“This outstanding group represents the tremendous dedication of public school teachers across the state who devote themselves each day to improving the achievement of the students of Maryland,” said Dr. Grasmick. “They deserve our respect and our recognition.”
The finalists are: (in alphabetical order by jurisdiction):
Frederick County, Debra Leonard – English at Middletown High School
Garrett County, Yolanda Michelle Harman – Biology at Northern Garrett High School
Howard County, Melinda Abbott – Third Grade at Northfield Elementary School
Montgomery County, Kimberly Oliver – Kindergarten, Broad Acres Elementary School
Somerset County, Pamela South – Second Grade at Greenwood Elementary School
Washington County, Paula Moore – French at Williamsport High School
Worcester County, Dr. Penny Makuchal – Allied Health Occupations at Worcester Career Technology Center
The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, superintendents, and higher education. Finalists were measured against a rigorous set of national criteria that include teaching philosophy, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement.
Oral interviews with the seven finalists will be conducted on September 17. The 2005-2006 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced October 7 at a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West. The winner will receive Maryland’s newly designed TOTY (Teacher of the Year) Award, cash awards, technology equipment valued at more than $40,000, and a new $25,000 car donated by Maryland New Car and Truck Dealers Association, a presenting sponsor.
The other presenting sponsor of the Maryland Teacher of the Year program is the McDonald’s Family of Greater Baltimore. Platinum sponsors include Bank of America, Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.
The Maryland Teacher of the Year goes on to compete for the esteemed National Teacher of the Year Award. The winner also spends the coming year as a speaker and advisor in Maryland. She will be honored by the President at the White House next spring, and will participates in National Space Camp with fellow State Teachers of the Year.
For more information about the Teacher of the Year Finalists, please see the attached background sheet.