Expert educators vie for prestigious title


The top five finalists for the 2018 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.



Amanda Roberts, Harford Technical High School
Social Studies Teacher


Ms. Amanda Roberts graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors College at Towson University in 2008 with a major in Social Studies and Secondary Education and a minor in French. She also earned a master’s degree from Towson University in Educational Leadership. Ms. Roberts has taught for HCPS for 10 years at Edgewood Middle School and Harford Technical High School. For the past eight years, she has served as an active board member of the Maryland Council for Social Studies, including in the position of president. In 2015, she won Maryland Social Studies Teacher of the Year.


Nicole Shank, Ring Factory Elementary School
5th Grade Teacher


Mrs. Nicole Shank is currently in her sixth year of teaching elementary education at Ring Factory Elementary School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Towson University in 2012, and went on to earn a master’s degree in STEM education in 2015. Mrs. Shank currently serves as school science facilitator and a member of the School Improvement Team. At the county level, she is a writer for the Next Generation Science Standards curriculum and a facilitator for professional development to enhance science instruction. Mrs. Shank was selected as the Maryland teacher for the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in 2015.


Deanna Smith, Bel Air High School
Business Education Teacher


Mrs. Deanna Smith is currently in her ninth year of teaching business, having served the last five years at Bel Air High School. She was also a corporate trainer at Harford Community College. Mrs. Smith received a degree in Business Education from Shepherd University and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College. At Bel Air High School, Deanna has taught Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Introduction to Marketing, and Advanced Marketing. She is the proud advisor for the school’s National Business Honor Society, DECA Club, and Peer Assistance and Wellness Support group.


Paula Stanton, Bel Air High School
English Teacher


Dr. Paula Stanton is a 24-year veteran teacher, including eight years in Harford County. She has enjoyed teaching middle and high school students in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Dr. Stanton earned a bachelor’s in English and Secondary Education from Howard University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Education at Walden University in 2017. She is the English Department Chairperson at Bel Air High School and ninth grade English teacher at the Center for Educational Opportunity. Dr. Stanton serves on the Bel Air High School Unity Committee and the Harford County Public Schools Novel Review Committee.


Dawn Stone, North Bend Elementary School
Art Teacher


Mrs. Dawn Stone, a fine arts educator at North Bend Elementary School, provides students with art experiences that include history, culture, writing and math. She has initiated, developed, and directed several brand new programs, including a multifaceted arts club allowing students to excel in acting, music, design and dance, as well as a schoolwide technology program designed from scratch within the itsLearning platform. She is a member of the School Improvement Team and the county arts committee. Mrs. Stone holds two bachelor’s degrees in Mass Communications and Art Education and is working on her masters in Instructional Technology.


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 2018 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, April 4, at the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace. Again this year, the banquet is being provided by the Bayou Restaurant and HAR-CO Credit Union, with many outstanding gifts for our finalists donated by local Harford County businesses!

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