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Programs > Awards and Recognition > Teacher of the Year > Teachers of the Year 2009 - 2010
Teachers of the Year 2009 - 2010
Video  VIDEO 2009-2010 Teachers of the Year (May 28, 2009)
The Maryland State Board of Education meets and congratulates the 24 Maryland Teachers of the Year. In October, Maryland will select from this group a single Teacher of the Year to represent the state in the national competition.
2010 Maryland Teacher of the Year
Jennifer Rankin
Jennifer Rankin
Garrett County

Jennifer Rankin and President Obama 2010
Jennifer Rankin and President Obama
2010 Maryland State Teacher of the Year
Photo taken at the White House Oval Office, April 29, 2010
White House photo by Lawrence Jacks

Maryland Teachers of the Year 2009 - 2010
Nominees by City / County
Mary Denise Lough
Mary Denise Lough
Grade 5
Parkside Elementary School
Allegany County

Donna McAllister
Donna McAllister
Grade 8
George Fox Middle School
Anne Arundel County

Nicholas Greer
Grade 9
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Baltimore City
Cecily Anderson
Cecily Anderson
Grade 8
Catonsville Middle School
Baltimore County
Rolf Arnesen
Rolf Arnesen
Grades 9-12
Huntingtown High School
Calvert County
Wayne M. Martin
Wayne M. Martin
Grades 9-12
North Caroline High School
Caroline County
Scott D. D’Orazio
Scott D. D’Orazio
Grades 9-12
Manchester Valley High School
Carroll County
Margaret Rees Lenhoff
Margaret Rees Lenhoff
Grades 9-12
Elkton High School
Cecil County
Janet S. Jones

Janet S. Jones
Grades 6-8
General Smallwood Middle School
Charles County
Leonard Mueller
Leonard Mueller
Social Studies
Grade 6
North Dorchester Middle School
Dorchester County
Catherine Alspaugh
Catherine Alspaugh
Grade 3
New Market Elementary
Frederick County
Jennifer Rankin
Jennifer Rankin
Grade 8
Northern Middle School
Garrett County
Kimberly Ann Schmidt

Kimberly Ann Schmidt
Social Studies
Grade 9
Havre de Grace High School
Harford County
Kimberly Feldman
Kimberly Feldman
Grade 9
Oakland Mills High School
Howard County
Dr. Keith A. Wharton
Dr. Keith A. Wharton
Music Director
Grades 9-12
Kent County High School
Kent County
Bryan Goehring
Bryan Goehring

Grade 7
Takoma Park Middle School
Montgomery County
Ebony Love Cross
Ebony Love Cross
Reading Specialist
Mary Harris “Mother” Jones Elementary School
Prince George’s County
Deborah Mason
Deborah Mason
Grade 1
Matapeake Elementary School
Queen Anne’s County

Therese E. Gittens
Therese E. Gittens
Grade 2
Lexington Park Elementary School
St. Mary’s County
Heather McHenry
Heather McHenry
Grades 8-12
Crisfield Academy/High School
Somerset County
Daniel Joseph Davis

Daniel Joseph Davis
Grade 4
White Marsh Elementary School
Talbot County
Jaime Mason
Jaime Mason
Grade 8
Clear Spring Middle School
Washington County
Susan Cullen
Susan Cullen
Grade 3
Delmar Elementary School
Wicomico County
Alison Giska
Alison Giska
Read Intervention
Grade 9
Snow Hill High School
Worcester County

Allegany County – Parkside Elementary School
Mary Denise Lough, Grade 5

Mary received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education (1995) and Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction (2002) from Frostburg State University, where she was named an Honor Graduate. She has been teaching in Allegany County for 13 years, and is currently a fifth-grade teacher at Parkside Elementary School. Mary serves on several county curriculum committees, she is the School Improvement Team Chair,and Technology Leader for Parkside, and has been a presenter at numerous countywide seminars. She was named the 2002 Teacher of the Year at West Side Elementary School. Mary has applied for National Board Certification.

Anne Arundel County – George Fox Middle School
Donna McAllister, English, Grade 8
A fifteen year veteran teacher, Donna McCallister graduated in 1994 with a B.A. in English from Towson University and a Master’s degree in 2003 in School Administration from Hopkins. She has been a middle school teacher, a reading resource teacher, and a language Arts Department Chair. In 1996, she piloted a new Reading Resource position, serving as an instructional leader while managing the responsibilities of the Title I grant. In that position, she served schools, developed curriculum, conducted numerous school and county level staff development opportunities, and worked collaboratively with teachers and colleagues to plan and implement literacy goals.

