Three longtime Baltimore teachers have been honored with cash awards in what is expected to be an annual effort to back experienced educators.
The Kurt L. Schmoke Teacher Awards, sponsored by the non-profit Fund for Educational Excellence, are intended "to encourage and support and reward teachers," said Jerry Baum, the fund's executive director.
The three teachers were honored at a City Hall ceremony yesterday with Mayor Schmoke and school Superintendent Walter G. Amprey.
Money for the awards came from Schmoke himself, who donated $90,000 from a prize he received from the Drug Policy Institute, which honored him for his stance on drug problems facing cities.
"All of that money will be dedicated to support and recognize teachers," said Baum.
Receiving the $2,500 award in the "Experienced Teacher" category is Arlene Dorsey, a 16-year teaching veteran, who works at the William S. Baer School for the Multihandicapped.
As a special education teacher, Dorsey coordinates a program that helps provide students with work and other skills they will need in later life, said Muriel Berkeley, a city teacher who coordinated the awards.
Splitting the $2,500 award in the "Career Teacher" category are Eralee G. Butler, a teacher for 30 years, who has a sixth-grade class at Greenspring Middle School, and Anna F. Williams, a 28-year veteran, a special education teacher at Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary School.
Williams, who leads small reading groups, currently teaches in the same neighborhood where she was a student, said Berkeley. She has an excellent rapport with her students, and a strong commitment to the community.
Butler, meanwhile, uses a series of motivational techniques to teach sixth-graders who have reading weaknesses. Some of her techniques include the use of rewards and small gifts, including scented pens and special paper.
"These teachers were doing more than just working very hard," said Berkeley. "They were making extra efforts, and finding extra ways to motivate these students."