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Finalists Named for the 2017-2018 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Statewide Winner to be announced in October

BALTIMORE – Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, today announced the names of seven finalists for 2017-2018 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

“Maryland teachers continue to strive for excellence and the work that these exceptional educators demonstrate reflects the dedication present in educators throughout the State,” said Dr. Salmon. “Our State’s educators provide our students with guidance and knowledge that reach far past the classroom and promote life-long learning.”

The finalists are: Joshua Carroll, Anne Arundel County; Justin Holbrook, Baltimore City; Dr. Thomas McHugh, Carroll County; Heather Roth, Garrett County; Amy E. Mangold, Harford County; Dr. Maddy Halbach, Howard County; Katie Fox, Talbot County.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from a number of key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents and higher education. All finalists were chosen based on a rigorous set of state and national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement. The finalists were selected from a group of 24 local teachers of the year, representing the 24 Maryland school systems.

The 2017-2018 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on October 27. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities, and a new car valued at more than $25,000, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.

Athanasia (Sia) Kyriakakos, an Art teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical Senior High School in Baltimore City, is the current Maryland Teacher of the Year. Maryland has celebrated its Teachers of the Year Program and participated in the National Teacher of the Year Program for over 27 years. In the last 10 years, Maryland has had five national finalists, with three going on to become National Teachers of the Year.

Presenting sponsors of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program are Comcast, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonald’s Family of Maryland and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. Platinum sponsors are BGE, Lockheed Martin, Maryland Public Television, NTA Life and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

The selected Maryland Teacher of the Year will go on to compete for the esteemed National Teacher of the Year Award, to be announced next April. Maryland’s Teacher of the Year will also spend the coming year as an educational speaker and advisor in Maryland and will be honored by the President at the White House next spring. The Maryland Teacher of the Year will also participate in several national meetings and conferences.

Additional information on the seven 2017-18 finalists:

Anne Arundel County – Joshua Carroll, South River High School, STEM, Grade 10

Joshua Carroll is committed to student success inside of the classroom and in life. A 1999 graduate of Boston College, Josh has a BA in English. Currently a teacher in the STEM department, Josh teaches project-based learning while serving as the interim department chairperson. He believes that student success is created through meaningful relationships. Josh is a member of the Principal’s Leadership Team and chairperson for the Student Recognition Committee. In addition, he is the head cross country coach and assistant coach for track and field. Josh serves on the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) cross country, indoor track and student leadership committees.

Baltimore City – Justin Holbrook, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, Mathematics & Science, Grade 4

Justin Holbrook is a 4th grade math and science teacher inspired to enhance professional learning through teacher story-telling and classroom experiences. He holds a Master’s Degree from Loyola University Maryland (2017) and a Bachelor’s Degree from Goucher College (2010). Justin is the chair of his community’s School Family Council and a member of the School Leadership Team. He is also a Maryland EGATE Outstanding Educator in Gifted and Talented Education – Teacher as a Leader, as well as a member of the EdCamp Maryland organizing committee, founder of the professional learning network #BmoreEdchat, and part of a national instructional documentary entitled Grey Matters.

Carroll County – Dr. Thomas McHugh, Century High School, English, Grades 9-12

Dr. Thomas McHugh is an English Content Area Liaison/Teacher recognized as a passionate, student-centered educator continually seeking to improve learning and school culture. He earned B.A. degrees in Education and English from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in English from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland. Dr. McHugh is an expert in curriculum design and construction, presenting at state and national levels on topics including Advanced Placement and College and Career Readiness. He is an AP Scorer and a member of the PARCC Range Finding Team. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and UMBC Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities.

Garrett County – Heather Roth, Broad Ford & Crellin Elementary Schools, Music

“Sing, Say, Dance, Play!” Heather Roth has passionately guided students in active music-making for 13 years. Her child-centered approach was fostered through her certification in Orff-Schulwerk levels I (2003) and II (2004), leading to the inception of two student-driven ensembles: Crellin’s Rhythm & Rubbish and Broad Ford’s Orff Ensemble. Heather was named Oakland Elk’s Lodge 2014 Elementary Teacher of the Year. She also serves on the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival education committee, is an officer in the Garrett Choral Society, and is on the executive board of the Garrett County Education Association. She received both her Bachelor’s Degree (2002) and Master’s of Music Degree (2005) at West Virginia University.

Harford County – Amy E. Mangold, John Archer School, Special Education, Pre-K and Kindergarten

Amy Mangold has spent the majority of her career teaching preschool students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities. Amy graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland with a Master’s in Teaching (2003) and The Johns Hopkins University with certification in early childhood special education (2010). She serves on the Instructional Leadership and School Improvement teams, presents county professional development, and mentors students from local universities. Outside her classroom, Amy volunteers with Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding, St. Baldrick’s Foundation and promotes independent living skills for adults with special needs as a Community Support Living Arrangement Worker.

Howard County – Dr. Maddy Halbach, Applications & Research Laboratory, Academy of Finance, Grades 11-12

Dr. Maddy Halbach believes financial literacy will reduce the achievement and socio-economic gaps for students. She was recognized as the 2016 Maryland Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year. Her students are two-time national and four-time state winners of the Personal Finance Challenge. Dr. Halbach has written and taught blended learning programs, co-written an online course for MSDE, and trained teachers nationwide on financial literacy. She is a published author and a National Board Certified Teacher. She has a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from the University of Maryland (2010), and a Master’s (2000) and Bachelor’s (1998) from Emmanuel College.

Talbot County – Katie Fox, Tilghman Elementary School, Kindergarten

Katie Fox earned her B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the University of Michigan (2002) and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University (2005). Katie serves as her school’s STEM and Primary Talent Development representative and is a member of the School Improvement Team and Equity Team. She serves as a director on the board for the Tilghman Area Youth Association (TAYA) and the Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee for Talbot County. Katie received the MSDE Teacher as Leader in Gifted and Talented Education award and strongly believes that instruction must be designed to meet the needs of all students in order to ensure student success.


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