SALISBURY, MD---When Somerset County Intermediate School language arts teacher April Todd recently was named Maryland Teacher of the Year, she became the latest in a succession of those with Salisbury University ties to win the prestigious award.
Six of this year’s 24 local Teachers of the Year—one in four total—were SU alumni, the largest number since the University has kept records. With Todd, three of the past five statewide winners have held strong SU connections.
Along with her husband Andrew—Somerset County’s 2006 Teacher of the year—Todd earned her M.Ed. from Salisbury last spring.
Joining them at the local level were fellow Sea Gulls Caroline County Teacher of the Year Lindsey McCormick (B.A.S.W., 1994), Dorchester County Teacher of the Year Karla Eberspacher (B.A. music, 1996, and also a state finalist this year), Queen Anne’s County Teacher of the Year Judith Adkins (B.S. elementary education, 1975), Wicomico County Teacher of the Year Susan Ward (B.A. English, 1976; M.Ed., 1985) and Worcester County Teacher of the Year Tamara Krauch Mills (B.A. art, 2001; M.Ed., 2007).
In 2004, Wicomico County Teacher of the Year Aaron Deal led the current roster of SU alumni receiving the statewide honor. In addition to earning his B.S. in psychology from Salisbury in 1993, he was pursuing an M.Ed. at SU when he received the award.
Worcester County Teacher of the Year Michelle Hammond continued the trend in 2006. An adjunct faculty member at SU, she had attended classes at Salisbury and served as a teacher/mentor through the University’s Professional Development Schools Program. When Hammond spoke at national and state meetings, she always included her connection to SU and her mentoring of SU interns in her remarks.
“The goal of SU’s education programs is not only to produce teachers, but to produce good teachers with discussion in the classroom and hands-on interaction through our Professional Development School Program,” said Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, dean of SU’s Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. “The number of Teachers of the Year we have produced, at both the local and state levels, validates that we are succeeding in that goal.”
This year, even the awards ceremony had an SU flavor. Retired U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, sponsor of the University’s Paul S. Sarbanes Lecture Series, presented the Teacher of the Year trophy to Todd.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.