FROSTBURG — Career Center educator Carol Garner is Allegany County Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014 and was honored at a celebration held Tuesday at Mountain Ridge High School.
“I love teaching; I love teaching all students — the easy ones, the difficult ones, the stubborn ones, the stinky ones, and of course, the bright ones,” the environmental science teacher said. “I did not understand the peace and inspiration I would get from teaching.”
Garner was among five finalists for the coveted title at the 25th Annual Salute, which also recognized four school-level teacher representatives.
She graduated from Frostburg State University with a master of education degree in 1999 and a bachelor of science degree in geography in 1989. At the Career Center, Garner is a member of the Student Improvement Team, Student Assistance Program, a science instructional lea-der, a co-liaison of the Western Re-gion Environmental Literacy Initiative and the Envirothon adviser.
The four other finalists were Maria Cotton, Beall Elementary School; Leslie Martin, Mountain Ridge; Kara McDowell, Westernport Elementary School; and Amy Morton, Northeast Elementary School. School-level representatives in-cluded Jason Bearinger, West Side Elementary School; Janel Shoemaker, South Penn Elementary School; Victoria Green, Fort Hill High School; and Nancy Kett, Cresaptown Elementary School.
All Teacher of the Year candidates must be full-time classroom, resource or media teachers with a minimum of five years’ teaching experience. School-based teacher representatives must complete various application forms if they are interested in becoming a candidate for the county level Teacher of the Year recognition.
A selection committee comprised of four judges completed a scoring form for each applicant. Candidates are judged on areas such as education history and professional development activities, professional biographies, philosophies of teaching, teaching profession and communication skills. This year’s judges included Ernie Kaylor, retired school system administrator; LeeAnn Zlomek, 2012-2013 Allegany County Teacher of the Year; Fred Powell, owner, Main Street Books; and Robin Summerfield, field representative for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.
Sponsors of the 25th Annual Salute to the Allegany County Teachers of the Year included Allegany College of Maryland, Allegany County Board of Education, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Allegany County Board of Commissioners, Allegany County Public Schools, Allegany County Teachers Federal Credit Union, Frostburg State University and Oscar’s Restaurant.
Lisa Stevenson served as the event coordinator. Other members of the planning committee include Robert Stevenson, Pat Kaylor, Tim Miller, Dee Blank and Mia Cross. Chuck Park was this year’s videographer; students in the Career Center culinary arts program catered the event; and strings students provided the musical entertainment.