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Monday, October 13, 2003

Alumnus Aaron Deal Named Maryland Teacher of the Year

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury Middle School computer science teacher and Salisbury University alumnus Aaron Deal became the first Wicomico County instructor in 10 years to earn the Maryland Teacher of the Year Award. Deal was honored this past weekend at ceremonies in Baltimore.

Earning his bachelor’s in psychology in 1993, he is also pursuing his M.Ed. at SU. A committee of educators and community members who selected Deal from eight finalists praised him for his creativity in the classroom. He now advances for consideration as the national teacher of the year.

“I’m floored,” Deal told a reporter for The Daily Times following the awards ceremony. “This is just like the Oscars.”

He also said he did not expect to receive the honor at the state level: “I’m very surprised and to some extent very overwhelmed.”

“He is very deserving,” said Cathy Townsend, principal at Salisbury Middle School. “He is an outstanding staff member. I am confident he will represent our school, our county and our state well. We are very proud of him.”

According to Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, dean of the Seidel School, innovators like Deal reflect well on SU’s education programs.

“We are very pleased with Aaron Deal’s accomplishment,” said Pataniczek. “As a graduate of the Fulton School and a student in the Seidel School, he has provided inspiration to his peers and his students.”

This year a quarter of Maryland’s 24 teachers of the yearóall of whom were eligible for the state honorócall SU their Alma Mater.

These SU alumni receiving county teacher of the year honors included Bernadette Richardson in Caroline County, Nancy Phillips in Dorchester County, George Radcliffe Jr. in Queen Anne’s County, Karen Linamen of Somerset County and Carvel LaCurts in Worcester County.

The last state teacher of the year to hail from Wicomico County, Bonnie Walston in 1993, was also an SU alum, earning her B.S. in elementary education in 1975 and her M.Ed. in 1992.

As this year’s Maryland Teacher of the Year, Deal received a $24,000 Chevrolet Malibu, $5,000 in cash, $7,500 in computer software, $1,000 to attend a conference, a week at the National Space Camp and an iBook laptop computer.

For more information call 410-546-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.


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