Carroll's outstanding teachers receive annual chamber honor

Eight winners nominated by students, parents, peers

April 15, 2003|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

In a celebration that has become a hallmark of spring in Carroll County, hundreds of people packed a Westminster banquet hall last night to honor eight public school teachers who have inspired confidence in students and helped them apply classroom lessons to the outside world.

About 450 teachers, school administrators, students, friends, relatives and businesspeople crowded into Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers' hall for the 15th annual Outstanding Teacher Awards dinner.

The eight winners, chosen by teams of retired teachers and business leaders from among 146 nominees, each received a $300 check and a plaque.

The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce also recognized last night Bill and Nancy Rohrbaugh for lending their charter buses to the chamber for years. Those buses have allowed the dinner to grow from a small, informal gathering into a social event that attracts so many guests that they must be shuttled from off-site parking lots to the catering hall.

"This event could not have grown into what it has become if it had not been for their shuttle service," said Jill C. Kartalia, a chamber director.

Based on nominations from peers, students or parents, the teacher awards went to:

Betty L. Bloomfield

Betty L. Bloomfield is a third-grade teacher and team leader at Linton Springs Elementary in Eldersburg. A 26-year veteran of Anne Arundel and Carroll schools and a seven-time award nominee, Bloomfield helps make classroom lessons realistic through events such as her school's economics fair.

Bloomfield helped children create fictitious companies that design elementary-appropriate products, sell stock to cover start-up costs, shop for supplies, videotape product commercials that are broadcast during morning announcements, and make deposits and withdrawals from parent-run banks.

"The terminology is challenging and hard for third-graders to grasp," she wrote after being nominated by a pupil and a parent. But "the application of economics is so realistic and internalized that they become real businesslike on the day of the Economics Fair."

John R. Holt

John R. Holt is an 18-year veteran who teaches English, drama and public speaking at Winters Mill High outside Westminster.

After being nominated this year by a student and by the mother of another student, Holt wrote in his award application that he helps students build confidence by treating them with the respect and kindness that he expects in return.

"To me, [academic] content is certainly important, but those live bodies in front of me truly are the future - yours, mine and ours," Holt wrote. "That's a humbling consideration and one that I think makes me a more effective teacher."

Jaime M. Jezovnik

Jaime M. Jezovnik is a sixth-year educator and a third- and fourth-grade special education teacher at Robert Moton Elementary in Westminster.

A parent nominator wrote about how Jezovnik visited her son's after-school day care center, offering staff members there suggestions on how to interact with children who struggle with emotional disabilities.

"This visit is what truly stands out and defines going above and beyond," the mother wrote. "She is an outstanding teacher who brings much more than the standard or traditional teaching skills to the classroom."

James E. Moore

James E. Moore is a 30-year education veteran who teaches seventh-grade writing and language arts at Westminster's East Middle School.

Defining "hero" as "a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities," one nominator wrote that Moore is deserving of such a characterization.

The nominator described Moore as "a quiet humanitarian" who discreetly leaves winter coats in the lockers of pupils who don't have them and who spent much of his summer vacation helping a learning-disabled student complete two courses he needed to be promoted to 11th grade.

"Mr. Moore succeeded in doing what he does best - teaching [and] giving the youngster a better start in the next year, higher self-esteem because he succeeded in his efforts, a chance to learn through the guidance of an excellent teacher," the nominator wrote.

Stacy A. Nolan

Stacy A. Nolan is a third-year educator who teaches science at Liberty High in Eldersburg. She emphasizes the relevance of chemistry through assigning research on organic compounds studied during lab experiments.

"They learn much more about this chemical when they realize how they personally are impacted by its uses," Nolan wrote in her application. "Several students with asthma researched a compound that is the active ingredient in their inhalers. The information they found fully explained the chemistry and the rest of the class was interested in their topic because they presented the information from a personal standpoint."

April M. Sexton

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