Middle States Council for the Social Studies Recognizes Two Harford County Public Schools Employees with Distinguished Awards


Patrick P. Spicer, Esq. named recipient of Daniel Roselle Award; George J. Toepfer named recipient of Distinguished Service Award

Patrick P. Spicer, Esquire, general counsel for the Board of Education of Harford County, has been selected by the Board of Directors of Middle States Council for the Social Studies (MSCSS) for the Daniel Roselle Award.

The Daniel Roselle Award is presented to the keynote speaker at the Middle States Council’s annual conference in recognition of significant contributions to the field of social studies. The award is named for Daniel Roselle, past president of the Council and former editor of Social Education, the quarterly publication of the National Council for the Social Studies.

As part of the award, Mr. Spicer will deliver the keynote address during the Council’s 116th annual conference on March 2, 2019. The topic of his address will be The Desegregation of Harford County Public Schools: Looking Back to Move Forward.

Mr. Spicer is a native of Harford County. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, with honors, and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Law School. Mr. Spicer has served in his current capacity as general counsel to the Board since 1989.

In addition to publishing articles relating to special education and the law, Mr. Spicer is also the author of two Harford County Historical Society Bulletins: Decade of Delay – The Desegregation of Harford County Public Schools, Harford Historical Bulletins 105 and 107 (2007 & 2008). He also is the author of a short story entitled “Spooze’s Shack – A Story of Harford County,” published in 2011. Mr. Spicer has presented to a variety of groups regarding segregation and desegregation in Harford County Public Schools (HCPS).

George J. Toepfer, supervisor of Social Studies for HCPS, was selected to receive the MSCSS Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes a community member whose career and/or contributions have supported and advanced social studies education. This will be the third time in four years that a Harford County educator receives this award.

Mr. Toepfer graduated from State University of New York at Stony Brook, with honors, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. He received his Master of Education from the University of Maryland at College Park and went on to earn his Administrator I certification from Towson University.

Mr. Toepfer served as a social studies teacher for HCPS from 1991 to 2002, as well as social studies department chairperson for the last five of those years, before he was named Supervisor of Social Studies in 2002.

Carolyn VanRoden, a social studies teacher at Southampton Middle School, is president elect for MSCSS and coordinated the organization’s upcoming conference event.

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