Baltimore City – Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Nicholas Greer, Biology, Grade 9

After graduation with his MAT from the University of Pittsburgh, Nicholas moved to Baltimore armed with a commitment to urban schools. Over the past six years he has found himself leading students twice to Costa Rica to work with leatherback turtles, coaching a varsity soccer program to three city titles in five seasons, writing curriculum for a national biomedical sciences course of study, and using his students as outreach to teach local elementary pupils ecological principles. He believes that teachers are the people who must inspire a passion for learning, modeling the changes they wish to see in their youth.

Baltimore County – Catonsville Middle School
Cecily Anderson, English, Grade 8
Cecily Anderson began her teaching career in Baltimore County Public Schools in 1996 and has been English department chairperson at Catonsville Middle School since 2001. She created a literacy program that helped her school become one of the highest-performing BCPS middle schools. With a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s equivalency in Education from UMBC, she is an expert in professional development and an accomplished author and poet whose work has been published in professional journals, magazines and web sites. In 2009, she was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Baltimore County PTA.

Calvert County – Huntingtown High School
Rolf Arnesen, Mathematics, Grades 9-12

Rolf Arnesen holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree and Master of Science Degree in Math from Western Maryland College. He is a veteran 18-year mathematics teacher in Maryland public schools, with 16 years in Calvert County middle and high schools. Under his direction, the AP Statistics program at Huntingtown High School has increased enrollment by fivefold over the past four years. Currently a Mock Trial sponsor and Teacher Mentor at Huntingtown, he has participated in Student Council, Honor Society, Staff Advisory Council, substance abuse intervention programs, and content standards writing. Past honors include Teacher of the Year (Southern Middle) and Employee of the Month (Calvert County).

Caroline County – North Caroline High School
Wayne M. Martin, Instrumental/Vocal/Classroom, Grades 9-12

Wayne Martin strives to ensure the success of every child in his classroom by establishing parental involvement in the educational process. Using his Bachelor’s degree in music education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and various leadership skills gained by graduate studies in educational leadership at Salisbury University of Maryland, Wayne creates a classroom environment that maintains a structured music program with continued success in achieving the set goals. Mr. Martin is highly dedicated to the students, parents, and community of Caroline County. This involvement can be seen at various public functions, community celebrations, and charity events, all of which are participated in with parents and students.

Carroll County – Manchester Valley High School
Scott D. D’Orazio, Instrumental Music, Grades 9-12

Scott D. D’Orazio received a Bachelor of Music Education from West Virginia University and a Masters of Science in Educational Administration from McDaniel College. He has been a teacher in the Carroll County Public School System since 2001 and has taught students in grades kindergarten through twelfth. Mr. D’Orazio states “teaching requires that you care more about what students are learning than what you are teaching.” Mr. D’Orazio is also a teacher in the Saturday School Intervention Program, in addition to serving as a Team Leader, School Improvement Team Chair, Technology Advisor, and as a member of the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council.

Cecil County – Elkton High School
Margaret Rees Lenhoff, German, Grades 9-12
At Elkton High School, thirty-five year veteran teacher Margaret Rees Lenhoff continuously challenges her German I-V students to learn communication skills and culture and make connections and comparisons with their native languages through rigorous and engaging activities aligned with the Maryland State World Language Standards. She has written, revised and expanded curriculum for all levels of German and led the development of the middle school foreign language program. She is the Foreign Language Department Chair, is Senior Class Advisor, mentors students and new teachers, and invites all Elkton High students to discover the world through travel. She holds a bachelors in German and Secondary Education and masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Maryland College.

Charles County – General Smallwood Middle School
Janet S. Jones, Reading, Grades 6-8

Janet Jones holds a bachelors degree in elementary and special education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Education from the University of Maryland-College Park. She is a past president of the Southern Maryland Reading Council and is a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project. She has been member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading assessment committee since 1990. Mrs. Jones received a Sustained Superior Work Performance rating with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools and during her tenure with Charles County Public Schools has twice received the Exemplary Employee Award.

