Finalists Named For The 2012-2013 Maryland Teacher of the Year
August 22, 2012
Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship named 1 of 4 finalists for the nation’s top teaching honor: National Teacher of the Year.
Maryland Teachers of the Year 2012 - 2013
Nominees by City / County
Click on the smaller photo for a larger photo.
Allegany County – Mountain Ridge High
Lee Ann Zlomek, Mathematics
Lee Ann Zlomek, a National Board Certified Teacher, earned a Bachelor's degree in elementary/middle school education from Frostburg State University in 1993, a Master's degree in administration and supervision in 1999 and secondary certification in 2006. She has taught at South Penn Elementary, Washington Middle School, and Mountain Ridge High School, where she currently teaches algebra. LeeAnn mentors pre-service teachers and National Board Certification candidates and serves as a Master Teacher for the Educator Effectiveness Academies. She is on the Algebra I Transition Team and the School Improvement Team and is the Bridge Coordinator at her school.
Anne Arundel County – Belvedere Elementary
Martha Gardner, 5th Grade
Martha received a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from West Virginia University and a Master's Equivalency from combined study at Johns Hopkins, the University of MD, and AACPS. She is Lead for the Elementary Team, Intermediate Math, and Advanced Learner Program. She is a Common Core and Thinking Maps trainer, serves on the School Improvement Team, Faculty Council and grant and curriculum writing committees. Martha has been a Disney Teacher Award and Kohl International Award nominee. She is past-president of the Children’s Theater of Annapolis, helping stage more than 25 productions and leading the $2 million campaign to build their theater.
Baltimore City – KIPP Ujima Village Academy
Brad Nornhold, Mathematics
Brad has taught in Baltimore for 12 years. He received his Bachelors in Elementary/Middle School Education from Messiah College in 2000. He helped found KIPP UjimaVillage Academy, where he repeatedly leads his students to top MSA and HSA math scores in the state of Maryland. He serves as an 8th grade team leader, math chair, member of the School Improvement Team, and assistant football coach. He volunteers with the Special Olympics, regularly reads to kindergarteners, and participates in neighborhood beautification projects. His awards include the Kinder Award for Excellence in Teaching 2004 and Maryland Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year 2007.
Baltimore County – Ridgely Middle
Angela Rountree, Art
A passionate advocate for the arts, Ridgely Middle School art educator Angela Rountree is dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for all students. She received a bachelor's degree in Art Education from Ohio State University in 1989 and soon will earn a master's degree in special education from Towson University. An art teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools for 22 years, she is art department chairperson at Ridgely, serves on the school's new teacher committee, and volunteers with a local Girl Scout troop. She also established an annual community arts night at her school. She has co-written units on Mexican art and culture and presented her work at the National Middle School Association Conference.
Calvert County – Windy Hill Middle
Dawn Caine, Mathematics
Dawn Caine graduated from the College of Charleston (1989) with a B.S. in Education; she went on to complete her M.Ed. in Administration at Bowie State University (1996). Dawn holds key roles on the School Learning Improvement Team, Data Analysis Team, and Common Core Leadership Team. Always looking for ways to meet students' learning needs, she developed several innovative, grant-supported programs: Project S.N.A.P., Project N.E.W.S., and Yes You Can! Dawn teaches graduate courses, speaks at conferences, and welcomes colleagues to her classroom for demonstrations. On the 2011 MSA, Dawn's 100+ math students earned an overall pass rate of 95.96%.
Caroline County – Preston Elementary
Emily Edwards, Kindergarten
Emily graduated from Towson State University with a B.A in Elementary Education and Psychology. She also received a theatre degree from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in NYC. She performed in Off Broadway plays and became a Casting Director for TV commercials. While casting children's commercials her desire to return to teaching was reignited. She received a M. Ed. from Vanderbilt University and returned to teaching determined to use both her experience in theater and her knowledge of teaching. She has been teaching in Caroline County for 20 years, is a teacher mentor, a member of the SIT team and in 2011 received the Caroline County Excellence in Minority Achievement Award.
Carroll County – Liberty High School
Patricia DiLeonardi, Social Studies
Patricia DiLeonardi, a social studies teacher at Liberty High School, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in History and received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Towson University. DiLeonardi began her teaching career at Liberty High School in 2001 as a substitute teacher. Since 2005, she has been a full time teacher. DiLeonardi is Nationally Board Certified. She is actively involved as a mentor with new teachers and student interns. DiLeonardi also serves as Student Government Advisor. DiLeonardi credits her mother and father, as well as many of her teachers, for her decision to become a teacher.
Cecil County – Rising Sun High School
Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship, English
At Rising Sun High School, National Board Certified Teacher Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship guides tenth and eleventh grade students as they develop critical thinking and inquiry skills through the exploration of literature and the processes of writing, speaking, and listening. Ms. Blankenship writes county curriculum, is a member of the School Improvement Team, participates in professional learning communities, facilitates school and county professional development, and mentors student teachers. A Summa Cum Laude graduate, Ms. Holmes-Blankenship earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Towson University in 1995 and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College in 2005.
