McDaniel graduates earn top marks as teachers

August 24, 2009

Five of Maryland's 24 teachers of the year are master's-degree graduates of McDaniel College, and two earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the college.

Among the Teachers of the Year, recognized for excellence in teaching and leadership in their respective counties, are:

Rolf Arnesen, mathematics teacher at Huntington High School in Calvert County, who earned a B.A. in Mathematics and M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction at McDaniel.

Ebony Love Cross
, a reading specialist at Valley View Elementary School in Prince George’s County, earned an M.S. in Education at McDaniel.

Scott D’Orazio
, instrumental music teacher and chorus director at Westminster East Middle School in Carroll County, earned an M.S. in Educational Administration at McDaniel.

Margaret Rees Lenhoff, German teacher at Elkton High School in Cecil County, earned a B.A. in German and Secondary Education and an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction at McDaniel.

Jaime Mason, a mathematics teacher at Clear Spring Middle School in Washington County, earned an M.S. in Athletic Administration at McDaniel.

Graduates of McDaniel consistently rank among the state’s top teachers, according to Education Department Chair and Visiting Associate Professor Margaret Trader, who suggests several aspects of McDaniel’s teacher preparation as possible reasons for the high marks.

“We put students in the classroom early and often,” Trader said, explaining that the students have frequent opportunities to develop and practice their teaching skills under the watchful eyes of mentors who are highly regarded teachers themselves.

McDaniel graduate and undergraduate students who are studying for first-time certification must complete a practicum in the classroom before matriculating into the program. After that, they are in classrooms during methods classes as well as during their semester-long student-teaching internship.

Other factors, Trader said, are the college’s strong academic program – and the exceptional support student teachers receive from school districts and mentor teachers.