Teacher of the Year called master of her craft

June 02, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writing

JoAnne E. Nave, Washington County's public school Teacher of the Year, said she has enjoyed challenging herself during her 28-year career in education.

The South Hagerstown High School English teacher said that's why she sought and obtained certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which sets rigorous standards of teaching excellence. The process of obtaining certification takes at least a year, she said.

Nave, 50, is one of only seven teachers in the school system to have that certification, a board official said Tuesday.


Nave said she left the classroom to work at the Washington County Board of Education's central office to challenge herself.

While Nave enjoyed the two years working at the central office as a secondary resource teacher, she said she missed working with students.

Her move at the beginning of this school year from the central office back to her alma mater, South Hagerstown High School, is indicative of her attitude, South High Principal Michael Shockey said. It shows she is aware of her abilities and recognizes she can help her former school, he said.

"I think she is a teacher who has mastered the craft and has kind of reached a point in her career where she is using her wisdom to meet the needs of her kids," Shockey said. "She is a first-class individual that is a person of character, a person who is enthusiastically looking for and meeting new challenges, all kid-centered."

On April 22, she was recognized for her work when she was named public school Teacher of the Year for Washington County.

"I was overwhelmed. It was beyond surprising. It was not expected," she said.

Nave and Shockey last Wednesday went to Annapolis, where she and the other counties' teachers of the year met with Nancy Grasmick, Maryland's state superintendent of schools, and other dignitaries.

Over the years, Nave said, she has served as a language arts teacher, journalism adviser, prom adviser, yearbook adviser and advanced-placement teacher, among other roles.

Nave said she can't remember ever wanting to be anything but a teacher.

She likes teaching high school students because they are at an age "when they are still innocent, to some degree, and wise. And they are still maturing and they have lots of questions. They want someone who has a deep interest in them and can tell them the truth."

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