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Teacher of the year named

April 26, 2001

Teacher of the year named



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Pamela Rubisch, Washington County Teacher of the YearPhoto: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Pamela Rubisch, media teacher at Conococheague Elementary School, was named Washington County's 2001 Teacher of the Year Wednesday night.

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She received the award during a dinner and ceremony at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel.

She was nominated by Paige Hackney, a third-grade teacher at the school.

Rubisch, 32, of Hagerstown, has worked for eight years at the school, where she provides library media help for 265 students.

"I was completely shocked," Rubisch said. She said she didn't think she would win over other excellent nominees.

"I am thrilled. She is a teacher with lots of passion," said Conococheague Elementary Principal Sue Gordon.

"The kids love her," she said. "It has been a pleasure to work with her."

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Rubisch, in a short speech, praised Gordon as "a great administrator," and thanked all teachers.

Gordon said Rubisch runs a Reading Counts program as an incentive to get students to read.

Each student has a duck and is trying to get a duck to the giant pond at the end of a stream. To do that, students must read, read and read some more. The students love the program, Gordon said.

Rubisch thanked her husband, Rob, for his help.

"I'm so proud of her," her husband later said. "She dedicates her whole life to the school. She loves it."

During what she called her "spare time," Rubisch helps Girl Scouts get a badge for computers and keeps the school's lab open so students can get one-on-one help, she said.

She and her husband take 45 or more mentally challenged people bowling and, sometimes, to bingo, she said.

As a prize for being the 2001 Teacher of the Year, Rubisch was awarded a choice between a free graduate-level class at Frostburg University or the cash equivalent to be used to supplement her classroom budget. She said she will take the money to use for the Reading Counts program.

She also had been nominated for the honor in 1999.

One of the five judges who selected the winner was Boonsboro Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Kristine McGee, who was the 2000 teacher of the year.

The award was announced by School Board President J. Herbert Hardin.

Hardin had words of praise for the educators. "All of you teachers tonight are winners," he said. "Thank you for educating our children."

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