Montgomery County educators shine

Irene Allaire and Monica Talliani
July 09, 2019

McDaniel master’s graduate Irene Allaire and master’s student Monica Talliani were recently honored as 2018-19 Maryland School Librarian of the Year and an Outstanding Educator in Special Education, respectively.

Allaire, who earned her master’s degree in School Library Media from McDaniel College in 2009, is a media specialist with Montgomery County schools at Wilson Wims Elementary School in Clarksburg, Md. An educator with Montgomery County for the past 18 years, she also earned a bachelor’s at University of Maryland College Park and another master’s from Walden University. 

She found her studies at McDaniel to be important in keeping her background in educational technology current in a rapidly changing environment.

“It’s not so much knowing all different types of technology, but more knowing how to learn new technology and where to look for it,” she said. “It continues to change every day so what I know is always changing and evolving.”

Honored to be the recipient of the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) award, Allaire finds her work rewarding.

“I am honored, surprised and humbled,” she said. “I see myself staying in the media center and being a media specialist — I love it way too much to leave.”

Each year, the nominees are evaluated on how they exemplify the five roles — administrator, leader, information specialist, teacher, and instructional partner — of a library media specialist as set forth in AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

Taliani, or Ms. T as her students call her, is currently earning her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at McDaniel. She chose the program because she enjoys helping teachers help others.

“I feel really strongly about all students getting the tools they need to reach independence,” Talliani said. “My favorite part is figuring out just what that is, and that aha moment when they recognize they can do it on their own.”

A Special Education teacher at Sligo Creek Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., Talliani was nominated by Sligo Creek principal, Diantha Swift. The Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations award honors Talliani’s contribution to the success of students with special needs.

While teaching within the district, Talliani assisted in a pilot program for self-sustaining classrooms for students on the autism spectrum.

Montgomery County educators Irene Allaire, 2018-2019 Maryland School Librarian of the Year, and Monica Talliani, an Outstanding Educator in Special Education