Charles County – William A. Diggs Elementary School
Kerrie Seberg, 3rd Grade Inclusion Teacher
Kerrie received a Bachelor's Degrees in English and Biology from Cornell University in 2003 and a Master's of Science in Childhood Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland in 2007. She is currently completing a graduate certificate in Early Childhood Autism at John Hopkins University. Kerrie is a sponsor for Destination ImagiNation, chairperson for the Green Committee, a teacher mentor for the high school careers program and serves on the curriculum writing team. She has presented to the county on using technology in teaching and differentiation in literacy and math. In 2010, she was nominated for the "Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award".
Dorchester County - Cambridge-South Dorchester High School
Heidi Cohoon, AP English Language and Composition (grade 11) and English IV (grade 12)
Heidi earned her BA in English from Salisbury University and MA in Modern Humanities from Frostburg State University. She has served on the School Improvement Team, Accreditation for Growth Team, High School Task Force, and has written county curricula. Heidi served as senior class advisor, SGA advisor, and director of publications. Spearheading AP Showcase Night and a pilot reading mentorship program are among her many accolades. She has received recognition for coordinating an SU Mentorship program, being selected for MD Writing Project, advising college interns, and teaching AP workshops. In addition, she has instructed her students to mastery on the AP English Literature Examination and English HSA.
Frederick County – Urbana High School
Norm Crosby, Social Studies
Norm Crosby earned his Bachelor of Science degree in history at the University of Massachusetts in 1984 and completed a Masters equivalency at Northeastern University in 1986. He is Social Studies Department chair at Urbana High. He leads historical interpretations and round tables at Evangelical Lutheran Church, Frederick, and assists with Maryland Daughters of the American Revolution educational programs. Who's Who in American Education has recognized Mr. Crosby nine times. He was nominated Gilder Lehrman Institute's National History Teacher of the Year. The Maryland DAR named him 2009 American History Teacher of the Year.
Garrett County – Southern Garrett High School
Erin White, Theater
Erin White is the theatre teacher at Southern Garrett High School in rural Garrett County. Although it is one of the few secondary schools in Maryland without an auditorium, she has diligently worked to develop a large following for her program, producing four full-length shows each year. This past year, Erin arranged for nearly 1,000 elementary school children to see her production of Peter Pan. Erin's favorite teaching memory has been watching her students' faces staring up at New York skyscrapers when she took them to Broadway.
Harford County – Bel Air Middle
Christina Diane O'Neill, Language Arts, Grade 6
Christina O'Neill has served as a teacher, reading specialist, and literacy leader with Harford County Public Schools since 1994. She earned a Bachelor's degree in English from The College of Notre Dame in 1993, Masters of Education from Loyola College in 1997, and an administrative certification from Towson University in 2003. Mrs. O'Neill has presented on the district, state and national levels on issues related to leadership, school improvement and state assessment. She has served on the Instructional Leadership and School Improvement Teams. Mrs. O'Neill advances her profession through classroom interventions and focused literacy.
Howard County – Atholton Elementary
Lisa Young, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher
Lisa Young received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Towson University and an M.S. in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She began teaching in Alaska, becoming a leading advocate for use of the "Six+1 Writing Traits" and providing professional development throughout the school district. After moving to Howard County in 2003, she helped to pioneer this model, now used in elementary and middle schools throughout the county. Lisa continues to lead in writing, gifted education and environmental programs, and is currently preparing math curriculum that align with the Common Core standards. She serves as Maryland Green School Coordinator for Atholton Elementary and coaches a middle school girls robotics team.
Kent County – Kent County High School
Ida Nabb, Spanish
Ida Nabb received a BA in Spanish from Washington College (1988) and is currently teaching Spanish II and III at Kent County High. A strong advocate for 21st Century Learning, she uses technology as a tool to enhance student learning using a variety of projects: online coursework, podcasting, and Promethean lessons. In addition, she serves as a Middle States Internal Coordinator, the PBIS Team Leader, a SIT member, Department Chair, the County Representative to MSDE for World Language, Baseball Booster Vice President, and is a member of the PTSA, NEA, and MSET. She was recently honored with the Teacher of the Month Award.
Montgomery County - Northwest High School
Christine E. Ground, English
Christine earned a BA degree in English from George Washington University in 2004 and earned a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland in 2009. Today, she is in her eighth year at Northwest High School, where she is the ninth grade team leader, sponsors the Literary Magazine and Creative Writing clubs, teaches and mentors students in the Signature Honors Program. She has also conducted High School Assessment (HSA) support classes. Christine contributes to the next generation of teachers as an adjunct professor teaching reading strategies at the University of Maryland. In 2012, she was awarded the Marian Greenblatt Award and named the Montgomery County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Prince George's County - Valley View Elementary School
Sharelle Stagg, Special Education Resource Teacher
Sharelle Stagg earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland in 2004 and master's in special education from Bowie State University in 2010.
