Maryland Teacher of the Year finalists announced

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M Lowery today announced the names of seven finalists for 2013-2014 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

“These outstanding teachers are terrific representatives of the tireless and creative work taking place in Maryland’s classrooms every day,” said Dr Lowery. “Our State’s education system is highly regarded because we have such an outstanding cadre of educators, providing students with a world-class education program that is the cornerstone for future success.”

Carol Garner, Center for Career and Technical Education

Carol Garner is an environmental science teacher in Allegany County. She graduated from Frostburg State University with a Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees. She is currently a member of the Student Improvement Team (SIT), Student Assistance Program (SAP), and is a science instructional leader, liaison for environmental literacy initiatives, Veterans Day Chair and the Envirothon advisor. Ms Garner’s services to the community have included volunteer work supporting all facets of watershed sustainability, bereaved parents, and shelter animals. Carol shares her love of nature with her husband Michael and children, Lily and Caleb.

Jodie Hogan, South River High School

Jodie Hogan is a Spanish and STEM teacher in Anne Arundel County. She inspires her students to be global citizens and use their command of Spanish to communicate in business settings and traveling the world. She is chairperson of the Equity Team, facilitates professional development, and writes curriculum combining Spanish with STEM methodology. Ms Hogan earned a Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education from California University of Pennsylvania in 1998. In 2003, she earned a Master of Arts in intercultural communications from UMBC, and in 2010, a Master of Arts in Education from Gratz College. Ms Hogan was the 2012 Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.

Ketia C Stokes, Green Street Academy

Ketia C Stokes is a special education/autism spectrum teacher in Baltimore City. She is the lead teacher for Baltimore City’s model site for students with autism, where she implements a uniquely designed curriculum specializing in cultivating vocational, communication, social, and independent living skills. A passionate advocate and innovative learning strategist, she chairs the Special Education Team, facilitates school- and city-wide professional development, spearheads family and community engagement initiatives, mentors fellow educators, and is an Autism Society of Baltimore board member. Ms Stokes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication sciences and disorders from James Madison University in 2002 and a Master of Education degree from Coppin State University in 2011.

Sean McComb, Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts

Sean McComb is an English Teacher in Baltimore County. He teaches English that focuses on creating critical readers, strong writers, and judicious thinkers. As AVID coordinator, he helps hone students’ work habits and academic skills for college. A BCPS curriculum writer and an adjunct instructor at Towson University, Sean participated in the BCPS China Exchange in 2012. He also serves his community monthly through his church and takes students to help feed the hungry two times a year. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees, both from the University of Pittsburgh and is pursuing school leadership certification from Goucher College.

Steven Luthultz, Holly Hall Elementary School

Steven Luthultz is a fifth-grade teacher in Cecil County. He writes district and state curriculum, plans and presents professional development, and mentors pre-service teachers. He is an Educator Effectiveness Academy master teacher, a member of Maryland’s STEM certification work group, and Cecil County’s elementary representative to Maryland’s environmental literacy initiative. Mr Luthultz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Lafayette College in 1976, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical studies from Philadelphia Biblical University in 1982, and a Master of Education in elementary studies from Wilmington University in 2008, where he is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program.

George McGurl, Burleigh Manor Middle School

George McGurl is a sixth-grade science teacher in Howard County. He earned his BS in education from the University of Maryland and his MS in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel University. For the past 11 years, he has been giving back to the very school system that gave him so much: George leads his school in their environmental education, Green School, and STEM programs. His creative approach and use of many different teaching strategies ensures that he meets the needs of every student. This earned him the Agnes Meyer Distinguished Teacher award for 2013, along with recognition for making a difference in the community.

Cristina A Ulrich, Brookhaven Elementary School

Cristina A Ulrich is a kindergarten teacher at a Title I school in Montgomery County. In 2006, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a certificate in early childhood education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. In 2012, she received a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University in gifted education and ESOL. During her seven years of teaching, she has served as the kindergarten team leader, PTA treasurer, and volunteer for adult English classes. In 2012, she was awarded the Shirley J Lowrie “Thank You for Teaching” award and received the Marian Greenblatt Award in 2013.