Dorchester County – North Dorchester Middle School
Leonard Mueller, Social Studies, Grade 6
Len Mueller, a teacher of 9 years, earned an Associate of Arts from Chesapeake College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education/History and a Master of Education from Salisbury University. Mueller's school involvement includes PTA, Character Counts and the National Junior Honor Society. Mueller served his community for the last ten years as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and is an Instructor Trainer at the University of Maryland/Fire and Rescue Institute. Mueller believes that teachers should lead by example, and encourage students to be responsible members of their community who make positive choices, continue to learn, demonstrate character and serve others.

Frederick County – New Market Elementary
Catherine Alspaugh, Grade 3

Catherine Alspaugh graduated from University of Virginia’s Mary Washington College with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and earned her Advanced Professional Certificate by completing coursework at the Universities of Virginia, Maryland and Connecticut; Virginia Tech; and Goucher College. Catherine began teaching for FCPS in 1987 at New Market Elementary where she teaches third grade in the Magnet Program today. Her much anticipated spring musical combines an exciting theatrical experience with essential curriculum. Other accolades: Teacher of the Year nominee three times; Walt Disney American Teacher Award nominee twice; and Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award winner in 1996.

Garrett County – Northern Middle School
Jennifer Rankin, Math, Grade 8
Jennifer Rankin, a technology leader in Garrett County, has thirteen years of teaching experience at the middle school. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Frostburg State University, as well as a M.Ed. in Special Education from West Virginia University. Currently, she is completing a doctoral program in Educational Leadership with her dissertation focusing on technology integration. Jennifer, a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Mathematics, volunteers her time to mentor other candidates pursuing certification. She serves on the county steering committee for STEM and is a finalist for the MCTM 2009 Outstanding Teacher award.

Harford County – Havre de Grace High School
Kimberly Ann Schmidt, Social Studies, Grade 9
Kimberly Schmidt graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History Education from University of Delaware and earned her Master of Arts in Historical Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She began her career 18 years ago and has served on School Based Instructional Decision Making (SBIDM) teams, school improvement teams, the Maryland Geographic Alliance and the MSDE Reading in the Content Area Task Force. Additionally, she has worked on countywide curriculum development and assessment projects, the citizen advisory committee and the Mentor Teacher Network through MSDE. She also served on the Central Instructional Leadership Team (CILT) and the Middle School Reform Committee.

Howard County – Oakland Mills High School
Kimberly Feldman, English, Grade 9
Kimberly Feldman received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia. She began her career as one of two high school teachers in a Yupik Eskimo village (population 350) on the coast of Alaska in 2000. She has taught in Howard County for four years where she has achieved National Board Certification, helped develop curriculum materials, and presented numerous professional development workshops. Her articles have been published in English Journal and English Education. As a teacher, Kimberly focuses on creating a safe environment where struggling students can discover themselves through reading and writing. She serves as senior class sponsor, and also organizes community clean-ups and volunteers as a tutor of underprivileged students.

Kent County – Kent County High School
Dr. Keith A. Wharton, Music Director, Grades 9 - 12
Dr. Wharton earned his B.S. in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Loyola College and Doctor of Education from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. He is currently the Director of Music at Kent County High School. Under his direction, students from the Kent County School System have performed throughout the United States, including performances at the Lincoln Center, New York and The White House. Dr. Wharton is a founding member and musical director of the Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble as well as Instrumental instructor for the Upper Chesapeake Summer Center for the Arts at Washington College.

Montgomery County – Takoma Park Middle School
Bryan Goehring, Science, Grade 7

Bryan Goehring holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from the University Maryland College Park and a Masters in Business Administration from Strayer University. He serves as the Science Department Chairperson and Grade 7 Team Leader, positions he has held for the last 14 years. Goehring is currently helping write the new MCPS IS curriculum and has served as a teacher trainer for a variety of teaching methodologies, specifically Differentiation and science content. He has been nominated for numerous awards and just recently received the Washington Wizards Teacher of the Year award in 2008, the Marian Greenblatt award in 2009, and the Montgomery County Public School Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Prince George’s County – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones Elementary School
Ebony Love Cross, Reading Specialist

Ebony Cross earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from South Carolina State University and a Master’s in Education from Western Maryland College. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., serving as the chairperson for the Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) mentoring program. In 2004, she was recognized by WBDC 50 as an Unsung Hero for contributions to youth through her creation of an after-school program designed to strengthen reading and math skills for students in Grades 3 through 6. She is a member of the school’s Leadership Team, coordinates the Student Government Association, and serves on several school committees.

