Calvert's Optimists honor top teachers

Prince Frederick, MD -
Bob Young of the Calvert-Prince Frederick Optimist Club, told the educators attending the club’s second annual Teacher Appreciation Week observance that he understands “the week before I got to go back” emotions today’s current classroom teachers are experiencing. Young, who served as master of ceremonies for the Wednesday, Aug. 22 event at the Calvert County Public Schools’ (CCPS) central office, explained that he was a teacher for nearly 40 years. Noting that CCPS has over 1,000 teachers, members of the Prince Frederick and Solomons Optimist clubs felt inviting the 24 individuals named their schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2018 to a buffet breakfast with gifts and recognition would be appropriate, not to mention, logistically possible. “You are symbolic of all the teachers in Calvert County,” said Young, who, along with another retired teacher—current Calvert-Prince Frederick Club President Jack Brown—presented the nine top teachers who were able to attend with Optimist mugs and nominal stipends. Among the attendees was Calvert County’s Teacher of the Year for 2018, Melaney M. Sanchez of Mount Harmony Elementary School.

“They [teachers] are the only thing standing between us and democracy,” CCPS Superintendent Daniel Curry quipped. Curry expressed appreciation to the local Optimists for the clubs’ service to the school system. He also accepted a proclamation that the county commissioners presented to Optimists the previous day. Two county commissioners—Pat Nutter and Steve Weems—attended the breakfast, as did Board of Education members Dawn Balinski and William Phalen.

Young also mentioned that students at both Calvert and Huntingtown high schools have established Junior Optimist clubs and have conducted civic activities through those organizations.

Sanchez is now vying for Maryland Teacher of the Year, a program that is run by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Last year the local Optimists held a dinner to recognize the top teachers. “We hope to continue this program into the future,” said Young. The food for the breakfast was provided by Dream Weaver Catering.

Contact Marty Madden at

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