Patapsco’s Sandie Skordalos running for president of TABCO
Dundalk High grad feels high school issues need more attention
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.
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.