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Dr. Richard Warren, Jr. Named 2018-19 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Statewide Winner is from Somerset County

BALTIMORE – Dr. Richard Warren, Jr., an eighth grade Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher at Somerset County’s Crisfield High School and Academy, tonight was named the 2018-2019 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, made the announcement at the 28th Annual Teacher of the Year Gala. The event attracted educators and dignitaries, such as Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and former Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

Richard has taught for six years, the last five at Crisfield High School and Academy. He holds three degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore: a bachelor of science degree in science (2011); masters of arts in teaching (2014) and a doctorate in educational leadership (2018).

STEM education is Richard’s passion. He looks to inspire, connect, and help students stretch their potential through technology and relatable learning experiences.

“Teaching is so much more than content,” he said. “Teaching is about reaching students where they are, connecting them to real-world experiences, and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead and make a difference in life.”

Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford congratulated Maryland’s new Teacher of the Year.

“Maryland’s future success is directly tied to the teachers who work hard each and every day in our schools,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I congratulate Dr. Warren on this tremendous achievement and celebrate his win with the leadership, teachers, and students at Crisfield High School & Academy. Congratulations to all of the finalists, and thank you for everything you do to educate the next generation of Marylanders.”

“Our teachers have the ability to have a lasting impact on the lives of our children,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “Dr. Warren is known for connecting his students to the world around them, including our majestic Chesapeake Bay, which serves as the backdrop for many of his lessons. I extend my congratulations to Dr. Warren and all of the finalists on this prestigious honor.”

Richard understands that Crisfield High School and Academy is a significant institution in the rural community. As such, students, parents and local residents have a deep connection to the school, and he has found ways to honor the community by connecting students to it.

“The science that we study always connects to something relevant in their community,” he explained. “Re-learning the impact of human pollution in waterways underscores the importance of properly discarding resources to preserve local marine life. Learning about the phases of the moon and tides helps students understand the best fishing and crabbing times for local watermen. Learning about the food chain helps students to think about how local farmers protect and harvest crops. Learning about the thermal expansion of water pushes students to think about sea level rise, as well as how to prepare for local flooding. Each of these lessons provides distinct opportunities to connect to the community around us.”

Dr. Justin Hartings, president of the Maryland State Board of Education, applauded Dr. Warren on his honor.

“Student achievement in Maryland begins with the dedicated teachers who are privileged to serve our children.   Richard makes a personal interest in each of his students, and is invested in their success,” said Dr. Hartings. “He represents the best of Maryland public education. The State Board congratulates Richard on this honor, and we thank him for dedicating his professional life to serving the young people of Maryland.”

Dr. Salmon said Richard has spent his years as an educator in a quest for improvement. More recently, he’s been sharing his knowledge with others.

“The best educators never stop learning, and Richard has been working tirelessly to get better at his craft since the day he first walked into a classroom,” Dr. Salmon said. “He’s also been mentoring beginning teachers for several years, helping them to understand classroom management, organization, lesson planning, and everything it takes to be an effective teacher. By being a mentor, he is expanding his reach.”

Selecting Dr. Warren for the award was a very difficult task for the judges. The other outstanding finalists were: Heather Carnaghan, Anne Arundel County; LaQuisha Hall, Baltimore City; Tina Thomen, Carroll County; Staci Lamb, Cecil County; Reneé Warfield, Talbot County; and Jeanine Horst, Washington County.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents and higher education. Finalists were measured against a rigorous set of national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement.

The 2018-2019 Maryland Teacher of the Year was announced at Martin’s West in Baltimore. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities, and a new Chevrolet Equinox, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. 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 Corporation. Platinum sponsors are NTA Life, SMART Technologies, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

Dr. Warren succeeds Joshua Carroll, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher at Anne Arundel County’s South River High School. Maryland has had a history of national success with its Teacher of the Year Program. In the last 12 years, Maryland has had five national finalists with three of them going on to become National Teachers of the Year.

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 a speaker and advisor in Maryland and will be honored at the White House next spring.