The top five finalists for the 2015 Harford County Teacher of the Year award have been released and are listed in alphabetical order below. The judging panel had a difficult and unenviable task again this year with many outstanding teachers nominated for the award. Just to have been deemed worthy by a student, parent, administrator or community member to be Harford County’s Teacher of the Year from among the more than 3,200 teachers in the system is remarkable.
Lisamarie Bermudez, Edgewood Middle School Mathematics Teacher
Lisamarie Bermudez earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Pre-K – 8 in 2008 and Master of Arts in Mathematics Education in 2011 and received an Endorsement in Educational Leadership from Western Governors University in 2014. Ms. Bermudez teaches mathematics at Edgewood Middle School and is a member of the School Improvement Team and is the coordinator of the Annual Family Bazaar where she fosters community relationships through her contact with business partners. She is also the coordinator for the EMS University afterschool intervention program. She serves her community as a Sunday school teacher, church secretary, and pastor’s assistant.
Tonya Chandler, Youth’s Benefit Elementary Second Grade Teacher
Tonya Chandler teaches second grade at Youth’s Benefit Elementary School. Over her nine years at YBES, she has served in multiple roles that have enhanced teacher professional growth and student achievement. In addition, Ms. Chandler worked for 10 years as a Center Director/Team Leader with early child care centers achieving National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation. Ms. Chandler holds a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern College, a Master of Arts from Cabrini College, and an Educational Leadership Certificate from Loyola University. She is a member of Fallston United Methodist Church, serving on the Worship Team and actively working with mission programs.
Laura Potter, C. Milton Wright High School Mathematics Teacher
Laura Potter received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from University of Notre Dame of Maryland in 2001 and her Master of Arts in teaching from Towson University in 2005. Ms. Potter has been teaching for 11 years, serving the last three years as a mathematics teacher at C. Milton Wright High School. Ms. Potter serves as Acting Mathematics Department Chairperson and member of the School Improvement Team. At the county level, Ms. Potter has facilitated professional development to strengthen mathematics instruction. In the fall of 2014, she was nominated for the William J. Sacco Mathematics Teacher Award.
Katie Scharpf, Forest Hill Elementary School Third Grade Teacher
Katie Scharpf has been a teacher for HCPS since December of 2005. She attended Towson University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and the ‘Towson’s Elite’ title due to her exemplary performance as a student, intern and educational leader. Ms. Scharpf attended the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, where she received her master’s in Administration and Supervision. Upon graduation, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Over the last ten years, Ms. Scharpf has taught kindergarten through third grade. Her consistent professional goal has focused on supporting the success of all students.
Sarah Scholl, Havre de Grace Middle School Media Specialist
Sarah Scholl is in her 10th year teaching at Havre de Grace Middle School, where she serves as the Media Specialist. She is a 2005 graduate of Elizabethtown College with a degree in English Education and earned her master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Towson University in 2011. She is the Ben Carson Reading Room Coordinator, a School Improvement Team and Professional Development Committee member, and instructor for the after school intervention program, Warriors Working Well. Ms. Scholl has presented sessions on technology integration for HCPS and state conferences, writes library curriculum and manages the after school student book club.
This year’s Teacher of the Year Judging Committee reviewed and scored all nomination packets to determine a pool of candidates that participated in an interview with a panel of seven judges. The judges narrowed the pool to the top five finalists, one of which will be crowned the 2015 Harford County Teacher of the Year.
A surprise announcement of the winner will take place at the annual Harford County Teacher of the Year banquet to be held on Wednesday, March 25, at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace. Again this year, the banquet is being provided by the Bayou Restaurant and HARCO Credit Union, with many outstanding gifts for our finalists donated by local Harford County businesses!