BERLIN — Amid a crowd of 319 educators, business representatives, and elected officials at the April 1 Teacher of the Year Banquet, Biology Teacher Jennifer Sills of Snow Hill High School learned that she had been selected as the 2011 Worcester County Teacher of the Year.
Sills earned the top-teacher designation by receiving the highest point-totals from a panel of judges on two evaluated components: a comprehensive portfolio and an interview.
As the 2011 Worcester County Teacher of the Year, Sills will advance to the state level where she will compete against 23 other district-level Teachers of the Year for the 2012 Maryland State Teacher of the Year title.
“I couldn’t be the teacher who I am without the support from the teachers with whom I work,” Sills said. “We have outstanding teachers in our school system, and I look forward to representing all of my colleagues at the state level.”
In her eighth year at Snow Hill High School, Sills currently teaches Biology and Environmental Life Science. Sills graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Secondary Education. She is currently completing a Masters in Instructional Technology and School Library Media from Towson University.
Sills recognizes that many students are intimidated by the sciences. “My purpose is for students to leave my class feeling more interested, more excited, and more intrigued about science and the world around them,” Sills wrote in her Teacher of the Year portfolio. “In the end, success in my classroom is not about whether a student remembers the specific details of the stages of mitosis or if they can properly match every organelle to its function; it is about students taking pride in their abilities and work, learning about potential career paths, and finding their strengths so they can set goals for the future. I want my students to strive for excellence and to believe in themselves.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes said, “We have fantastic teachers in our school system and Jennifer will be an outstanding ambassador at the state level. Her messages about the importance of building connections with students and of helping to prepare them for success in and beyond the classroom are very powerful.”