WESTMINSTER — Susan Bloom, 42, was recognized Thursday as Westminster's "Mother ofthe Year."
A mother of two -- Emily, 12, and Sara, 15 -- Bloom lives in Westminster with her children and husband, Calvin.
Bloom is an assistant professor of art at Western Maryland College, teaching graphic design, photography, drawing and computer graphics.
Contest selection was based on student essays judged for thoughtfulness and insight, said Carolyn Griffin, the city's assistant recreation director.
The 400-some essays from kindergartners through eighth-graders were initially read by Griffin. Ten were judged by Griffin and Recreation Director Carol Donovan, and the winner was selected from the final three by a committee of city employees.
All entries were submitted through city schools.
For the honor, Bloom received a corsage; a bouquet of flowers; lunch at Champs with Emily -- author of the winning essay -- gift certificates from Leggett's, Shear Designs and Merle Norman; balloons; and dinner at Maggie's.
Here is Emily's winning essay:
If it wasn't for you Mom, I don't know what I'd do.
You were always there in times of need.
You were also there at times when I needed to be told to do something over and over again.
Like when I needed to clean my room, you were thereto telling me to stop horsing around and get to work.
You were also there telling me when I needed to get a school project done. Even though it didn't look like I appreciated it, inside and afterwards I was glad you were there nagging me to get it done.
Many times I can remember when you were understanding and sensitive. Like when I gotmy feelings hurt, or when I had fallen down and hurt myself when I ran into a tree.
Many times I was glad you just stood back and let me handle things.
Maybe it was because you didn't want to get caught in the middle of it. Like when I got in fights with either my sister or one of my best friends.
Also, I was glad when you stood backand let me decide what I wanted to do, whether it was art, sports, or a musical instrument.
I also liked it when you gave me that extra little push to do something. Like pushing me to do that little bit of extra work to get my grade up.
Many times you were there when Iwas frightened, like when I had a bad dream at night. I can remember you would let me in the big bed with you and Dad.
Through it allyou were there for me, whether you were telling me to do something, being understanding, being sensitive, giving me that extra push or just standing back.
I loved everything you have done for me.
So, Mom don't change, I love you the way you are.