BERLIN – In the company of 320 educators and community leaders at the 22nd Worcester County Teacher of the Year Banquet in Ocean City, Grade 7 Integrated Language Arts Teacher Alison Giska of Snow Hill Middle School sprang from her chair, as she heard her name announced as the 2009 Worcester County Teacher of the Year.
“I am humbled,” she announced at the podium, giving credit to her school’s master teachers who helped guide her to teaching excellence.
Giska is in her fifth year at Snow Hill Middle School, having started her teaching career in Pennsylvania’s Central Bucks School District before joining Worcester County Public Schools in 2004.
“When I came to Worcester County,” Giska beamed, “everyone made me feel so welcome. I plan on teaching in Worcester County for a very long time.”
Graduating Summa Cum Laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Giska earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education. She also holds a Master of Arts in Post-Secondary Education from Salisbury University and is currently pursuing National Board Certification.
Superintendent Dr. Jon Andes praised Giska for her steadfast commitment to her students and to the teaching profession.
“Learning requires the spark of a teacher,” said Andes. “Alison has that spark and brings her very best to her students, everyday. She will serve as an excellent ambassador for all of our outstanding Worcester County teachers.”
According to Giska, one of the sources of her success is found in her commitment to self-improvement.
“In a profession that demands growth and change, my greatest contribution in education is my unstoppable dedication to self-improvement,” she said.
Keeping hope alive in the classroom is a message that Giska wishes to share with teachers throughout the county and state.
“A teacher’s body language and conviction have the power to convince an apprehensive young audience that they can be successful and they can accomplish anything,” said Giska. “Think of how many students forged a successful path in life because of the caring words of a single teacher. We hold more influence than we could ever imagine.”
As the 2009 Worcester County Teacher of the Year, Giska has won gifts valued at approximately $4,000, including a new NCS Laptop Computer and an all-expense paid trip to an educational conference. As the county’s 2009 Teacher of the Year, Giska will represent the school system and county at the state-level competition.