Queen Anne’s County – Centreville Elementary School
Deborah Mason, Grade 1
Debbie has been a 1st grade teacher at Centreville Elementary School in Queen Anne's County for approximately 7 years where she teaches a number of students with violent tendencies. She was born in Maryland, and was raised in Southern California where she attended the University of Southern California for a bachelor's degree. She is currently in the process of earning a master's degree in special education. She is a vital part of the Positive Behavior Student Support Team and has assisted with the Instructional Model for New Teachers in Queen Anne's County. She is in the process of formulating an instructional tool called "Memoirs of a First Grade Teacher", utilizing other first grade teachers' experiences and solutions to behavior problems encountered with first grade students in an ever-changing world, and helping students achieve their goals.

St. Mary’s County – Lexington Park Elementary School
Therese E. Gittens, Grade 2

Therese E. Gittens, a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development and a Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching and Learning with a focus in Elementary Mathematics from NOVA Southeastern University. Mrs. Gittens has been an educator for eleven years and has worked in California as well as Maryland. During her time at Lexington Park Elementary, she has served as the Treasurer of the PTA, Primary Grade Level Chair, Mentor Teacher, member Superintendent’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for eliminating the achievement gap, and has led workshops for parents, as well as her fellow teachers. She also donates her time tutoring students in reading. Mrs.Gittens believes strongly that every child deserves a quality and equitable education.

Somerset County – Crisfield Academy/High School
Heather McHenry, Band/Music, Grades 8-12

Heather McHenry, a 2001 graduate of the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education, has led her band to win twenty-five first place awards throughout the Delmarva region during her eight years as Instrumental Music Director of Crisfield Academy and High School. As a mentor teacher for University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Somerset County Public Schools, she provides guidance to both new and aspiring teachers. Mrs. McHenry is also a delegate to the Maryland State Teachers Association, a member of the Eastern Shore Band Directors Association and her school’s Positive Behavior Intervention Strategy committee.

Talbot County – White Marsh Elementary School
Daniel Joseph Davis, Grade 4

Daniel Davis has been in the education profession for eleven years. After retiring from his first career in aviation, he returned to college to pursue the field of education. He has a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Elementary Education and M.ED. in Reading from Salisbury University. He is currently completing his doctorate at UMES in Education Leadership and is also an associate faculty member at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. Mr. Davis is a member of the International Reading Association and teacher sponsor of the MESA program at his school. His use of technology and “smart boards” has enabled him to making learning come alive for his students on a daily basis.

Washington County – Clear Spring Middle School
Jaime Mason, Math, Grade 8

With a strong belief in building the future within each school community, Jaime advocates strongly for partnerships among citizens, parents, and schools, which she demonstrates as a cross country and track coach, Young Life leader, and church and community activist. Jaime is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) co-chair, Superintendent’s Advisory Council member, mentor for beginning and pre-service teachers, and has co-chaired a Middle School Task Force subcommittee. A nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, Jaime has a B.A. in Education from Midway College (KY) and a Master’s in Athletic Administration from McDaniel College.

Wicomico County – Delmar Elementary School
Susan Cullen, Grade 3

Susan Cullen, a graduate of Salisbury University, teaches third grade at Delmar Elementary. While in Wicomico County, she has served as a mentor teacher, a lecturer for NAME, taught fifth and Kindergarten, and has planned instructional “Family Night” programs for kindergartners and their families. Throughout her husband’s military career, Susan taught pre-kindergarten, first and fifth grades, and was a volunteer adult educator at various military installations. Her accomplishments include working with diverse groups of children from military and Native American communities, chairing the science department, and assisting in creating an English as a second language program for parents.

Worcester County – Snow Hill High School
Alison Giska, Read Intervention, Grade 9
Alison Giska graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education/English. She holds a Master’s of Arts in Post-Secondary Education and is currently pursuing National Board Certification. In her sixth year of teaching, Alison teaches Grade 7 Integrated Language Arts at Snow Hill Middle School. She believes in treating her students as capable individuals, holding the highest expectations for every student, and creating a lively hands-on classroom environment where students are encouraged to take risks. Alison is passionate about arts integration, serves as a cooperating teacher, and mentors students in the community as part of the Great Expectations Mentoring Program.

Contact Information
Dr. Darla Strouse, Executive Director
Partnerships and Recognition Programs
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0369
Fax:  410-333-2226
Email:  dstrouse@msde.state.md.us
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