanish with STEM methodology. Ms. Hogan earned a Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education from California University of Pennsylvania in 1998. In 2003 she earned a Master of Arts in Intercultural Communications from UMBC and in 2010 a Master of Arts in Education from Gratz College. Ms. Hogan was 2012 Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.
Baltimore City – Green Street Academy
Ketia C. Stokes, Special Education / Autism Spectrum
Lead Teacher for Baltimore City’s model site for students with Autism, Ketia Stokes implements a uniquely designed curriculum at Green Street Academy specializing in cultivating vocational, communication, social and independent living skills. A passionate advocate and innovative learning strategist, she chairs the Special Education Team, facilitates school and city wide professional development, spearheads family and community engagement initiatives, mentors fellow educators, and is an Autism Society of Baltimore board member. Ms. Stokes earned a Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University in 2002 and a Master’s of Education from Coppin State University in 2011.
Caroline County – North Caroline High School
Katherine (Kathi) Bridwell, Teacher Academy & Early Childhood Education Programs
Kathi graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1982 with a degree in Home Economics Education. In 1992, she earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University and also holds the Teacher Academy of Maryland and Administrative I certifications. Mrs. Bridwell currently teaches the Teacher Academy of Maryland and Early Childhood Education programs at North Caroline High School and serves as advisor for two active clubs. In addition to serving on several school and community committees, she mentors new teachers. She feels that her greatest accomplishment in education has been her ability to connect with all students.
Carroll County – Westminster High School
Laura Doolan, English Teacher
Laura Doolan is an English teacher and English Department Chair at Westminster High School. She has served as yearbook sponsor, class sponsor, Stand Up! founder and sponsor, School Improvement Team member, Chair of the Multicultural Committee, and graduation coordinator. Laura takes a leadership role in writing curriculum and conducting countywide professional development. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from James Madison University in 1992 and received a Master’s of Education Degree in Secondary English Curriculum and Instruction in 2003 from the University of Virginia. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and is currently completing her Administrative Certification at McDaniel College.
Cecil County - Holly Hall Elementary School
Steven Luthultz, 5th Grade Teacher
Steven Luthultz, writes district and state curriculum, plans and presents professional development, and mentors pre-service teachers. He is an Educator Effectiveness Academy Master Teacher, a member of Maryland’s STEM certification work group, and Cecil County’s elementary representative to Maryland’s Environmental Literacy initiative. Mr. Luthultz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lafayette College (1976), a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies from Philadelphia Biblical University (1982), and a Master of Education Elementary Studies from Wilmington University (2008), where he is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program.
Charles County – Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School
Mary Bailey, Reading Recovery Teacher, 1st Grade
Mary earned a Bachelors’ degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University in 1986 and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Bowie State University in 1990. She is a recipient of the Charles County Exemplary Employee Award 1994 & 2002, Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award 2002, Walt Disney American Teacher Award nominee 2002, and Reader’s Digest Heroes in Education Award nominee 1998. Mary served as a new teacher mentor, Future Educators of America sponsor, evaluation panel member at Bowie State University, and presented at county wide in-services on Literacy. She is very active in her community and volunteers in many non-profit organizations.
Dorchester County – North Dorchester Middle School
Linda Blackmon, Media Specialist
Linda earned a Bachelor’s in Religion and minor in Business from Meredith College in 1984, Master’s in Conflict Management from Trinity Seminary in 1999, Master’s in Instructional Technology from Towson University in 2003, and an MSDE Administration Certificate in 2012. She teaches research, media, reading, and TV Production. She designed and published Dorchester County Public Schools’ websites. Linda served on the Accreditation for Growth, School Improvement, Student Success, and Leadership Teams. Her passion is literacy. She received the Educational Technology Outstanding Leader in Education Award. She is a member of the Maryland Association of School Librarians’ Black-Eyed Susan Reading Committee.
Frederick County – Urbana Elementary School
Karl J. Kidd, Jr., Advanced Academics, 5th Grade
Karl Kidd is passionate about Making It Real for students. At Urbana Elementary, he makes learning come alive for his students every day. While he originally planned on being a doctor, his community service work with special needs children made him realize that teaching was his passion. Karl earned his B.S. in Biology from Frostburg State University in 2006 and his M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Hood College in 2010. Known for building strong relationships in his school community, he has presented at local and state conferences and is a STEM leader working to enhance his district’s STEM program.
