Six Charles Teachers Honored by SMECO

LA PLATA, Md. (April 28, 2009)—Six Charles County Public Schools teachers were recently honored by the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) for their accomplishments in the area of mathematics and science.

Honored as Outstanding Mathematics Teachers of the Year were: Erica Watson of Mary B. Neal Elementary School; Tamra Nissen of General Smallwood Middle School; and Barbara Linsmeier of Thomas Stone High School.

Honored as Outstanding Science Teachers of the Year were: Timothy Emhoff of Indian Head Elementary School; Ian Buter of Piccowaxen Middle School; and Tim Chase of Stone.

Watson teaches fifth-grade mathematics and is the fifth-grade team leader at Neal. She has also served as coordinator for the Charles County Public Schools summer mathematics and reading academies. Watson is also the school's administrators in charge and fulfills duties of the principal and vice principal, as needed.

Nissen teaches general mathematics, algebra, pre-algebra and introduction to algebra classes at Smallwood. She is the eighth-grade team leader and has helped develop math curriculum and assessments for the school system. In her first year at Smallwood, Nissen also contributed to rising Maryland School Assessment (MSA) scores for eighth-grade students.

Linsmeier teaches general mathematics, algebra I and II, geometry, analytical geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus classes at Stone. She has taught mathematics for more than 28 years and leads the Stone team for the algebra portion of the MSA. Linsmeier also participates in the school's Capturing Kids Heart program, in which teachers are trained to build trust relationships with students.

Emhoff teaches physics, chemistry and life science classes at Indian Head. He coordinates the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program at the school to prepare his students for careers in those fields. Emhoff has also worked with engineers from the Naval Warfare Surface Center to create rocketry lessons and spoke before Congress about STEM funding.

Buter teaches sixth-grade Earth science, seventh-grade life science, and eighth-grade chemical and physical science at Piccowaxen. He is the science department chair at the school and has coordinated summer engineering camps offered to students through STEM initiatives. Buter has also worked with local naval engineers to develop robotics units to be taught in classes and in the STEM engineering camp.

Chase teaches biology, chemistry and AP environmental science classes at Stone. He maintains a 120-gallon rainforest ecosystem at the school to teach students about biodiversity and ecological relationships among species. Chase also lead's the school's environmental club and uses a mobile bioscience laboratory to teach students about DNA forensics and enzyme testing.

The teachers were nominated for the award by staff, students and parents. Each was chosen for their outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, rapport with students, enthusiasm for teaching, professionalism and innovative teaching methods. They were honored by SMECO April 15 during a ceremony, where each teacher received a plaque and a check for $300.

Source: Charles County public school system

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