Top educators honored

Ten finalists up for Harford County Teacher of the Year award April 27

April 16, 2006|By CASSANDRA A. FORTIN | CASSANDRA A. FORTIN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Ten educators were selected as finalists for the Harford County Public School Teacher of the Year award. This year, in addition to holding the title, the winner will receive $10,000 cash, a Dell laptop and a new Toyota Camry to use for one year. The winner also will advance to the statewide competition.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced at a banquet scheduled for April 27 at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace.

This year's finalists are:

Kerrie L. Bauer: As a student, Bauer loved high school. She earned a bachelor's degree from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and decided to teach high school math. She discovered quickly that it was a different place for educators than it was for students.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in the April 16 edition incorrectly described the distribution of the cash award for the county Teacher of the Year honor. Each of the 10 finalists was to receive $1,000.
The Sun regrets the error.

To overcome the differences, she taught her students not only math skills but also life skills.

"I try to teach students how to work through any problem regardless of whether or not it's math," said Bauer, who has taught for eight years at Joppatowne High School in Joppa. Bauer earned a master's degree from McDaniel College in Westminster.

Roxanne Leyko Dodson: After 18 years of teaching art, Dodson's love of teaching continues to grow.

"I love getting my students to discover that they can do things they never realized they could do," said Dodson, a teacher at Aberdeen Middle School.

She connects with her pupils by setting an example and showing them she cares.

"As a teacher I am constantly on display, so I have to show integrity and honesty to my students. I love my kids, and I love my profession," Dodson said. Dodson earned a bachelor's degree from Towson University and a master's degree from Goucher College in Baltimore.

Mary Ann Hartshorn: After 23 years of teaching English, Hartshorn said, there's nothing comparable to students who are excited about learning.

"Every time I see a face light up with excitement, I know that I am making a difference in the life of a student," said Hartshorn, who teaches at Bel Air High School. "It's that moment that I realize that nothing I do for the kids is wasted."

Hartshorn received a bachelor's degree from Towson University and a master's degree from Salisbury University. She's completing her doctorate at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Susan J. Healy: Although Healy has taught fourth grade for 12 years at North Bend Elementary School in Jarrettsville, she has never duplicated the way she teaches a lesson.

Healy does whatever she can to get through to her pupils, including dressing up like historical characters.

"Being creative in my teaching gets me excited about teaching, and I think it helps the kids get excited about learning," said Healy. "It takes more to get through to children these days. My competition isn't other teachers - it's Xbox and PlayStation."

Healy earned a bachelor's degree from Salisbury University.

Nancy J. Murray: In high school, Murray dreamed of being a social worker so she could work with people. But a stint as a camp counselor during college was all it took to convince her to work with children.

As a teacher, her main goal is helping children discover their gifts and recognize their self-worth.

"I want my kids to know that regardless of their talents, that they matter, that they are loved, and that they have a classroom family that will always be there for them," said Murray, who teaches third grade at Youth's Benefit Elementary School.

"After they leave here, they won't remember the facts and figures I taught them, but I hope they will remember all the things we did together," she said.

Murray earned bachelor's degrees from the University of Delaware and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a master's degree from Loyola College.

Margaret E. Phillips: When Phillips, the North Harford Middle School musical theater teacher, heard she had been selected as a finalist for the Harford County Teacher of the Year, she was elated.

Friends and family rallied around her in celebration. But after 14 years teaching, she said, the best accolades are the kind that she can only get from her pupils.

"There's nothing like that `I got it' moment," Phillips said. "At every production, I see the kids on stage and tears just roll down my face. That's the defining moment in my teaching career, and I get to experience it over and over again."

Phillips earned her bachelor's degree from Towson University.

Robert T. Powers: When Powers, a band and orchestra teacher at Emmorton Elementary for the last 11 years, noticed that pupils who wanted to play in the band weren't signing up because they couldn't afford an instrument, he wanted to do something about it.

His answer was Band Together, a program he started in which people donate used instruments that he helps restore and then gives to pupils to use.

To date he has received more than 100 new and used instruments and has about 300 more on the way.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.