Aberdeen High educator given top school honor

Science instructor named Teacher of the Year

April 27, 2003|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

The Harford County public school system held its version of Oscar night Thursday, and the big winner was Donna M. Clem, a science teacher at Aberdeen High School.

Clem was named the county's Teacher of the Year in recognition of her service to students and the school.

She drove off with a new Buick Century and received a laptop computer, a $100 savings bond, a handful of government citations and got enough restaurant gift certificates to feed her family for a week.

An engraved watch and a plaque with her name inscribed are coming later.

The car, donated by Boyle Buick in Abingdon, is for her to drive for a year.

Clem, who has spent her entire 29-year teaching career in Harford County and most of that at Aberdeen High School, was picked from 2,700 teachers.

She and the nine other finalists attended the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace.

"These are the best of the best," David Volrath, director of secondary education, said in introducing the finalists at the banquet.

During her short acceptance speech, Clem said: "I love teaching. I won't lie about that. I work hard every day to do my best for my students."

Aberdeen High School principal Tom Szerensits referred to Clem as "the quintessential educator - the type of teacher every parent wishes his or her child could have."

He said Clem brings "passion, tenacity, knowledge, rigor, advocacy, creativity and consistency to the classroom each day."

Clem lives in the Hamilton section of Baltimore, and her husband, Rodney, is a science teacher at Southern High School in Harwood.

The other finalists honored included: Connie A. Charitonuk, of Youth's Benefit Elementary School in Fallston; Michael E. Jacobs, Edgewood Elementary School; Tina J. Mackey, William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School in Abingdon; Cheryl A. Manzone, Emmorton Elementary School in Bel Air; and James G. McClenahan, Edgewood Middle School.

Also: Tracie A. Moots, Prospect Mill Elementary School in Bel Air; Kimberly D. Miller, Edgewood Elementary School; Jacqueline L. Remige, Abingdon Middle School; and Sandra L. Schlehr, North Harford High School in Pylesville.

"Those who do not win are still winners," Republican Sen. J. Robert Hooper said.

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