Mrs. Terry Wood has been selected as the St. Mary’s Ryken High School 2020 Veteran Teacher of the year.  Mrs. Wood received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Masters degree in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University. She is in her twentieth year as a member of the St. Mary’s Ryken community where she wears many hats including Spanish teacher, Media Specialist, and EdTech Systems Administrator.

Mrs. Terry Wood | Spanish teacher, Media Specialist and EdTech Systems Administrator. Credit: St. Mary's Ryken High School / St. Mary's Ryken High School

Mrs. Wood is well respected in the St. Mary’s Ryken community by faculty/staff and students alike. Dean of Academics, Mr. Brad Chamberlain notes “There has never been a time when I reached out to Mrs. Wood for help and she was not ready, willing, and able to assist. She is a consummate team player and an asset to any teacher or student she works with.” 

Likewise, Dr. Catherine Bowes, Principal, stated “Mrs. Wood has been instrumental in supporting her colleagues through learning new technologies needed for learning during the pandemic. She is a great example of a servant leader.  She uses her intellect and knowledge to support our shared mission. She does this with humor, grace, and thoughtfulness. The care she gives to our adults, she also gives to the students in her charge.”

In the classroom, Mrs. Wood incorporates storytelling through Comprehensible Input (CI) and engages students in a variety of ways.  Class of 2024 member, Ms. Emily Farrell stated “Mrs. Wood is lively and enthusiastic while teaching us Spanish. She truly wants us to have a love for learning. Not only does she make learning enjoyable, she makes sure everyone of her students understands the material and helps us if we need it.” 

When asked about working in a Catholic school, Mrs. Wood commented “We are brought together through so many different blessings, to form a unique and wonderful family of belief, one that truly cares about each other.”

“Mrs. Wood is a true gift to St. Mary’s Ryken. She is always available to help, day or night. Her calm, steady leadership and dynamic classroom instruction is unparalleled. It is such an honor to work alongside Mrs. Wood. She truly lives the mission and vision of St. Mary’s Ryken” stated Dean of Faculty and Student Development, Mrs. Crystal Dunkin.

Mr. Leif Liberg | History Department Teacher Credit: St. Mary's Ryken High School / St. Mary's Ryken High School

Mr. Leif Liberg has been selected as the St. Mary’s Ryken High School 2020 Novice Teacher of the year. Mr. Liberg, a history teacher at St. Mary’s Ryken embodies faithful service, excellence, best practices, and innovations in Catholic secondary school teaching. Mr. Liberg has been at St. Mary’s Ryken since the Fall of 2018. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Penn State University and a Masters in Education from Gwynedd-Mercy College. 

Professionally, Mr. Liberg has received many awards and accolades reflective of his commitment to excellence including: the VFW Department of Maryland District 1 High School Teacher of the Year, VFW Post #2632 High School Teacher of the Year, and being selected twice, as one of eight teachers nationwide, for the National History Day’s Understanding Sacrifice Program. His research was published by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Ms. Abigail Simmons, Class of 2021 commented  “Mr. Liberg is truly an amazing teacher. He is always animated and has a way of keeping the class engaged at all times.” 

Mr.  Chamberlain, Dean of Academics commented “Mr. Liberg has been a special teacher since the moment he came to our campus. He is student-centered, friendly, and the very epitome of what a professional educator should look like. He works diligently with his students and treats each of them as an individual deserving of respect, which, in turn, is why he is so respected and admired by his students. He is an expert in his craft and a role model to all of us about staying engaged in your content and continuing to learn and take risks throughout your career.”

In addition to excellence in teaching, Mr. Libergs faithful service and commitment to Catholic secondary school teaching is evident in all that Mr. Liberg does. Mr. Liberg commented that his favorite part of working in a Catholic school is “The fact that prayer is central to what we do, not an afterthought. We also get to come together as a school community to celebrate mass and hear from a variety of talented priests.” 

“Mr. Liberg is a beloved teacher, mentor, and life coach.  He grows each child in his care with kindness, high expectations for engagement and learning.  He models Christ in his care for the individual, championing the right and those in need.  Children love being in his class for his engaging way of teaching history – especially World War II – and his way of making each of them feel treasured” stated Dr. Bowes, Principal.

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