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Five TU alums are among Maryland’s best teachers and educators

C. Milton Wright H.S. teacher Laura Potter with her students

C. Milton Wright mathematics teacher Laura Potter, center, is joined by students, from left, Julia O’Mara, Lauren O’Mara, Nathan Ehrhardt and Kelley O’Neill after Potter was named as the 2015-2016 Harford County Teacher of the Year (photo courtesy: Baltimore Sun).

Five Towson University alumni showed why TU is recognized as one of the best teacher preparation universities in the country, earning 2015-16 teacher of the year and principal of the year awards from Maryland school districts and the Knights of Columbus.

C. Milton Wright High School math teacher Laura Potter has only been in the Harford County school system for two years and beat out four finalists for Teacher of the Year who had been teaching there for much longer. She serves as the school’s math chairperson and a member of the School Improvement Team.

One student said of her classes, “I don’t know one student that ever dreaded going to class with Ms. Potter because all classes are interesting and enjoyable with her.”

Read “Calculated Success,” which features Laura Potter

Colleen Manchester, of St. John Regional Catholic School, earned Knights of Columbus Teacher of the Year honors this past school year. The third-grade teacher enjoys sharing her passion for STEM learning with her students and encourages her charges to be curious and ask questions.

Physical education teacher at Evergreen Elementary School Sabra Szczyglowski was named St. Mary’s County Teacher of the Year, with her principal saying she is a quiet leader and the first to volunteer to help a student.

“Ms. Szczyglowski is committed to providing a quality physical education program to her students,” said J. Scott Smith, Interim Superintendent of Schools. “She consistently sets high standards for her students and is an integral part of the healthy and fit school community. Parents, students and staff value her knowledge and respect her ability to motivate and inspire.”

An instructor at Piney Ridge Elementary School for nine years, Rachel McCusker is the final TU alumna to earn county laurels this school year. She teaches music at Piney Ridge and serves as a mentor teacher as well as lecturing as an adjunct professor at McDaniel College.

A dual-degree recipient from Towson U, Halstead Academy principal Jennifer Mullenax was named Baltimore County Public Schools’ Principal of the Year after turning around a failing community magnet school in just five years. The school was just one year from being restructured when Mullenax was hired, and it is now considered a model for the county. She is presently working on her Ed.D. from Towson.

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