WESTMINSTER — Eighty-three county teachers were honored for their "star" qualitiesMonday night and six were singled out for special honors.
"We need many more like you," Francis M. "Skip" Fennell, a professor of education at Western Maryland College, told the teachers. "All of you arestars."
The teachers were recognized at an annual dinner sponsored by theCarroll County Chamber of Commerce. About 350 people attended the banquet at Friendly Farm restaurant.
For the last three years, the Chamber has solicited nominations for "Outstanding Teacher" awards. Most teachers are nominated by students or parents, said Scott Manhoff of McShea and Co. Inc., a commercial real estate company.
Manhoff is chairman of the Chamber's Business and Education Committee, which organized the event.
From the group of 83 honorees, six were chosen to receive a cash award of $350, Manhoff said.
The six winners represent geographic areas of the county. Two were chosen from the Westminster area because of its size, Manhoff said.
The winners are:
* Bruce L. Damasio, 39, social studies department chairman at Liberty High School. The Ellicott City, Howard County, resident has taught in the county for 14 years. He also coaches tennis, is involved instudent government and teaches geography at WMC.
* Eileen H. Haight, 44, a third-grade teacher at Mount Airy Elementary School. She has taught at the school since 1968 and lives in Mount Airy.
* Steven E. Heacock, 37, an environmental and outdoor education specialist at the Carroll County Outdoor School at the Hashawha Environmental Appreciation Center. He has taught at the school, which is north of Westminster, since 1976 and lives in Union Mills.
* Gordon K. Love, 40, motor development teacher at Hampstead Elementary School. The Westminster resident has taught in the county for 17 years. He teaches disabled and special education students.
* Mary Kay Nevius-Maurer, 39, an English teacher at Westminster High School. The Manchester resident has taught at the school since 1974 and is involved in the National Honor Society.
* Leo M. Totten, 39, a physical education teacher at Francis Scott Key High School. The Littlestown, Pa., resident has taught in the county for 18 years. He coaches girls volleyball and weightlifting.
Fennell, who gave a short speech before the winnerswere announced, said the teachers nominated had from one to 35 yearsof experience. The average experience level of the group was 15 years, he said.
Teachers with "star quality" have the respect of theirstudents, he said.
"Students feel better about teachers they respect," Fennell said. "Students come back to visit them."
He said "star" teachers also "work and plan hard," often late into the night athome. "You take risks," he said, and keep up with the "trendy topics" in education.
After being nominated, the teachers were asked to complete an application and answer two essay questions, Manhoff said.The winners then were chosen by a group of county business people and retired educators, he said.
Six county businesses donated money for the cash awards, Manhoff said.