Balto. County names teacher of the year

3rd-grade instructor wins computer, use of car

May 20, 1999|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Julius Del Rosario had no doubt yesterday that his third-grade teacher would be named Baltimore County's Teacher of the Year.

"She's the teacher who is the most fun," said 8-year-old Julius. "She lets us play games and learn at the same time."

Julius turned out to be correct: McCormick Elementary School teacher Deborah McClintock was given the top honor, making her eligible to compete in the 1999-2000 state Teacher of the Year contest this fall.

"When the form came across my desk to nominate a teacher for this award, I didn't have to think twice about nominating her," said McCormick Principal Susan Shive. "She's just phenomenal, always thinking of things she can do to help her children learn."

Among McClintock's efforts was an original operetta on the life of Benjamin Banneker that she and two other McCormick teachers helped pupils perform this year. They have another performance scheduled for June 4 at the Banneker Museum in Oella.

McClintock received her award in a ceremony at the school system's Greenwood headquarters, when the county's three Teacher of the Year finalists were honored.

The other two finalists were Sharon Delgado, a fourth-grade teacher at Jacksonville Elementary School, and Meghan Lattin, a third-grade teacher at Timonium Elementary School.

For the second year, county school officials persuaded local companies to donate two big prizes to the winner. McClintock received a Power Macintosh G3 from Comcast Cable, and local Toyota dealers are giving her use of a Toyota Corolla for a year.

At the end of the ceremony, McClintock and the half-dozen pupils who went along to cheer her on scrambled into the new car, enjoying the rewards of her victory.

"It's hard to believe I am being rewarded for something I love to do," McClintock said, choking back tears of joy.

Making reference to the classic children's story "The Velveteen Rabbit," McClintock said she had wanted to be a "real" teacher ever since she was a little girl playing school in a tent with friends.

"I am grateful most of all to children past and present for making me become `real,' " she said.

During her 12 years in Baltimore County schools, McClintock has taught at Deep Creek Elementary as well as McCormick. Next fall, she will move to Fullerton Elementary, joining former McCormick Principal Kathleen McMahon.

"When I worked with her at McCormick, we began testing our children three times a year," McMahon said. "By the end of the year, you always knew that all of Debbie's students would be at or above grade level in reading and math, just because she wouldn't let it be any other way."

A winner of a Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education award in 1996, McClintock has been a presenter at several state and county conferences, including three times for the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council -- the state's largest organization of reading teachers.

Before joining the Baltimore County public schools, McClintock taught for eight years at a Christian school in the county, and two of her former pupils attended yesterday's ceremony in hopes she would win.

"She's one of those fantastic teachers you never forget," said Kristi Rasmussen, 21, a student at the University of Baltimore who was McClintock's pupil as a first-grader.

Pub Date: 5/20/99

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