For the record

May 21, 2007

Frederick High School social studies teacher Matthew Johnston is Frederick County Public Schools 2007-08 Teacher of the Year.

At the May 23 Board of Education meeting, Johnston will receive another sign that he is Frederick County's top teacher: the keys to a new car. The local Ideal Buick-GMC-Hyundai dealership is providing use of a car plus car washes and service through a partnership agreement with the local school system.

Johnston earned his B.A. in history and social psychology from the University of Rochester, an M.A. equivalency in United States history from Binghamton University and certification in secondary social studies from Buffalo State College, all in New York.

He is College Board certified to teach Advanced Placement world history and is a certified trainer for Ruby Payne's "Framework for Understanding Poverty." At Frederick High, he has served as the "Education That Is Multicultural" program representative, "at-risk students" specialist, Character Counts! coordinator, Connections! Club facilitator, Frederick County Teachers Association delegate, and Mount St. Mary's University mentor to student teachers.


Since Johnston began teaching English to immigrants through the Americorps VISTA program in 1994, he has earned many awards. Among them: a Frederick County Workforce Development Board certificate of appreciation, an award for helping minority students achieve via the school's Connections! Club initiative, a National Campaign for Tolerance "Teaching Tolerance Award," a Frederick County Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center "PeaceCrafters Award" and Ray Croc Award.

The Maryland Board of Education will honor Johnston and winners from other Maryland school districts at a luncheon on May 31.

All district-level winners who are full-time teachers are candidates for Maryland Teacher of the Year. Finalists are announced in August. All 2007-08 Maryland district winners will receive a Governor's Teaching Excellence Award and attend a gala at Martin's West, Baltimore, on Oct. 5, when the state winner will be announced.

Frederick County Public Schools honored employees with 25 years of full-time service at a May 4 banquet at the American Legion in Thurmont, Md. Forty-eight employees achieved the 25-year-service milestone this year, and two achieved 40 years with FCPS.

This year's honorees are Thomas Friedman and Richard Pry, celebrating 40 years, and Denise Achey, Clarence Ambush, Truuke Ameigh, Christa Angelone, Perry Baker, Shirley Baker, Susan Baldwin, Jennifer Bennett, Deborah Berti, George (Barry) Blickenstaff, Sharon Boettinger, Sharon Botkin, Deirdre Brehl, Jesse Clary Jr., Lois Cline, Wayne Coblentz, Doris Davis, Jacquelyn DeWitt, Paul Elliott Jr., Jeanne Fanning, Paula Hadden, Edward Hanna, Linda Hezlep, Nusret Hisim, Kimberly Hite, David Jackson, Grason Jackson, Karen Jones, Kristen Kennedy, Linda King, Cynthia Knoepfel, Cecelia Lyons, Mary Malone, Pete Marinello Jr., William McKenzie, Barbara Mentzer, George Newman Jr., Janice Shaff, George Shearer, Roberta Smith, Joyce Stambaugh, Lucinda Thompson, Kimberly Vanous, Michelle Weddle, Mona Weinberg, Roland Weller, Althea Wood and Cynthia Zimmerman celebrating 25 years.

Lincoln Elementary School staff received a surprise announcement that the Lincoln's Little Learners program won this year's "Innovative Spirit Award" and $5,000 from the Judith P. Hoyer Foundation Inc.

Foundation President Jack Bailer said that Lincoln Elementary's program is unique in the way that it helps prepare young children for school while modeling activities that give families a positive experience with school before their children are old enough to enroll. The program, for 2- and 3-year-olds and their parents, uses an innovative approach that can easily be duplicated by other Judy Centers across Maryland, he said.

Judy Centers prepare preschool-age children for academic success through a combination of high-quality child care, educational experiences and comprehensive family services. Since October 2002 the award-winning Little Learners program has increased family involvement in education, providing a forum for parents to assist teachers, network with other families and interact with their young children.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick will present the award on behalf of the Judith P. Hoyer Foundation at a June 11 luncheon.

Frederick County's Green Valley Elementary School is one of only 20 schools in Maryland named a National PTA Parent-Involvement School of Excellence. Receiving this distinction signifies that parents, staff and community members work together to uphold the highest standards in parent involvement and achieve the common goal of helping students succeed.

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