|Vol68-6 June 2018|
SMECO honors region’s outstanding math, science, and STEM teachers
SMECO worked with the school systems of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties to select and honor 20 educators with Outstanding Teacher awards for their leadership in the fields of mathematics, science, technology, and engineering.
Receiving awards this year were nine math teachers, six science teachers, and five STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers from schools in the three counties. The teachers were chosen for their outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, rapport with students, enthusiasm for teaching, professionalism, and innovative teaching methods. Each teacher received a plaque and a cash award at a dinner held in their honor. Over the past 27 years, SMECO has recognized more than 370 local math and science teachers.
“Outstanding school systems and devoted teachers are vital to improving the quality of life in our community. And SMECO is committed to supporting education in Southern Maryland. Well-educated students are vital for the continued success of businesses like SMECO, because they bring valuable skills to the workplace,” stated Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO, when he welcomed the award winners. He added, “Our gifted honorees understand that their jobs are about more than teaching mathematics, science, and technology. It’s about thinking creatively and making classroom experiences exciting for students. They teach skills that are important not only to employers and the economy, but also important to our future.”
Presenting the keynote address was Lawrence M. Clark, an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Maryland Center for Mathematics Education. Clark said that good teachers in the STEM disciplines have three qualities: a commitment to collaboration with colleagues inside and outside their schools; a commitment to sustaining and nurturing their fascination with the world, viewing the world through a STEM lens; and the ability to see the scientist or mathematician in every child they teach.
A former middle-school mathematics teacher, Clark described how demands and expectations have changed for teachers in STEM. He encouraged them to try to understand their communities and environments outside of school and to search for ways to incorporate the realities of students’ worlds into their classrooms.
“The world of STEM teaching is complex and changing rapidly as technological innovations emerge and discoveries are made about the world around us,” Clark said. “The award winners tonight should be very proud of themselves for taking on such a challenging yet rewarding profession.”
Outstanding Teachers, Calvert County
Seated, from left: Wendy Farrell, Huntingtown High School; Kim Bracey, Mount Harmony Elementary School; and Laurel Newcomer, Plum Point Middle School. Standing, from left: Marshall Pike, Calvert Career and Technology Academy; Karin Stewart, Calvert Middle School; and Rolf Arnesen, Huntingtown High School.
Outstanding Teachers, Charles County
Seated, from left: Monica Morgan, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; Megan Parsons, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; and Christina Laverty, Henry E. Lackey High School. Standing, from left: Daniel Meltsner, John Hanson Middle School; Jennifer Davis, Malcolm Elementary School; Michael Johnson, William A. Diggs Elementary School; and Michael Forrest, Matthew Henson Middle School.
Outstanding Teachers, St. Mary's County
Seated, from left: Alesha Boyd, Dynard Elementary School; Tabitha Ringer, Margaret Brent Middle School; and Taren Long, Chesapeake Public Charter School. Standing, from left: Tara Everly, St. Mary’s Ryken High School; Stephanie Stone, Chopticon High School; and Kara Sostre, Evergreen Elementary School. Not pictured, Amanda Kellam, Greenview Knolls Elementary School.