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Five finalists announced for Washington County Teacher of the Year

March 16, 2013

Washington County Public Schools has announced the five finalists for the school system’s Teacher of the Year.

A judging committee will complete an additional review of the five finalists, including interviews and classroom observations, leading to an announcement of the 2013-14 Washington County Teacher of the Year at the annual dinner and recognition April 17 at Fountain Head Country Club, Hagerstown.

The program is sponsored by the Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The finalists were notified Thursday.

Following is information about the finalists provided by WCPS:


Beth Hoffman, North Hagerstown High School, 10th grade English teacher

Hoffman has more than 12 years of teaching experience, three of those in Washington County. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, 2012 Freedom Writer Teacher and North Hagerstown High’s “Most Unforgettable Teacher.”

She is active in her community as a Cub Scout leader and an Upward Bound coach for North Hagerstown High School in conjunction with Hagerstown Community College.

“A successful classroom needs to be a place where students are not afraid, but are encouraged to ask questions, seek clarification and make connections, and where I can challenge their thinking,” Hoffman said.


Sally Irwin, Washington County Technical High School, Project Lead the Way biomedical science teacher

Irwin has more than nine years of teaching experience in Washington County. She was a 2012 Teacher of the Year finalist and was nominated in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, she received the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Career and College Readiness Outstanding Career and Technology Program Award-Secondary for her Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science Program at Washington County Technical High School. She was a 2011 Career and Technology Awards of Excellence recipient from then-State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. She has been asked to present at elementary and middle school science, technology, engineering, and math nights.

She is active in her community as a team mother for the North High girls soccer program and as a member of the North High Athletic Boosters.

“My greatest hope is not only to teach my students the demanding curriculum, but to inspire them to become lifelong learners who are not afraid to embrace the next challenge in their lives,” said Irwin. 


Tameron Marriner, Rockland Woods Elementary School, kindergarten teacher

Marriner has more than 25 years of teaching experience, with 24 of those years in Washington County. She was a 2008 and 2010 Teacher of the Year finalist, honored at the Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association conference as Washington County’s Outstanding Technology user, and a 2002 Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year.

She is active in her community as head coach of the South High cross country team, indoor track distance coach and spring track distance coach at South High, and a member of the South High Sports Boosters.

“It is my job to instill in my students a love of learning and give them the confidence that they need to succeed in school,” Marriner said.


Ayako Shiga, Boonsboro High School, Japanese language teacher

Shiga has more than 10 years of teaching experience, with nine of those years in Washington County. She participants in the Japanese Global Articulation Project, a global network of Japanese language educators, the Japan Foundation, and University of Virginia Title VI (U.S. Department of Education).

She received the Sakura Grant Award and National Cherry Blossom Parade Grant from the Japan Commerce Association and Japan America Society of Washington, D.C.

She is active in her community, advising and assisting in preparing and putting together an exhibit on Japan for children at Discovery Station and leading a group of local high school students who were learning Japanese in participating in a fair to promote cultural awareness and diversity.

“I find no other job more satisfying and rewarding than leaching languages, because it is my privilege to show students how learning a new language can open the door to a new world,” Shiga said.


Matt Tack, Fountaindale Elementary School, fifth-grade magnet teacher

Tack has more than eight years of teaching experience, seven of those years in Washington County. He received the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (SET) Washington County Public Schools Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award in 2012. He was named Mix 95.1 Teacher of the Week in January 2013, and received recognition as a Coalition of Essential Schools School-Nationally Affirmed 2012-2013.

He is active in his community by volunteering with Fountaindale’s intramural basketball league and Girls Inc., and by working with student interns from North High.

“I am there to coach, consult, facilitate, answer questions and guide my students in ways that constantly move them forward,” Tack said.

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