May 20, 2018

SMECO Awards Outstanding Teachers

Outstanding Teachers
SMECO’s Outstanding Teachers from St. Mary’s County are, 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.

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative has chosen 20 educators from the school systems of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties as Outstanding Teachers because of their leadership in the fields of mathematics, science, technology, and engineering.

Nine math teachers, six science teachers, and five STEM (science, math, engineering, and technology) teachers from schools in the three counties were awarded. Each was chosen for his or her outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, enthusiasm for teaching, rapport with students, professionalism, and innovative teaching methods. The teachers received plaque and cash awards during a dinner held in their honor. During the past 27 years, SMECO has recognized more than 370 of the region’s 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,” said Austin J. Slater Jr., SMECO president and CEO, when he welcomed the winners. “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.”

The keynote speaker for the event was Lawrence M. Clark, an associate professor at the University of Maryland Center for Mathematics Education. Mr. Clark said good teachers in the STEM disciplines have three qualities: a commitment to sustaining and nurturing their fascination with the world, viewing the world through a STEM lens; a commitment to collaborating with colleagues in and out of their schools; and the ability to see a scientist or mathematician in every child they teach.

As a former middle-school math teacher, Mr. Clark noted how demands and expectations have changed for teachers in STEM. He encouraged them to try to understand their communities and environments outside their schools and to search for ways to incorporate the realities of students’ worlds into each of 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,” said Mr. Clark. “The award winners tonight should be very proud of themselves for taking on such a challenging yet rewarding profession.”

SMECO’s Outstanding Mathematics, Science, and STEM Teachers of the Year are listed below.

Calvert County

Calvert

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.

Rolf Arnesen, Huntingtown High School

Kim Bracey, Mount Harmony Elementary School

Wendy Farrell, Huntingtown High School

Laurel Newcomer, Plum Point Middle School

Marshall Pike, Calvert Career and Technology Academy

Karin Stewart, Calvert Middle School

Charles County

Jennifer Davis, Malcolm Elementary School

Michael Forrest, Matthew Henson Middle School

Michael Johnson, William A. Diggs Elementary School

Christina Laverty, Henry E. Lackey High School

Daniel Meltsner, John Hanson Middle School

Monica Morgan, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School

Megan Parsons, Theodore G. Davis Middle School

St. Mary’s County

Charles

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.

Alesha Boyd, Dynard Elementary School

Tara Everly, St. Mary’s Ryken High School

Amanda Kellam, Greenview Knolls Elementary School

Taren Long, Chesapeake Public Charter School

Tabitha Ringer, Margaret Brent Middle School

Kara Sostre, Evergreen Elementary School

Stephanie Stone, Chopticon High School

Enhancing the quality of life in Southern Maryland is part of SMECO’s core mission. The cooperative sponsors events for students in hopes of encouraging them to excel in math, science, and technology. These events include the local MATHCOUNTS competition, the annual Southern Maryland Regional Computer Bowl, and the Elementary Math Challenge. So far this year, nearly 1,200 students in SMECO’s service area have participated in these events.

To learn more about SMECO, visit its Leader Member Page.

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