WCPS Teacher of the Year finalists announced

WCPS Teacher of the Year finalists announced

Hagerstown, MD (March 29, 2012) - Finalists have been announced for Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) Teacher of the Year. A judging committee will complete an additional review of the five finalists, including interviews and classroom observations, leading to an announcement of the 2012-2013 Washington County Teacher of the Year at the annual dinner and recognition on April 25, 2012, at Fountain Head Country Club, Hagerstown. The program is sponsored by the Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Here are the finalists:
Allen Haines - Boonsboro Middle School - Physical education teacher: Allen has been teaching for WCPS for 26 years. He is a past Teacher of the Year nominee and has been part of demonstration school and teacher awards from the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Allen has also been a presenter and facilitator at national middle school conferences. He says, "The positive difference I can make in the lives of my students is the most rewarding experience for me as a teacher."
Christina Hammer-Atkins - Boonsboro Elementary School - 2nd grade teacher: Christina has more than 17 years of teaching experience with seven of those years in Washington County. She is a previous Teacher of the Year nominee and Science Teacher of the Year nominee. Christina is very active at all three Boonsboro schools, including roles as teacher and magnet teacher coordinator at the elementary school, involvement in PTA at the middle school and as part of the athletic and band boosters at the high school. Christina says, "I can think of no greater compensation professionally, than seeing the 'light go on' for one of my students."
Sally Irwin - Washington County Technical High School - Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science: Sally has taught for WCPS for eight years. She is a past Teacher of the Year nominee and in 2011, received the Outstanding Career and Technology Program Award from the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Career and College Readiness. Sally's Biomedical Science program also received a Project Lead the Way Model School Award at the Innovation Summit in Washington, DC in 2010. Sally says, "I celebrate student accomplishments and feel a deep sense of pride that I may have influenced them in their current path of life."
Heather McEndree - Western Heights Middle School - Music teacher: Of her ten years teaching experience, Heather has taught at WCPS for four years. She began her career in Frederick County and received that county's Outstanding First Year Teacher Award. Heather has been published in Music Educators Journal in the past and another article will be published this year. Her community involvement includes teaching music classes for babies, toddlers and preschool children and working on behalf of organizations like March of Dimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Human Society of Washington County. Heather says, "I have discovered the value of learning, I know that learning never ends, and I would like for children to have a want for knowledge."
Katie Rubeck - Rockland Woods Elementary School - 1st grade teacher: Katie has taught for WCPS for five years and serves as Olweus Bullying Prevention Coordinator for her school. She is involved in activities benefitting the community and her church. Katie says, "I want my students to feel they are in a learning environment in which it is acceptable to try, fail, succeed, question and learn, and to know they are loved and special."