Education Notes


April 30, 2006

Two women win best teacher honors

Susan Casler, a language arts teacher at Crofton Middle School, has been named Anne Arundel County public schools Teacher of the Year for 2006. She will compete as the school system's nominee for Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Diane Pastrana, a middle school social studies teacher at St. Martin's Lutheran School in Annapolis, was named Private School Teacher of the Year.

The announcements were made during the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce's annual Awards for Excellence in Education Dinner last week.

Casler was inspired to become a teacher 14 years ago while she was sitting in her office at a Fortune 500 company and reading an employee's poorly written letter. Within days she began taking classes to become a certified teacher.

Casler "is truly a master teacher, and I am lucky to have been one of her students," said Kelly Kidwell.

Of Pastrana, a 29-year veteran, former Principal Margaret Wolfe said, "Her teaching experience is far-reaching. She graduated with many of her classes, teaching primary and secondary grades. In each experience, her enthusiasm for learning has challenged her students to reach for the stars."

Gibson Island school to hold races

Gibson Island Country Day School will host a 5-kilometer race, a 5-kilometer walk and a one-mile fun run at Downs Park in Pasadena on May 20.

Preregistered participants will receive T-shirts designed by illustrator Gayle Travis-Keene, a teacher at the school. Awards will be given to the first- and second-place runners in each age group. The two top runners overall will receive sunglasses valued at $50.

Check-in on race day is at 7:30 a.m. at the Tanglewood Pavilion. For registration information, directions and rules: htm or 410-439-4494.

Youth leadership focus of program

A leadership training program offered this summer will help prepare young people for active roles in their communities.

The Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute, a program offered in cities across the country, will be conducted locally by the Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel County. It will be held Aug. 7-11 at Camp Woodlands in Annapolis and is open to about 30 students. The cost is $50. Scholarships are available.

Information: 410-897-9207, or e-mail

Health fair May 20 in Severna Park

A free health and wellness fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 20 at Severna Park High School, 60 Robinson Road.

The theme is "Building Healthy Lifestyles - One Step at a Time." People who participate in a fitness walk around the school track will receive free pedometer and T-shirt. Free health screenings and refreshments will be available.

The health fair is sponsored by Anne Arundel County public schools, the county Department of Recreation and Parks, Anne Arundel Community College, Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

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