Top Graduate awards announced
McDaniel College has announced the recipients of two top graduate awards. Sarah Grace Watcher of Westminster, Md., received The Joan Develin Coley Award for Excellence in Education and Claire Frances Roberts of Swartz Creek, Mich., was awarded The B. Jill Brooks Hodge Professional Development Award.
Sarah Grace Watcher of Westminster, Md., received The Joan Develin Coley Award for Excellence in Education for earning the best record as a graduate student in the study of literacy theory and practice, and Claire Frances Roberts of Swartz Creek, Mich., received The B. Jill Brooks Hodge Professional Development Award, presented to a graduate student, who demonstrated academic excellence with a strong compassion for individuals with special needs and an interest in serving the Deaf or disabled.
Watcher, who earned a master's degree in Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership, attended Carroll County Public Schools and graduated from McDaniel College with a bachelor’s degree in English and Elementary Education in 2015. She was president of McDaniel’s Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the Education Honor’s Society. Since 2015, she has taught fifth-grade Humanities at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge, Md.
“Sarah Watcher is an outstanding graduate of the Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership program. She exhibits the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of an exemplary literacy leader,” said Lisa Buckler, McDaniel professor and coordinator of the Reading Specialist program. “Sarah is a reflective practitioner, and always applied her learning to refine her instruction with her students. Sarah is passionate about sharing her love for reading and writing with students, showing them the authentic applications of literacy in their lives.”
Claire Frances Roberts earned a master’s degree in Deaf Education. She pursued her undergraduate degree at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. There, she was involved in the Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority.
She has taught at the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, Mich., since 2012. She has been teaching high school Science since 2015. Michigan School for the Deaf is where she found her passion for teaching and prompted her to get a master's degree at McDaniel.
“Claire's science background has provided her the content knowledge needed to make science come alive in her classroom. She knows her ‘stuff,’ and she imparts difficult concepts with ease when working with her students. What a great asset she is the secondary science program at the Michigan School for the Deaf,” added Mark Rust, professor in Deaf Education and program coordinator.
Both Watcher and Roberts will be recognized during an in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020, which is slated to take place on campus in Spring 2021.