News Release, SMECO

Hughesville, MD- SMECO worked with the school systems of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties to select and honor 22 educators with Outstanding Teacher awards for their leadership in the fields of mathematics, science, technology, and engineering.

Receiving awards this year were eight math teachers, nine science teachers, and five STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers from schools in the three counties. The teachers were chosen for their outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, rapport with students, enthusiasm for teaching, professionalism, and innovative teaching methods. Each teacher received a plaque and a cash award at a dinner held in their honor. Over the past 28 years, SMECO has recognized almost 400 local math and science teachers.

“As educators, you know that STEM skills are becoming more and more coveted by businesses that hire students fresh out of school. And SMECO is no different. These students are vital for the continued success of our business because they bring those valuable mathematics, science, and technology skills to the workplace. You enable the next generation of innovators,” stated Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO, when he welcomed the award winners.

Slater added, “Our gifted honorees understand that their job is about more than teaching mathematics, science and technology. It’s about thinking creatively and making classroom experiences exciting for students. They identify ways to leap outside of the educational norms and create experiences that are unexpected, unique and ultimately more memorable. They teach skills that are important not only to employers and the economy, but also important to our future.”

SMECO’s Outstanding Mathematics, Science, and STEM Teachers of the Year are listed below.

Calvert County

  • Joella Boggs, Plum Point Elementary School
  • Henry Faxon, Northern High School
  • Chelsea Gallihugh, Mill Creek Middle School
  • Matthew Klapper, Southern Middle School
  • Ronni Morrissey, Patuxent High School
  • Kathryn Weiskircher, Plum Point Middle School
  • Theresa Young, Sunderland Elementary School

Charles County

  • Nicholas Andrews, La Plata High School
  • Thomas Fawcett, Henry E. Lackey High School
  • Dyanna Finamore, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School
  • Rebecca Gibson, La Plata High School
  • Monica Halloran, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School
  • Hannah Matthews, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School
  • Charles McCoy, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School
  • Megan McKinney-Dyson, Arthur Middleton Elementary School
  • Amy Vanden Berg, Milton Somers Middle School

St. Mary’s County

  • Joanne Clapp, Chesapeake Public Charter School
  • Diane Glasgow, Leonardtown High School
  • David Holland, Leonardtown Middle School
  • Heather Howe, Spring Ridge Middle School
  • Anna Rodriguez, Benjamin Banneker Elementary School
  • Cortney Watson, Leonardtown High School

Enhancing the quality of life in southern Maryland is part of SMECO’s mission. The cooperative sponsors events for students to encourage them to excel in math, science, and technology. These events include the local MATHCOUNTS competition, the annual Southern Maryland Regional Computer Bowl, and the Elementary Math Challenge. So far this year, nearly 1,100 students in SMECO’s service area have participated in these events.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...