Two McDaniel alums are named Maryland Teachers of the Year
Two County Teachers of the Year in Maryland are McDaniel alums: Erica McAndrew of Carroll County, who graduated with a bachelor’s in Sociology and a master’s in Elementary Education; and Jorden Lim of Long Reach High School, who graduated with a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Both are eligible to be chosen as the 2022 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Two County Teachers of the Year in Maryland are McDaniel alums: Erica McAndrew of Spring Garden Elementary School in Carroll County and Jorden Lim of Long Reach High School in Howard County. Both are eligible to be chosen as the 2022 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Carroll County Teacher of the Year Erica McAndrew earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Education in 1993 and a master’s in Elementary Education in 2013. She also earned an Elementary Math Instructional Leader certificate in 2013 and a STEM Instructional Leader certificate in 2015. Howard County Teacher of the Year Jorden Lim graduated with a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction (now Innovations in Teaching and Learning) with a leadership focus in 2017.
Since 2010, 29 McDaniel alums have been named County Teachers of the Year, three of whom were also recognized as Maryland Teachers of the Year. The previous Maryland Teachers of the Year include Jody Zepp ’94 in 2014-15; Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship M.S. ’05 in 2012-13, who was also a 2013 finalist for National Teacher of the Year; and 2011 National Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer M.S. ’96, who was the 2010-11 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Additionally, Amy Andersen M.S. ’96, was the 2017-18 New Jersey Teacher of the Year and a 2018 finalist for the National Teacher of the Year. Karen Mallonee ’76, M.L.A. ’79, was the 2016 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Erica Guenther ’93, M.S. ’13 McAndrew is the Carroll County Teacher of the Year. She has taught at Spring Garden Elementary School in Hampstead, Maryland, for 27 years and is currently teaching first grade. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s in Elementary Education from McDaniel, McAndrew later returned to the college to earn an Elementary Math Instructional Leader certificate in 2013 and a STEM Instructional Leader certificate in 2015.
“McDaniel/Western Maryland College is where I found my love of teaching, and it all started with Dr. Skip Fennell,” McAndrew says. “I had no intention of going into teaching, but after leaving his class, I was hooked and literally added teaching as a minor that day. He created and fostered a love of learning in me that I wanted to recreate in my own classroom.”
On earning the county Teacher of the Year title, McAndrew adds, “I am humbled by the honor. As an elementary teacher, I represent each teacher and the compassion they have for students, their drive to help each child be successful, and the amazing work they do.”
McAndrew is active in training new teachers, writing curriculum, and providing STEM leadership at her school, including heading Spring Garden Elementary’s recertification process to become a Maryland Green School. She has been named a Carroll County Outstanding Teacher multiple times and has received various awards for her contributions to 4-H. She is president of the nonprofit Peace Love Dolls, which her daughter founded to provide refurbished dolls and action figures to children in need.
The Howard County Teacher of the Year is Jorden Lim M.S. ’17. Lim earned her B.A. in Middle School Math and Science Education from Stevenson University in 2012 and her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with a leadership focus from McDaniel College in 2017.
She has taught math at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland, since 2017 and leads the teams for Algebra 1 and instruction. She co-leads the Reach Academy, a Restorative Justice program for ninth graders at her school that cultivates a “restorative culture through social emotional learning, a diversity and equity focus, and community connections.” Lim has previously earned the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award from the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Before joining Long Reach, Lim taught at Lake Elkhorn Middle School and Thomas Viaduct Middle School.
“Being named Howard County Teacher of the Year is such an honor, but most importantly, it is a responsibility to use the recognition to influence change within the education system that is so desperately needed for our young people,” Lim says. “Education has been in many cases reduced to standardization, prescribed lessons, and test scores. We as educators know that learning can no longer be a series of calculated steps linked to student age and structured by a hierarchy of academics. That is why I am so thankful for my time at McDaniel College.”
Lim says one of the most memorable courses she took while earning her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction was Curriculum 515, where she learned to create Transformative Curriculum Plans. “That class was beyond inspirational for me because my passion for imagining what education should be was reignited,” she says. “Teaching is a human endeavor and a catalyst for creating necessary changes for our young people.”
She still remembers two influential texts from the class, “The Global Fourth Way” and “Creative Schools,” which shared the lesson that “change is a grassroots effort.”
“I can’t wait for someone else to create change,” Lim says. “I must take an active role as an educator. I have continuously questioned and transformed my own practice and curriculum as well as challenged what has always been done to help stop the harmful cycle of perpetuating the inequities within education.”