English teacher from Havre de Grace High School to vie for state title
Paige Milanoski, English teacher at Havre de Grace High School and 20-year veteran teacher, 19 of which were for Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), was named the 2019 HCPS Teacher of the Year during a surprise announcement at the 25th Annual Harford County Teacher of the Year Banquet. The dinner banquet for 170 guests, provided by Lou Ward, owner of the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace, and HAR-CO Credit Union, was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Bayou Restaurant.
Board of Education of Harford County President Joseph Voskuhl, along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sean Bulson, made the announcement Wednesday evening to guests that included Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, members of the county council and other elected officials, school administrators, educators, students, family, friends, and community sponsors.
“This event provides an opportunity for the Harford County community to come together to celebrate the teaching profession,” said Dr. Bulson. “We shine the spotlight on five outstanding finalists and what they do in their classrooms every day to instruct, support, and encourage our students. Mrs. Milanoski is a champion educator who has successfully created a classroom environment that is both instructionally sound and nurturing. I’m proud to announce Mrs. Milanoski as Harford County’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.”
Mrs. Milanoski began her career with Harford County Public Schools in 1999 at Harford Technical High School, where, throughout the years, she served as an English instructor, curriculum writer, summer school instructor, strategic reading instructor, and English Department chairperson. During her time at Harford Technical High, she also coached the Junior Varsity and Varsity Cheerleading squads. She accepted a teaching position with Cecil County Public Schools in 2014 where she taught for one school year before returning to Harford County to her current position as English and Strategic Reading instructor at Havre de Grace High School.
“I do not take for granted on any day the power of the responsibility that I have as a teacher,” said Mrs. Milanoski. “It is my life, my heart, and my purpose. I want to share the joy and commendation of this important endeavor with the teachers who are in the trenches with me, the students who make this privilege possible, and the community who is always unfailing in the support of me and of my students.”
Outside of her English classroom, Mrs. Milanoski’s connections within her school community and her passion for making the lives of her students better are demonstrated in her role as advisor of Havre de Grace High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) program. Her commitment to this cause is undeniable, and not only did she completely revitalize the program, she initiated a nationally accredited chapter. With this program, she provides students with resources and opportunities to find themselves and their loved ones help. In her advisor role, she has forged connections with the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, Ashley Treatment, and Char Hope Foundation, agencies that have assisted in offering real-life connections for the students in her chapter. Once non-existent, the school’s S.A.D.D. program now creates multiple events throughout the year, teaching students and the community about the dangers of addiction and destructive decisions. Her efforts have been highlighted by media outlets in the greater Baltimore area, and she has been recognized by WBAL-TV, WMAR-TV, The Baltimore Sun, and The Aegis.
Mrs. Milanoski earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Secondary Education from Elizabethtown College in 1999, and a Master of Arts Equivalency in Reading in 2009 after completing coursework at both Towson University and University of Phoenix. Mrs. Milanoski was nominated for Harford County’s Teacher of the Year by Havre de Grace High School Assistant Principal Brad Spence.
“For all the accolades Mrs. Milanoski could receive as a master teacher, where she truly shines is with the relationships she builds with students,” said Mr. Spence. “She is the bedrock of our Warrior family. She gives students tough love when they need it, a place to cry where they are safe, a person to celebrate their accomplishments, and someone to help them up when they have fallen. Numerous students of all walks of life owe credit to Mrs. Milanoski for where they are, because, without her support and love, they may have never known what they were truly capable of.”
“Mrs. Milanoski was far more than an English teacher to me; she was a mentor, a counselor, and someone I consider a life-long friend,” said Jordan Kraus, a former student of Milanoski’s and a Harford Technical High School graduate with the Class of 2013. “She changed my life at a time when I needed it most, and without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
Enthusiastic support for her nomination came from Mr. James Reynolds, principal of Havre de Grace High School.
“Mrs. Milanoski’s work ethic and leadership by example are second to none,” said Mr. Reynolds. “She collaborates with other educators to celebrate and reflect upon the teaching profession. She mentors fellow teachers who look to her for guidance and direction. She is a true teacher leader, and she helps without expectation of fanfare or recognition.”
As the Harford County Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Milanoski received a free lease of a brand new 2019 Nissan Rogue for one year courtesy of Jones Junction, a Dell laptop, a watch from Saxon’s Diamond Centers, a big-screen TV from NTA Life, and a custom ring from Jostens. In addition, she was awarded multiple gift certificates, local merchant gift cards, and $1,200 from HAR-CO Credit Union, which was provided to all five finalists.
Mrs. Milanoski will now compete for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year to represent teachers across the state as an education spokesperson. The state winner will be announced at the Maryland Teacher of the Year Gala in October.
Visit www.hcps.org for more information on 2019 HCPS Teacher of the Year Paige Milanoski, as well as the other four Harford County Teacher of the Year finalists.