Garrett County School Superintendent Barbara Baker has announced the selection of Amy Rowan, teacher at Northern Middle School, as the 2019-20 Garrett County Teacher of the Year. Ms. Rowan teaches Language Arts and Special Education. Ms. Baker stated, “Please join me in congratulating Ms. Rowan as our Teacher of the Year. She will represent our school system well and we wish her all the best as she begins a very exciting year.”
Ms. Rowan graduated from Frostburg State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Health Promotion. She then completed a Masters of Special Education Degree in 2013 and a Masters of Educational Leadership Degree in 2016 at Frostburg State University. She started her career in Allegany County Adult Education and served as an instructional specialist / Literacy Facilitator from 2006 through 2014. She came to Northern Middle School in for the start of the 2014-15 school year. Amy indicated, “My belief is that all students can achieve higher-level learning when you teach essential skills within the context of meaningful lessons. The key to this in the inclusion setting is knowing your students’ abilities and providing individual accommodations that stimulate critical thinking and motivate students to make personal connections with the material.”
In her five years at Northern Middle School, Ms. Rowan has been the Department Leader for Special Education, the Service Learning Coordinator for 7th graders, and an RTI Specialist/Compliance Coordinator. Countywide, Amy has been an advisor of the Garrett County Association of Student Councils and a presenter at the TASTE conference, Common Ground conference, and the National Formative Assessment conference. She has also secured several grants for the school: First Energy STEM grant and the Healthy Kids grants on 2 separate occasions. Amy spends her free time outside of work reading articles and participating in educational modules to increase her knowledge of working with struggling learners. “I want to ensure that I am up to date on all the new education strategies and tools that are currently effective and available,” she conveyed.
Amy stated, “Teaching a growth mindset helps ensure that education transcends the classroom. If you teach students to have a growth mindset, then they begin to develop an understanding and belief that they can do anything that they set their minds to do in life, whether it is to make an impact in the local community or in their own lives.”
As Amy begins the journey of Teacher of the Year, she stated, “My message is that all students can achieve academic success through a solid school to home partnership that is created through a process. First, educators must truly hold the mindset that all students really can achieve success. Second, a teacher needs to be able to engage his or her learners, provide meaningful instruction that is aligned to the standards, differentiate instruction, and use formative assessments daily to be effective. Third, it is important that a teacher makes meaningful connections with each student because students work harder when they know their feelings are valued and acknowledged. Fourth, a teacher needs to communicate effectively to parents and guardians to build a strong support system that can help nurture student success.”
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Pictured (L-R): Barbara Baker, Superintendent, Heather Raybold, Director of Special Education; David Yoder, Northern Middle School Principal, Amy Rowan, Teacher of the Year; Richard Stevens, Northern Middle School Assistant Principal, and Karen DeVore, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration and Coordinator of the Teacher of the Year program.