Teacher of the Year is chosen Kandace Chase named best among public schools

April 12, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For seven years, Kandace Chase has spent the first four weeks of her summer vacation training the county's special education teachers. "I do that because I enjoy working with these people and helping them through," the 46-year-old Ruth Parker Eason School teacher said. "Give me two weeks to recoup, and I'm usually ready to go at it again."

Mrs. Chase's dedication to her profession is just one of the reasons the 22-year instructor was selected Wednesday night as the Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent Carol S. Parham made the announcement at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, where more than 20 of Mrs. Chase's colleagues with streamers and party blowers cheered wildly after they heard Mrs. Chase's name.

"It was like someone won the Miss America pageant," said Michele Stevenson, who has worked with Mrs. Chase for eight years at the Millersville school. "It's not like getting married or giving birth, but it was still breathtaking."

Mrs. Chase, who has been at Ruth Eason since it opened in 1985, said she was shocked when she learned she was the winner.

"I never expected it," Mrs. Chase said. "To be one of the three finalists was rewarding enough."

The Severna Park resident won over Janice F. Booth, an English teacher at Southern Senior High School in Harwood, and Timothy M. McMullen, a social studies teacher at Broadneck Senior High School in Arnold.

Private schools

Elaine Wells, a reading resource and social studies teacher at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, was named the Private Schools Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Wells edged out Cynthia Grater, a physical education teacher at Chesapeake Academy in Arnold, and Thomas McNamara, a mathematics teacher at Severn School in Severna Park.

Mrs. Chase, who will be the county's nominee for Maryland Teacher of the Year, received a $1,000 check from Donald Wood, regional executive of NationsBank, and a $500 check from Board of Education President Joseph Foster.

Trade Council President Arthur Ebersberger presented Mrs. Chase with an etched glass plaque.

Mrs. Chase is a departmental team leader at Ruth Eason and the lead teacher of the technology committee, which trains the staff in the latest computer technology.

But it's her commitment to working during the summer that has impressed many of her peers.

'Over and beyond'

"That is definitely over and beyond what needs to be done," said Ruth Eason acting principal Paulette Tanoue, who has recruited Mrs. Chase to lead the summer program. "She's there for the kids, as corny as that may sound. She's a remarkable person."

Mrs. Chase gently deflects the attention, saying, "It's hard to be in the limelight."

But she said the secret of her success is encouraging students and teachers in her classroom.

"We have a positive classroom environment," Mrs. Chase said. "Things go wrong, [but] you deal with it and move on."

Ms. Stevenson said she has learned a lot from Mrs. Chase.

"She has been an inspiration for me," Ms. Stevenson said. "She deserves this."

Pub Date: 4/12/96

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