Teacher of the Year nominations in for Harford County; North Harford represented well

Chloe Ward, Reporter

     Every year, Harford County carefully selects from  among hundreds of nominees to receive the title of “Teacher of the Year’ . With this school year halfway through, it is time for the decision process to begin.

     The person elected for the Teacher of the Year becomes education spokesperson of the county and is considered a nominee for Maryland’s Teacher of the Year, according to North Harford principal Mr. Bryan Pawlicki. They will become the representative of their fellow teachers, and “will work with education and community leaders to affect change,” says Pawlicki.

     North Harford students, parents, and others have nominated teachers Mrs. Johnstone, Mrs. Chandler, Ms. Winter, Mr. Dougherty, Mrs. Canale, Mrs. Dallam, and Ms. Ford as of early January. 

     Mrs. Jennifer Chandler, English and journalism teacher, said “It’s humbling to be nominated. I feel so incredibly grateful that someone was compelled to recognize me in this way. It’s overwhelming in the best of ways!”

     Mr. Brian Dougherty was also nominated, but has decided to not participate. He been a teacher for over 28 years, working at both Aberdeen and North Harford High School. Throughout the years, he notes that he has “worked with many teachers along the way- most- excellent teachers and some- exceptional educators.” While he does think of himself as a good teacher and loves his job, he does not consider himself an ‘exceptional educator’. “I play too much,” he concludes.

     Mrs. Joanna Dallam, English teacher, has a similar view on the award. She appreciates the honor deeply, but says she will “decline the nomination to make way for more qualified candidates who are growing their careers in education”. Dallam wishes all of the candidates luck, she simply does not want to take the opportunity from another colleague. “I hope to see one of our NHHS teachers make it all the way in this year’s competition,” she says. 

     Mrs. Danielle Ford, Special Educator, has only been working for three years as a teacher. Considering this, she’s delighted and honored to receive the nomination, and says things have not been easy this year, with “changes, setbacks, mandates, and stress.” However, she has done her best to spread positivity with her students. “An ongoing theme in my classroom is ‘Sprinkling Kindness Everywhere’, which I believe will not only make the student body stronger, but our community stronger, as well,” she says. 

     Mrs. Emily Johnstone, who works in the math department, has a statement as well. “Being nominated for teacher of the year has been a bright spot in a school year that has had lots of ups and downs for me. If selected, I hope to make NHHS proud!” she says. 

     Mrs. Alison Austin, also from the mathematics department, humbly expresses her gratitude and honor to be nominated in saying “it feels great to be recognized during a school year that is not quite ‘normal’.” 

     Lastly, Mrs. Melissa Winter says that she is “extremely honored that certain students put forth the time and effort to consider and nominate me for such a distinguished award. I am very grateful.”