Jennie Merrill, a fifth-grade teacher at Severna Park Elementary School, tonight was named the 2014-2015 Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year at the 29th annual Excellence in Education Awards.
Catherine Klase-Markey, a social studies teacher at Archbishop Spalding High School, was named the 2014-2015 Independent Schools Teacher of the Year.
Merrill is just the third elementary school teacher in the last 16 years to win the award, and the seventh since the program’s inception in 1986-87. She will now represent county public school teachers as the school system’s nominee for Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Merrill has been teaching in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 15 years, all at Severna Park. She has earned National Board Certification, and brings what Principal Lynn Birus calls an “unparalleled energy, love, and enthusiasm for her students and her subjects” to her classroom every day.
Fifty educators from public and private schools were recognized during the event. Other finalists for this year’s Public Schools Teacher of the Year honor were: Meredith Claborn, a kindergarten teacher at Broadneck Elementary School; Iris Crankfield, an English teacher at South River High School; Kristen Duffy, a first-grade teacher at Bodkin Elementary School; and Christine McCallister, a science teacher at Meade Middle School.
The other finalist for this year’s Independent Schools Teacher of the Year honor was Virginia Ready of St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal School.
The banquet is presented annually in partnership by Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to outstanding teachers, the banquet also honored 13 local business and community partners that have forged critical partnerships with schools across the county, directly benefitting AACPS’ nearly 80,000 students.
Anne Arundel Medical Center took home the honor of Business Partner of the Year for organizations with more than 50 employees for its work with Glen Burnie High School’s BioMedical Allied Health program. E.W. Design and Consulting won the award for organizations with fewer than 50 employees for its work with Southern High School.