St. Mary's Public Schools Recognizes Staff for Service, Dedication - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Public Schools Recognizes Staff for Service, Dedication


LEONARDTOWN, Md. (May 16, 2016)—Superintendent of Schools, Mr. J. Scott Smith, recognized several employees that have been recognized for their service and dedication to St. Mary's County Public Schools.

Ms. Ellen Johnson, Human Resources Assistant in the Department of Human Resources, has been selected as the Educational Support Professional of the Year award winner. Ms. Johnson has been employed with St. Mary's County Public Schools since January 2004. The Educational Support Professional of the Year award was established in 2009 to recognize the essential role support staff has on the success of the school system by fostering a positive learning environment for students. Dr. Jeffrey Maher, Chief Academic Officer said of Ms. Johnson, "She is well respected by her colleagues and by anyone with whom she interacts."

Ms. Alison Sayers, English teacher at Fairlead Academy I, has been selected as the representative from St. Mary's County Public Schools for the Maryland Teacher of the Year program. Ms. Sayers has been employed with St. Mary's County Public Schools for ten years. She will compete against other teachers from across the State of Maryland for the Maryland Teacher of the Year Award. Ms. Sayers holds a Master's Degree in School Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University. Ms. Rebecca Cline, Academic Dean at Fairlead I, said of Ms. Sayers, "Come visit Ms. Sayers' classroom. See the incredible, unbelievable, skillful, and amazing things that are happening each day."

Ms. April Wathen, Media Specialist at George Washington Carver Elementary School, has been selected as the representative from St. Mary's County Public Schools for the Washington Post Teacher of the Year program. Ms. Wathen has been employed with St. Mary's County Public Schools for seven years. She was a finalist competing against other teachers from public and private schools throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Ms. Wathen holds a Master's Degree in Leadership in Teaching from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. John Michael Ballard, Third Grade Teacher at George Washington Carver Elementary said of Ms. Wathen, "She has served as an inspiration and role model for Carver teachers and students alike. Ms. Wathen is a highly valued member of our school community who is consistently seeking ways to support our staff, students, and stakeholders, both personally and professionally."

Ms. Audrey Ellis, Principal of Piney Point Elementary School, has been selected as the representative from St. Mary's County Public Schools for the Washington Post Principal of the Year program. Ms. Ellis returned to St. Mary's County Public Schools in 2009 as an Assistant Principal at Benjamin Banneker Elementary and was appointed as Principal at Piney Point Elementary in 2011. Ms. Ellis holds a Master's Degree in Education from McDaniel College and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from University of Hartford. She was a finalist for the Washington Post Principal of the Year Award competing against other principals from public and private schools throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

"These four employees represent the excellence found in St. Mary's County Public Schools. They are truly dedicated to the success of the students they serve and to the school community. I join the entire school system in applauding Ms. Johnson, Ms. Sayers, Ms. Wathen and Ms. Ellis for being recognized by their peers as outstanding educators" said Mr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

All nominees for the Educational Support Professional of the Year, Teacher of the Year, and Principal of the Year, will be recognized at an event at Chopticon High School on Thursday, May 26, 2016, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

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