Top teachers selected as Teacher of the Year nominees

WESTOVER — Somerset County Public Schools is in its 28th year of participation in the state Teacher of the Year (TOY) Contest. Each year schools are asked to choose their top teacher and those individuals compete on the county level. An Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Secondary Teacher of the Year are chosen after the process. From those two, a county TOY is named to represent the school system on the state level.

“This year’s nominees are, as usual, strong educators who make a significant difference in the lives of their students,” said school spokesman Leo Lawson.

Secondary teacher candidates are Jeremy Holland, art teacher at Crisfield Academy and High School; Vestina Davis, social studies teacher at Washington Academy and High School; Jeff Hale, special education teacher at J.M. Tawes Technology and Career School; and Tania Cunningham-Smith, special education teacher at Somerset Intermediate School.

Elementary school candidates are: Susan Finlayson, Grade 2 teacher at Woodson Elementary School; Debbie Whitney, Kindergarten teacher at Princess Anne Elementary School; and Melodi Power, media specialist at Greenwood Elementary School.


Anna Breland, third from left in front, was Somerset County’s 2014 Teacher of the Year and a Maryland Teacher of the Year finalist, shown here with school and Board of Education officials at the Maryland Teacher of the Year Gala.

The teachers of the year and nominee for the state award will be announced at the school system’s annual gala on March 20 at the Henson Center at UMES.

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