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Teacher of the Year

 The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Washington County Public Schools, is proud to recognize men and women who serve in a teaching capacity and who work to ensure educational excellence in Washington County.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, join us as one top public school teacher will be named the Teacher of the Year from Washington County Public Schools. The winner will go on to represent Washington County in the Maryland State Teacher of the Year awards program. 

The State winner is then entered in the competition for National Teacher of the Year, an esteemed position. The National Teacher leaves the classroom and spends the year as a teacher ambassador, speaking nationally and internationally.

The 2015-2016 nominees include:

  • Josh Edwards – Clear Spring High School – Art teacher – Josh has taught for ten years in Washington County. He is a two-time winner of a Maryland Master of Art Award, a multiple award winner at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and a Maryland Art Education Association Award winner. Since 2013, Josh has organized and led Van Gogh’s Cup of Tea, a fine arts celebration twice a year at Clear Spring High School. In the community, he has been actively involved in music and other activities at Hilltop Christian Fellowship. Josh says, “I strive to build authentic relationships with my students where I can share my passion for art and students challenge themselves to create, reflect and even fail. It is in the process that my students discover a deeper understanding of content and push forward with their ideas and creations.”

  • Carolyn Holcomb – Western Heights Middle School – 7th and 8th grade merit science teacher – Carolyn has taught for 13 years, three of those in Washington County Public Schools. This is her second year as a Teacher of the Year finalist. Carolyn was a 2014 presenter for Maryland Association of Science Teachers and has been a guest speaker at professional development seminars and workshops and a Honeywell scholarship recipient for NASA Space Camp. Outside of school, Carolyn has limited her community activities to a church bereavement group so she can focus more time on her students’ needs. Before arriving in Washington County, she had been involved in the Red Cross, crisis pregnancy counseling, church and youth activities. Carolyn says, “My daily goal is to inform, inspire and ignite. The first and most important step is to make a personal connection with each and every student, believing that if I can capture their hearts, I have ready access to their minds.”

  • Sally Irwin – Washington County Technical High School – Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science teacher – Sally has taught for 11 years in Washington County. She has been a Teacher of the Year finalist four consecutive years and has received nominations the past six years. Sally’s program was selected to showcase student projects at The Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus on Capitol Hill in February 2015. The program was also nominated for the 2014 American School Board Journal Magna Award and received honors from the Maryland State Department of Education for Outstanding Career and Technology Program in 2011. She is a frequent guest speaker at elementary and middle school STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) nights and has been part of biomedical science presentations at the federal, state and university level. Aside from activities in her field, Sally was a member of the North Hagerstown High School athletic boosters from 2009 – 2013. Sally says, “My greatest hope is to not only teach my students the demanding curriculum but to inspire them to become lifelong learners who are eager and prepared to embrace the next challenges in their lives.”

  • Jacqueline Rebok – Boonsboro High School and Boonsboro Middle School – French teacher – Jackie has taught for seven years, five of those in Washington County Public Schools. She was nominated as a Technology Educator of the Year in 2015 by the Maryland Society for Educational Technology, represented Maryland at the 2014 American Association of Teachers of French Conference in New Orleans and presented at the Maryland Foreign Language Association fall conference in 2014. Jackie chartered the first French Honor Society at Boonsboro High School in 2013 and is in the process of establishing the first French Honor Society at Boonsboro Middle School. Her community activities include membership in the Funkstown American Legion auxiliary for 20 years, performing and volunteering for local theater groups and serving as advisor to the Boonsboro High School Leo Club, sponsored by the Boonsboro Lions Club, which assists in mentoring students in school and in community projects with the Lions Club. Jackie says, “I’ve happily found that that it is satisfying to contribute to another person’s success. I love to see when the light bulbs turn on (and we celebrate those moments thoroughly), and I share in my students’ failures and achievements.”

  • Ashley Wisner – Boonsboro High School – Social studies teacher – Ashley has taught six years for WCPS and is a Teacher of the Year finalist for the second consecutive year. She received her National Board Certification in Social Studies in 2013. She has served as coach of Boonsboro High School’s We the People team for the past five years, leading them to district championships and state runner-up finishes each of those years.  Ashley’s activities outside of school include ongoing work on behalf of the Frostburg University Alumni Association and contributions to homecoming and other school/community events in Boonsboro. Ashley says, “In South Korea, teachers are called ‘nation-builders.’ I consider myself a ‘nation-builder’ because I aim to create thoughtful, committed, educated citizens for the future.








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