The annual Outstanding Teacher Awards banquet is drawing more people to cheer on their favorite teachers.
More than 400 people, including the 106 nominees, attended the seventh awards dinner last night at Wilhelm Catering.
"There are more students coming each year, which makes the committee very happy," said Jill Kartalia, administrative assistant for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the event with support from nine businesses.
Eight teachers were selected to receive a $300 award, and all 106 teachers nominated got dinner and a plaque. Three $300 scholarships were also awarded to be used toward continuing education.
The eight winners were Lisa A. Harrison, Pamela R. Hildenbrand, Mary Lynn S. Hursey, Mary J. Katsafanas, Lara E. Moreau, Louise Herrera Scalzi, C. Richard "Dick" Weaver and Linda A. Yingling.
Winners were chosen by eight pairs of judges. Each pair consisted of a retired teacher and a businessperson.
Anyone could nominate a teacher, and the names of 116 teachers were originally submitted by students, parents, co-workers and others. One was a teacher who won last year and asked to be removed from this year's competition; another said she loved teaching but was uncomfortable getting an award for it; and eight others did not return biographical information requested from each nominee.
The teachers who applied for and won scholarships through money donated by Wilhelm Catering, including some proceeds from tickets for the banquet, are Susan Karanovich, a special education teacher at Winfield Elementary School; David Dodson, who teaches health at North Carroll High School; and Lois Dolan and Molly Dunn of Mount Airy Middle School. Ms. Dolan and Ms. Dunn plan to use their scholarship to start an apprenticeship program for their students with local businesspeople.
Nominators remain anonymous, but the chamber released their letters praising the eight winners.
* Lisa A. Harrison, sixth-grade teacher at New Windsor Middle School, began as a social studies teacher at Westminster West Middle School in 1984.
Her nominator wrote that she had "boundless energy for her job" and said, "Ms. Harrison prepares her students for the world of work through real-life experiences," including a project to recycle paper into jewelry. "The students . . . took pride in their work, learned cooperation, and learned a great economic lesson in supply and demand."
* Pamela R. Hildenbrand, kindergarten teacher at William Winchester Elementary School, began as a first-grade teacher at Hampstead Elementary School in 1974.
The parent who nominated her wrote that she builds confidence and self-esteem, and "children who study in her classroom will have a zeal to continue their learning . . ."
Ms. Hildenbrand sends students home on weekends with a teddy bear and journal. At the end of the weekend, parents and children sit together to write about what they did.
* Mary Lynn S. Hursey, kindergarten teacher at Hampstead Elementary School, began as a first-grade teacher at Manchester Elementary in 1984.
"Homework assignments promote parents' involvement with their child's learning," wrote the parent who nominated her. "Group activities, such as the math center and dramatic play, develop skills such as sharing, respecting others, . . . All of the skills my son needs when he graduates from high school have been firmly established in Mrs. Hursey's kindergarten class."
* Mary J. Katsafanas, first- and second-grade teacher at Eldersburg Elementary School, began as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher there in 1973.
"Miss K has 'Pepper stories' [about her dog], which she uses with her class to teach writing skills," her nominator wrote. "She will tell and write out a story leaving out important parts, and you would be surprised how quickly the children will correct her or tell her she didn't give enough details for the story to be understood. It really interests them and makes them think about the whole writing process."
* Lara E. Moreau, first-grade teacher at Mechanicsville Elementary School, began as an elementary teacher in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1989.
"She encourages a love of literature through her talent for dramatic storytelling," her nominator wrote. She also emphasized Ms. Moreau's "loving interaction" with the children.
* Louise Herrera Scalzi, sixth-grade teacher at the Carroll County Outdoor School at Hashawha Environmental Center, started as a sixth-grade science teacher at Mount Airy Middle School in 1982.
"She teaches the students not only how to collect data, but also the role of science in decision making.
"At the Outdoor School, she supervises a 'waste watchers' graph. The students weigh their food waste at each meal and record the data. Through this, the children are sensitized to a negative impact with immediate feedback. They can alter their behavior, again with immediate feedback."