Harford County Public Schools has released the 2020 Teacher of the Year application, now available on www.hcps.org. This year will mark the 26th anniversary of the HCPS Teacher of the Year program and annual banquet — an event entirely funded by community donations that provides one tangible way of expressing our gratitude to those educators who have been selected by students, colleagues, administrators and the community as the best of the best.

The Harford County community is encouraged to nominate a teacher worthy of this top honor by writing a short essay on the topic: “My candidate should be recognized as the 2020 Harford County Teacher of the Year because ...” Those interested in nominating a teacher should visit www.hcps.org, click the Staff tab, and click Teacher of the Year for more information. Nominated teachers have until midnight on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, to submit their completed application.

This award is not only an amazing experience for the winning teacher, but for his/her students and the entire school community. In such a challenging time in education and the teaching profession, this award is a gift to a deserving teacher.

Just a few of the benefits of being named Teacher of the Year include:

• Invaluable professional development

• Positive media coverage for the school

• Monetary awards and gifts for the teacher/school

• Invitations to special events and engagements throughout the year

• An expanded network of colleagues throughout the state of Maryland

• The opportunity to be named Maryland Teacher of the Year, and more.

The success of this program would not be possible without the outpouring of support from the generous Harford County business community each year. In addition to the program’s annual top-level sponsors — HARCO Credit Union, The Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace and Jones Junction — hundreds of local businesses partner with the school system each year to help show teachers how respected and appreciated they are by contributing donations (gifts, certificates, money) that go directly to the winning teacher or to all five of the finalists in the program.

To become a sponsor of this event, businesses should contact Lindsay Bilodeau in the HCPS Office of Communications and Family Outreach at 410-588-5213. The 2019 Teacher of the Year, Paige Milanoski of Havre de Grace High School, will pass her title to the 2020 winner on April 1, 2020, when the surprise announcement is made.

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