Worcester’s Top Teacher A Finalist In State Contest

BERLIN – Worcester County Teacher of the Year Amy Gallagher joins seven of Maryland’s top teachers as a finalist for the 2009 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes made the surprise announcement during his welcome address for the school system’s new teacher orientation. In addition to Gallagher’s role as the Worcester County Teacher of the Year, she is serving as a mentor for a new teacher who is joining the Stephen Decatur Middle School staff.

The 2009 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be named at the program’s annual gala, held at Martin’s West on Oct. 3. Gallagher joins finalists from Baltimore (County), Carroll, Cecil, Prince George’s, Somerset, Talbot, and Wicomico counties.

Gallagher is starting her eighth year as an eighth grade U.S. History teacher at Stephen Decatur Middle School. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology and later earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Salisbury University.

According to Gallagher, she asks her students to approach her class with an open mind, ready to approach history in a new manner – in a way that makes history relevant.

“U.S. history is more than a series of facts and dates,” she said. “It is a collection of stories that help define our culture. Through my lessons which incorporate teaching strategies and activities that bring history alive, my students become actively engaged in learning while developing a deep interest in Social Studies.”

A National Board Certified teacher, Gallagher believes that she must continually challenge herself professionally. In addition, she believes that the teaching profession needs to be championed by everyone who is passionate about it.

“By mentoring new teachers, continuing growth through professional development, using data to examine student growth and performance, and collecting outstanding samples of student work, the profession will strengthen and attract men and women who love teaching and learning,” she said.

Gallagher is the chair of the Professional Growth Services Committee for the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Women Educators. An adjunct faculty member for Salisbury University, Gallagher also serves on the Professional Development School (PDS) Coordinating Council – serving as a school level liaison between Stephen Decatur Middle School and Salisbury University.

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