Pat­ap­sco’s Sandie Sko­rda­los run­ning for pres­i­dent of TABCO

Dun­dalk High grad feels high school is­sues need more at­ten­tion

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By MIA MCCASLIN mm­c­caslin@ches­pub.com

Sandie Sko­rda­los, a former Dun­dalk Cham­ber of Com­merce High School Teacher of the Year and Recog­ni­tion Award re­cip­i­ent from the Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more County (TABCO), is of­fi­cially on the bal­lot for TABCO Pres­i­dent as of Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 7.

“I de­cided to make the run af­ter a cou­ple of years of feel­ing like my­self and teach­ers around me weren’t get­ting support from TABCO,

es­pe­cially In the high schools and in some mid­dle schools,” Sko­rda­los said of her de­ci­sion to run. “I made the fi­nal de­ci­sion to run over the hol­i­day break this year. I called oth­ers who I had heard ru­mors were run­ning be­cause I didn’t want to split votes, but they all told me that I had their support, so I fi­nally de­cided to make my run of­fi­cial.”

Sko­rda­los, a 1980 grad­u­ate of Dun­dalk High, is the de­part­ment chair of Pat­ap­sco High School and Cen­ter for the Arts’ 13-mem­ber his­tory de­part­ment. She be­gan con­sid­er­ing the po­si­tion at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

“For the first time in the 28 years that I’ve been teach­ing, I ended the sum­mer break not want­ing to go back, and that means that there is some­thing very wrong,” Sko­rda­los said. “I felt over­worked and over­whelmed and frus­trated and so were the teach­ers around me.

“And I thought about it and I know that the cur­rent TABCO pres­i­dent hasn’t ad­dressed the things that are the big­gest is­sues to us as sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tors. The cur

rent TABCO pres­i­dent was a kinder­garten teacher, so she doesn’t re­ally know how to deal with sec­ondary is­sues.”

In an at­tempt to en­sure that she rep­re­sents all teach­ers of Bal­ti­more County, Sko­rda­los has reached out to ed­u­ca­tors in el­e­men­tary and mid­dle schools to en­sure that their con­cerns are also be­ing ad­dressed. Be­gin­ning her cur­rent assignment at Pa

tap­sco High School in 1994, she has taught all grade lev­els/re­quired courses and many elec­tives in­clud­ing, ac­cord­ing to her web­site, AP Euro­pean His­tory, AP Hu­man Geography, Women’s His­tory and Films as His­tory.

As a veteran teacher at Pat­ap­sco, Sko­rda­los in­di­cated that it would be dif

fi­cult to leave the de­part­ment that she has built, but she has the support of her fel­low de­part­ment mem­bers.

Ac­cord­ing to Sko­rda­los, the teach­ers clos­est to her at the school have all been help­ing out in any way they can in­clud­ing stuff­ing en­velopes and help­ing to cam­paign when pos­si­ble. “They’re ex­cited for me and they are right there with me,” she said.

Pat­ap­sco High School prin­ci­pal Craig Reed had noth­ing but glowing things to say of Sko­rda­los and her com­pas­sion­ate na­ture as well as her work ethic. Reed has worked with Sko­rda­los for the last eight years, and although he is not a mem­ber of TABCO and there­fore did not feel it proper to make an of­fi­cial en­dorse­ment for her run, he was quick to tes­tify to Sko­rda­los’s char­ac­ter.

“Sandy Sko­rda­los is noth­ing short of amaz­ing. She quite lit­er­ally does ev­ery­thing,” Reed said. “She plans all of our home­com­ing events and dances as well as grad­u­a­tions, she helps us co­or­di­nate a weekly food bank, she or­ches­trates food col­lec­tion for those less for­tu­nate in the com­mu­nity around Thanks­giv­ing, and she col­lects presents at Christ­mas.

“She al­ways picks up ex­tra classes just where stu­dents need them. She’s al­ways one of the first peo­ple in the build­ing in the morn­ing and one of the last peo­ple to leave at the end of the day.

“She has an ab­so­lutely tire­less work ethic. She al­ways cooks food for fac­ulty lunches. She or­ga­nizes a mo­ti­va­tional speaker to come to the school once a year. I don’t feel that it’s my place to en­dorse her [for the po­si­tion], but I can ab­so­lutely at­test to her char­ac­ter as a hu­man, col­league, and friend.”

“It is a re­ally bit­ter­sweet ex­pe­ri­ence,” Sko­rda­los said, chok­ing up. “I have lived and breathed Pat­ap­sco High School for the last 22 years, but I know I have a lot of good ex­pe­ri­ences that re­ally qual­ify me for this po­si­tion.”

If elected, Sko­rda­los hopes to fo­cus on is­sues that she views as hav­ing been ne­glected un­der pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion such as teacher work­load, stu­dent dis­ci­pline, con­di­tions of fa­cil­i­ties, and teacher re­ten­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Sko­rda­los, these press­ing is­sues seem to be ubiq­ui­tous over the span of many dif­fer­ent grade lev­els.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF SKO­RDA­LOS FOR TABCO

Sandy Sko­rda­los, the His­tory de­part­ment chair for Pat­ap­sco High School and Cen­ter for the Arts, is run­ning for pres­i­dent of the Teacher’s As­so­ci­a­tion of Bal­ti­more County.

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