Leonardtown H.S. Educator Receives Outstanding Teacher Award

LEONARDTOWN, Md. - Rhonda McCarthy, a chemistry teacher at Leonardtown High School, was named St. Mary's County Public Schools' recipient of The Washington Post 2007 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.

"Ms. McCarthy is very deserving of this award" said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools. "She is a very child-centered teacher who fully understands the curriculum and the pedagogy. She challenges her students to be all that they can be. I am very proud of her."

Ms. McCarthy, who began her teaching career as a chemistry and earth space science teacher at Rockwood Area High School in Pennsylvania, joined St. Mary's County Public Schools in August 2000. In addition to teaching honors, certificate of merit, and second year chemistry at Leonardtown High School, she serves as the school's science fair team coordinator, the Japanese exchange program coordinator, provides after school tutoring for students requiring individualized attention, and conducts a weekly eligibility class for freshman and sophomore athletes.

"After just a few classes with her [Ms. McCarthy], I realized how fortunate I was to have her as my teacher," wrote Ms. Akta Sehgal, Leonardtown High School graduate and former student member on the Board of Education, in her nomination letter for Ms. McCarthy. "Her classes were always challenging yet exciting, making us think harder and explore beyond our capabilities. In her, I saw a teacher who thought of nothing less than making every student successful in their journey through high school and beyond."

The Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award was established more than 20 years ago by The Washington Post Company Education Foundation to recognize teachers who exemplify excellence in the teaching profession and is named after Agnes Meyer, a staunch supporter and defender of public education, and the wife of Eugene Meyer, who purchased The Washington Post in 1933.

Ms. McCarthy and the other recipients, representing 19 local public school districts and one representing the area private schools, will be recognized and awarded their prizes during an upcoming ceremony hosted by The Washington Post.

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