ANNAPOLIS — Elkton High School teacher Larry Harris was named the Cynthia M. Barry Touchstones Teacher of the Year during a ceremony held Saturday at St. John’s College.

Touchstones, a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, works to address gaps in education in K-12 schools by teaching educators and students to use structured dialogue to activate and enliven their thinking and build cooperation and leadership. The goal of the discussion-based programs is to develop thinking and collaboration at the highest levels for all students, regardless of their economic or educational background.

Since 2011, Touchstones has honored an educator in the U.S. or Canada for his or her work in the classroom. The award is named for Cynthia M. Barry, who first sponsored it and who is herself a longtime Touchstones teacher.

Harris got involved with Touchstones in 2013 when he was one of more than a dozen teachers and trainers who participated in an intensive weeklong Touchstones training initiative at Cecil County Public Schools. The purpose of that program was to create a core group that would be able to deliver professional development within CCPS as part of the system-wide implementation of Touchstones in grades 3-12 English/language arts classes.

Harris trained dozens of CCPS middle school teachers in Touchstones before returning to the classroom two years ago. He now teaches 10th and 11th grade English, English Honors, English as a Second Language and Arts of Expression at Elkton High.

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