She co-chairs Valley View's special education department and serves on the School-Based Management and leadership teams. She is a Destination ImagiNation team coach and PBIS/Cooperative Culture coach.Stagg is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the DC Pearls III Foundation board of directors. She is also a youth ministry coordinator and lay speaker at her church.A two-time Teacher of the Month, Stagg's honors include the MSA After-School Tutor Award and Dr. Jean Phillips Psychological Services Award.
Queen Anne's County – Church Hill Elementary School
Amanda Ensor, Grade 4 Teacher
Amanda earned a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development in Learning from Lynchburg College and a Master’s in Elementary Reading from Walden University. She has resided in developing countries including Haiti, Morocco, Nepal, Guatemala, and South Africa, which has led her to understand the importance of bringing the world to her students. Amanda is a member of her district’s Teacher Evaluation Task Force, the School Improvement Team, the Aspiring Leader’s Program and the PBIS committee in which she organized school-wide activities such as Fancy Friday and International Day. She will serve as a lecturer in the fall at Washington College, teaching Methods of Language Arts and Social Studies to senior education students.
St. Mary's County – Esperanza Middle
Bernadette Scheetz, Mathematics
Bernadette earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University in1994 and a Master's Degree in Educational Mathematics Grades 6-8 from Walden University in 2009. Bernadette has served as Mathematics Department Chair, Team Leader, Mentor and Professional Development presenter. She is also a team member of the Educator Effectiveness Academy Team, School Improvement Team and School Technology Team. She volunteers as a Board Member with a local swim team, and helps raise funds for community projects. Awards include the SMECO Outstanding Mathematics Teacher of the Year and the Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award for St. Mary's County for MSET.
Somerset County – Crisfield High School
Kelly Butler, Social Studies, Grade 10
In 2004, Kelly received a Bachelor's degree in government from Liberty University and is currently pursuing a Master's degree at Salisbury University. She has established a team of teachers who target and support at-risk students, is a behavior coach for at-risk students, and is the National Honor Society advisor. Kelly has worked with the SIT team, PBIS, and SGA. She is involved annually with county-wide curriculum development, as well as mentors teacher interns. Kelly, a mother of two, volunteers with March of Dimes and the children's programs at her church.
Talbot County – Easton Elementary
Katie C. White, Title 1 Reading and Math Teacher
Katie White has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Elementary Education from McDaniel College and completed her Master's in Reading from Salisbury State University. Katie has been teaching for nine years and has taught Language Arts in grades 3 and 6. She is now the Title I Reading and Math teacher at Easton Elementary. Katie is a member of the International Reading Council, Chairperson of the School Improvement Team, and serves on the County Equity Team, which trains system staff in Courageous Conversations regarding equity and race. She participated in the Educator Effectiveness Academy in 2011 and organized a Math night at the local Food Lion, which brought together 500 families to learn about everyday math skills. Katie is active in her community and serves as an adjunct professor at Salisbury University.
Washington County – Boonsboro Elementary School
Christina Hammer-Atkins, Grade 2 Magnet Teacher
Christina graduated in 1990 from the University of Toledo with a B.S. in elementary education, and in 2008, she completed her M.Ed. from Hood College. Christina is a magnet teacher coordinator, professional development leader, and presenter in the Tri-State Teachers' Conference. She has developed a school banking program and serves on various committees for the Board of Education and her school. In her community, Christina is an executive board member for the band boosters and an active PTA member. Christina has also organized the Backyard Habitat Certification for Pleasant Valley Elementary School and raises funds for the American Cancer Society.
Wicomico County – Fruitland Primary School
Susan "Susie" Jones, Grade 1
Susan Jones is a Salisbury University graduate with a degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Post-Secondary Education. Susan began teaching in 1994 and excels as a leader at her school by chairing the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), serving as a team member of RTTT and being a STEM teacher. She is also an integral link in her school's partnership with Salisbury University. For the past ten years she had been the site-coordinator for Fruitland Primary School, a teacher mentor, and an adjunct instructor. Susan refines co-teaching and inclusion techniques to meet each of her student's diverse needs.
Worcester County - Worcester Technical High School
Tony Bevilacqua, Social Studies
Tony Bevilacqua has been teaching history and language arts for 11 years. Certified to teach Social Studies, English, and English as a Second Language, Bevilacqua graduated with two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the College of Charleston, earned a Masters from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently seeking a Masters Degree from Salisbury University. He teaches students to consider the complexities of social, political, economic, and cultural/religious issues in order to make well-informed decisions. Bevilacqua seeks to guide students by building a bridge from insensitivity/ignorance to cultural awareness/tolerance. He serves as a cooperating teacher for interns.
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