Forte is finalist for Md. Teacher of Year
CHURCH HILL — Queen Anne’s County Schools Teacher of the Year Tamara Forte was named one of seven finalists for the 20162017 Maryland Teacher of the Year Tuesday, Aug. 30. She teaches kindergarten at Church Hill Elementary.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Greg Pilewski, Assistant Superintendent Janet Pauls, CHES Principal Jackie Wilhelm and communication specialist Geneva Harrison, acting as the “Surprise Patrol,” informed Forte of the honor minutes before the statewide announcement was made.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon
made the official announcement of finalists for 2016-2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year honor.
“Maryland teachers rank among the nation’s best, and the work of these exemplary finalists represents the exceptional creativity and energy found in classrooms through the State,” said Salmon. “Maryland’s classroom educators offer our students world-class instruction, providing a passport to their future success.”
This is the second year in a row that a QACPS teacher has been designated a state finalist; Barbara Sutherland from Kent Island High School was named last year.
“I can’t believe it,” said Forte when she was informed Tuesday morning. “I’m excited ... I’ll do my best [to represent the county].”
Pilewski told Forte the school system was proud of her and he knew she would do an outstanding job of representing not only her school, but the system as a whole.
Forte was selected as Queen Anne’s Teacher of the Year at the TOY gala April 22, 2016.
She is a graduate of Susquehanna University and holds a Master of Arts in Education. She has taught kindergarten for 11 years, the last eight of those at Church Hill Elementary. Inspiring students in and out of the classroom, Forte is also a hospital teacher and T-ball co-coach.
The seven finalists were selected by a panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents and higher education. Finalists were measured against a rigorous set of national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement.
The 2016-2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on Oct. 7. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities and a new car valued at more than $25,000, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.
From left, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Janet Pauls, Teacher of the Year state finalist Tamara Forte, kindergarten teacher at Church Hill Elementary; Queen Anne’s Interim Superintendent Greg Pilewski; and Church Hill Elementary Principal Jackie Wilhelm.