Garrett County – Northern Garrett High School
Derek Berger, Science Teacher
Derek Berger earned a B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University in 2002 and a M.A. in Secondary Education from Frostburg State University in 2004. He has participated in curriculum development, led a student-centered engineering project, attended the Educator Effectiveness Academy, and presented STEM professional development. Currently he leads a Professional Learning Community, participates in the Common Core Transition Team, and mentors students in the NRAO Pulsar Search Collaboratory. He has been teaching at Northern Garrett High since 2004, where he strives to incorporate technology and implement instructional practices that empower students to be college and career ready.
Harford County – Havre de Grace Elementary School
Kristin Schaub, 5th Grade Teacher
With 100% of her fifth grade math students scoring proficient or advanced on MSA Math and 84% of her special education class scoring proficient or advanced on MSA Reading for 2012, Kristin Schaub has greatly impacted the school and community. Her passion for education is visibly demonstrated by her service as a classroom model, a School Improvement Team facilitator, and a grade level chair. A Summa Cum Laude graduate, Ms. Schaub earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University in 2004 and a Master of Science in Instructional Technology in 2012. Ms. Schaub’s knowledge and passion allow her to consistently implement innovative teaching strategies to fulfill the diverse learning needs of her Title I students.
Howard County – Burleigh Manor Middle School
George McGurl, Science Teacher, 6th Grade
George McGurl earned his B.S. in education from the University of Maryland and his M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel University. For the past 11 years he has been giving back to the very school system that gave him so much. A science teacher at Burleigh Manor Middle School in Howard County, George leads his school in their environmental education, Green School, and STEM programs. His creative approach and use of many different teaching strategies ensures that he meets the needs of every student. This earned him the Agnes Meyer Distinguished Teacher award for 2013 along with recognition for making a difference in the community.
Kent County – Rock Hall Elementary School
Ellen Chamberlin, 4th and 5th Grade Science
Ellen graduated from Delaware State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and from Capella University with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She has taught all subjects to 5th graders at Chestertown Middle School for 19 years and is now teaching Science to 4th and 5th graders at Rock Hall Elementary School. Ellen is involved in the Statewide Oysters’ Restoration project, is a member of the county Environmental Education Steering Committee and has worked with the math and science curriculum team for 18 years. She is a leader in classroom technology integration and is responsible for Engineering Is Elementary training for 2nd through 5th grade teachers.
Montgomery County – Brookhaven Elementary School
Cristina A. Ulrich, Kindergarten Teacher
Cristina Ulrich is a kindergarten teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School, a Title I school in Rockville, Maryland. In 2006, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a certificate in early childhood from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. In 2012, she received a Master’s Degree from The Johns Hopkins University in gifted education and ESOL. During her seven years of teaching, she has served as the kindergarten team leader, PTA treasurer, and volunteer of adult English classes. In 2012, she was awarded the Shirley J. Lowrie “Thank You for Teaching” award, and received the Marian Greenblatt Award in 2013.
Prince George's County – Walker Mill Middle School
Albert T. Lewis, Language Arts, 8th Grade
Albert T. Lewis teaches language arts to eighth-graders at Walker Mill Middle School – a school he attended as a student in Prince George’s County. Today, he challenges students to think critically, engages them with the latest technology and motivates them to reach their full academic potential. A passionate educator and leader, Lewis is a member of his school’s Instructional Council and School Improvement Team, runs the “breakfast club” tutoring group, facilitates professional development and sponsors the debate team and morning announcers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Morgan State University and will begin his master’s degree in educational administration at Trinity University this fall.
Queen Anne's County – Queen Anne’s County High School
Marlo Coppage, Mathematics Teacher
Marlo Coppage is a 2000 graduate of Queen Anne’s County High School and a 2004 graduate of Washington College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis on STEM through UMBC. She is certified to teach secondary mathematics and ESOL and is an adjunct professor for Chesapeake Community College and Washington College. She teaches several different courses, but currently is teaching Fundamentals of Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Honors Algebra II. She is the chair of the Algebra Professional Learning Community, a member of the STEM team and PTSA. She is also the Advisor for the It’s Academic Club, the Algebra Bridge Project Coordinator, and the Algebra Targeted Intervention Coordinator.
