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Teacher of the Year—‘it’s about the kids'

Calvert County Public Schools' Support Person of the Year 2017 Terri Franklin and 2017 Teacher of the Year Kelly Raby
From left to right, Calvert County Public Schools' Support Person of the Year Terri L. Franklin and Teacher of the Year Kelly M. Raby.

Chesapeake Beach, MD - Life is a journey and Calvert County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, Kelly M. Raby of Windy Hill Elementary School (WHES) has a resume in education that is global. After graciously accepting the honor of being deemed the best among 24 of Calvert County Public Schools’ (CCPS) top teachers and receiving the keys to a Chevrolet Equinox, Raby told TheBayNet.com the last seven years of her 22-year career have been “the most rewarding I have had in my career.” For those seven years at WHES, Raby has taught English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Raby, as the wife of a serviceman, has traveled and taught all over America and the world. She listed some of those locations— Montana, Nevada, Texas, Florida and Portugal. What is her motivation? “It’s about the kids,” she affirmed. “The kids are my joy.”

The 31st annual CCPS Teacher of the Year Celebration—which is combined with recognition for Educational Support Person of the Year—was held Thursday evening, April 6 at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa’s Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant.

The event’s Diamond Sponsor, Bayside Chevrolet, presented Raby with the Equinox, which she gets to drive for the next two years. The Prince Frederick dealership has provided a vehicle for the past seven years. Bayside Auto Group President Geoff Wanamaker recalled a conversation he had several years earlier with former CCPS superintendent and then-Calvert Board of Education member Dr. Gene Karol.

Wanamaker admitted he was surprised that Karol requested the dealership provide the top teacher with a vehicle. Fondly recalling Karol—who passed away earlier this year—and his power of persuasion, Wanamaker declared that providing a vehicle to Calvert’s Teacher of the Year has been “one of the best things we do.”

“You are so much more than just teachers,” Windy Hill Middle School science teacher and 2016 Teacher of the Year Donna Miller told the nominees for the 2017 honor. She told of traveling all over Maryland representing Calvert at various events and participating in unique experiences. “It has truly been a spectacular year,” said Miller.

For the second year in a row, Northern Middle School’s (NMS) nominee for Educational Support Person of the Year received a panel of judges’ nod for the top honor. Terri L. Franklin is an administrative secretary at NMS. “The resumes were just incredible,” said Carole Butler, a NMS instructional assistant who received the award last year and was a judge this year. She told her colleagues, “Calvert County is a better place because of you.”

Unlike the Teacher of the Year recognition, which is done statewide, Calvert is one of only a handful of public school systems in Maryland that also honors support staff—secretaries, instructional assistants, maintenance workers, nurses, safety officers and cafeteria workers. The year 2017 marks the 23rd straight year Calvert has bestowed honors upon its top support staff members. 

Raby now becomes eligible for Maryland Teacher of the Year honors.

“We all do work as a team,” said Dr. Victoria D. Karol, CCPS’ director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, who presided over the ceremony. Also addressing the audience were CCPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Curry, Calvert County Commissioners’ President Tom Hejl, Calvert Board of Education Vice President Tracy McGuire, Stefanie Carey Barone, who represented Congressman Steny Hoyer; Calvert Education Association President Dennis Mooney and Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff President Amelia Jeffries. 

Huntingtown High student Aaron Fowler performed an original song at the start of the program. He received a standing ovation for his performance by attendees.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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