Mrs. Kelly Draksler, our 2021 ADW Veteran Teacher of the Year, is the chairperson of the SMR History department. As a dedicated history teacher, Mrs. Draksler utilizes her passion to instill a love of learning in her students. Her creativity in teaching methods helps to encourage an appreciation for history and deepens their understanding of rigorous subject matter.
Mrs. Draksler is a consummate professional educator, a meticulous planner, a smart department chair, and an honest communicator. Dean of Academics, Brad Chamberlain, remarks “she genuinely cares about the students in her classes, both as students of history and as young men and women who are new to SMR and all the challenges of high school. She is truly a most important person in the process of helping our new students understand how high school works and how to be successful in that structure.”
Maura Schmeiser (Class of 2024) noted the lasting impact of Mrs. Draksler: “She was my freshman history teacher and she made my love in history grow through her teaching. She demonstrates what it means to teach at a Xaverian and Catholic school through her kindness and ability to excite her students about learning history.” Megan Luther (Class of 2023) also noted Mrs. Draksler’s long lasting impact: “She has taught me so much about persevering through the challenges of high school. She is always there for her students.”
Mrs. Draksler holds a Master’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Towson University.
“We are blessed to have her as a faculty member and Department Chairperson at SMR and she is most deserving of this award,” said Principal Catherine Bowes.
St. Mary’s Ryken Novice Teacher of the Year is Mr. Brian Loewe.
Mr. Loewe is a Physical Education Teacher and Director of Facilities Rentals and Intramural Sports. About Mr. Loewe’s many contributions to SMR, Coach Jon Lombardo, our Athletic Director, shared, ‘I have been surrounded by coaches, educators and teams for a long time and the common denominator amongst the great ones who make the most impact is the willingness to embrace ‘leadership as a contact sport.’ This is Brian Loewe in a nutshell.”
School Counseling Chairperson Mrs. Christine Jaffurs shared, “Brian is an incredible problem-solver and thinks of every possible scenario. I admire his work ethic and passion for his work as well as his compassion for our students.” Gina Jaffurs (Class of 2022) shared her admiration for Coach Loewe, “He is kind, and a hard worker. He is a great motivator and always wants the best for me and all of the students.”
“Coach Loewe is positive and energetic. He is omnipresent, making sure that our health and Wellness Center and campus venues are ready for both those in our immediate community and those in the greater Southern Maryland Community,” said Principal Catherine Bowes. “He has forged relationships with groups like Special Olympics to make sure they have what they need to feel welcome on our campus. Relationships like these further enhance our SMR community. Coach Loewe greets and stewards visiting athletic teams in a way that honors them and assures them they have what they need. Mr. Loewe has a special warmth and cares for young people and he volunteers his time to make sure that those he looks out for are thriving in the classroom and at play. Mr. Loewe is a true Knight and servant-leader. His kindness and positive energy make SMR a stronger community.”
Mr. Brian Loewe holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Recreation from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He uses his wealth of experience in recreation and community building to manage SMR facilities rentals and intramural sports.