Saint Mary’s County – Leonardtown High School
Shawn Snyder, Mathematics Teacher
Shawn graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the spring of 1996 and began teaching mathematics in St. Mary’s County that fall. He is currently in his seventeenth year of teaching and his fourteenth year teaching AP Calculus 1, and fifth year teaching AP Calculus 2. Since he has been teaching these subjects, enrollment in his classes has almost doubled. Shawn has also been the head outdoor track coach for all seventeen years, the head indoor track coach for sixteen years, the strength & conditioning coach for the past five years, and co-department chair for mathematics for the past three years.
Somerset County – Somerset Intermediate School
Courtney Haldeman, Mathematics Teacher
Courtney Haldeman inspires at-risk middle school students to improve their math skills with creativity and compassion. She leads professional development, serves as team leader and SIT team member, and mentors new teachers and interns. Also, she supports Relay for Life, March of Dimes, and Women Supporting Women. Her strategies have proven effective with over half of her students improving their level of proficiency on the MSA. Haldeman’s dedication and professionalism are evident in her classroom. She graduated cum laude from Salisbury University (2007), with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics, and is working on her master’s degree.
Talbot County – St. Michaels Middle High School
Robin Werner, High School Science Teacher
Mrs. Werner received her BS degree from West Virginia Wesleyan in biology in 2008 and is currently enrolled at Gratz College, pursuing a Master’s degree. She was on the New Teacher Recruitment Team, the School Improvement Team, the Educator Effectiveness Academy and was an HSA Biology assessment reviewer for MSDE. Robin teaches the Biomedical Program through Project Lead the Way and also teaches Biology/AP Biology. She has been Prom Advisor, Yearbook Advisor and Junior Class Advisor while coaching JV Soccer and Varsity Softball. She is on the County Equity Team that focuses on the achievement of students of color and is a member of the Collaborative Action Research for Equity team (CARE) and assists colleagues in addressing equity issues and the needs of under-represented populations.
Washington County – Boonsboro High School
Ayako Shiga, Japanese Language Teacher
Ayako has an M.A. Degree in Japanese Pedagogy from Columbia University, an M.A. Degree in TESOL from Hawaii Pacific University, and a B.A. Degree from the University of Hawaii in Teaching English and Japanese as Second Languages. She began teaching in Maryland in 2004 and later wrote the county curriculum and assessments and developed and implemented the system’s Japanese instruction program which now represents 10% of all Maryland public school students studying Japanese. She provides opportunities to her students such as the National Japan Bowl competition and Cherry Blossom Festival parade and has received multiple grants including a full scholarship trip to Japan for her students and a grant for a fully paid teaching assistant through the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs.
Wicomico County – Wicomico Middle School
Kristin Cashman, English Language Arts Teacher, 7th Grade
Kristin, a 1998 graduate of Salisbury University, has her degree in elementary education. She has been a featured speaker for Salisbury University, a member of the family leadership council, and the county council of PTAs. As a Maryland Multicultural Education and Educator Effectiveness Academy representative and Maryland PTA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, she is able to share insight and new knowledge with other professionals. Serving as a Professional Development School trained mentor for local university education majors, she impacts future teachers. Volunteering for various church, government, and non-profit groups allows her to connect with the community that has given her so much.
Worcester County – Snow Hill Elementary
Karen Eure, Kindergarten
Karen Eure has been teaching kindergarten at Snow Hill Elementary, a Maryland and National Blue Ribbon School, for 25 years. She teaches a joy of reading, creates number sense with inquiry, and integrates science using STEM strategies. Observation and analysis of student progress using the Maryland Model for School Readiness lead to modification of instruction to increase success. Ms. Eure’s mission is to create lifelong learners and problem solvers, preparing her students for future success in school and a global economy. Ms. Eure graduated from Mary Washington College in 1986 with a BA in Spanish Education. She earned a Master of Education, with a concentration in reading, from Salisbury University in 1994.