Cathy McCabe

Position: Kindergarten Teacher

School: New Town Elementary School

School District: Baltimore County Public Schools

City, State: Owings Mills, Maryland

About the Nominee: Cathy McCabe was nominated by Nicole Mulazim, the parent of a student. Mrs. McCabe loves her students as if they were all her own children. She has a "no child left behind" mindset. Her kind heart, along with the time she's served in the school system, sums up her commitment to her students!

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Virginia Walker

Position: BASELP Coordinator

School: Springhill Lake Elementary School

School District: Prince George's County Public Schools

City, State: Greenbelt, Maryland

About the Nominee: Virginia Walker was nominated by Mercedes Lloyd, the parent of a student. Ms. Walker is an amazing director for her school's Before and After Care students. Mercedes states that it is her first year using the program, and that Ms. Walker has been amazing with the students, including Mercedes' child, who is in kindergarten. Ms. Walker's patience with the students when it comes to helping them become adjusted to the school and used to other students is honorable. She has only asked for one day off as a personal day in the 20 years she has been working with this program. That's dedication! The students adore her, especially Mercedes' child. Ms. Walker keeps the parents informed as to what's happening and helps students grow, both academically and socially. She is extremely hands-on, and she is a LifeChanger in her community!

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Hsinyu Ho

Position: Math, 9

School: Winston Churchill High School

School District: Montgomery County

City, State: Potomac, Maryland

About the Nominee: Hsinyu Ho goes out of his way to make classes enjoyable. Each day, he tells relevant and exciting stories to further his students' education. He's available before and after school to readily help struggling students. Mr. Ho also helps students succeed by constantly helping and being there for guidance.

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Undrea (Nikki) Blake

Position: Sixth Grade Math Teacher

School: Pocomoke Middle School

School District: Worcester County Public Schools

City, State: Pocomoke City, Maryland

About the Nominee: Nikki Blake was nominated by a colleague, Brian Cook. Ms. Blake and Mr. Cook have worked together as colleagues at Pocomoke Middle School (PMS) and as athletic coaches at Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS). During their time together, Ms. Blake has demonstrated the willingness and persistence it takes to connect with every student. She is unequaled in her drive and ambition.

While at PMS, Ms. Blake has been a leader in the school, on the basketball court and in the community. She was integral in developing a mentoring program for struggling African-American males and always puts those students first in helping them to be successful throughout their academic careers. She exhibits a tenacious, voracious tendency for learning ways to teach the whole child. Ms. Blake is pliable and flexible enough to meet the needs of all students she comes in contact with. Mr. Cook says he has watched former students return time and time again, whether they are seeking advice on how to treat a girl on a date or needing someone to talk to about how drugs are affecting their families. With great regularity, she meets the needs of both past and present students beyond the norm of most educators. She maintains an impeccable humbleness and joy in seeing her students develop into sophisticated young gentlemen.

Ms. Blake continues to take those same qualities outside of the classroom and into the community. She demonstrates a penchant for leading beyond the brick and mortar of a classroom, whether it's through assisting first generation college students and parents with college visits, attending numerous student athletic contests, selecting and purchasing clothes for a school function or pushing students beyond what is expected.

Mr. Cook is proud to call Ms. Blake a colleague and hopes to model his own interactions with students after her genuine approach!

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Molly Glassman

Position: ESOL Teacher School: Padonia International Elementary School

School District: Baltimore County Public Schools

City, State: Cockeysville, Maryland

About the Nominee: Molly Glassman was nominated by her principal, Melissa DiDonato.

Molly Glassman has been an ESOL Teacher at Padonia International Elementary School for eleven years. During that time, she has been committed to ensuring the growth and development of her students, both in terms of academics and language. Mrs. Glassman has a highly developed understanding of her students’ cultures, background experiences and prior schooling. She readily shares this knowledge with grade level and classroom teachers to enhance and support their work with English Language Learners (ELLs) in the classroom. Additionally, she shares cultural information that helps classroom teachers more readily understand the involvement of families within the school and family dynamics of some cultures. Mrs. Glassman’s collaborative planning with classroom teachers and her ESOL teacher colleagues increases the provision of coherent instruction for her students, as content expectations and skills are consistent across teaching environments.

In her role as the ESOL teacher, Mrs. Glassman teaches in different environments throughout the school day. At times, she may provide instruction to a small group of students in a pull-out environment and during other portions of the day she is co-teaching with teachers at multiple grade levels or providing push-in services. Mrs. Glassman has demonstrated flexibility and responsiveness to meet the needs of her students within these instructional environments.

In addition to her work with students and teachers, Mrs. Glassman diligently works with families, helping them access the school community and providing resources to help their children at home. With more than 150 ESOL students at Padonia, Mrs. Glassman collaborates with two other ESOL teachers, the Office of World Languages and classroom teachers in order to ensure positive learning outcomes for ELL students. She coordinates interpreters for conferences (of which there are more than 200 this school year) and supports teachers in obtaining interpreters for parent/teacher conferences throughout the school year. Mrs. Glassman has continued to develop her Spanish skills so she can better communicate with families, including practicing Spanish through online courses. She is always ready to assist a new family or answer questions for current families.

Mrs. Glassman founded Padonia Around the World (PAW) Night and has trained another teacher to serve in the lead capacity. While mentoring the new coordinator, she worked with parent volunteers to coordinate food, table displays and student performances. Her commitment to Padonia is also evident through her leadership in helping the school obtain Green School Certification from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education Association (MAEOA). As part of the application process, Mrs. Glassman attended several professional development offerings and presented two Green School PD workshops to school staff. She coordinated with community volunteers and local businesses in order to create a butterfly garden and bluebird boxes on the school grounds. Additionally, she worked after school with the Green Team students to complete many projects that led to Padonia’s Green School certification.

Overall, Mrs. Glassman is committed to the success of each student in the school and continued prosperity of the entire school community!

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