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Notre Dame of Maryland University Graduate Joshua Parker M ’10 Named Maryland Teacher of the Year

October 16, 2011

Notre Dame of Maryland University graduate Joshua Parker, an English/Language Arts teacher at Windsor Middle School, has been named Maryland’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Parker earned his master's in leadership in teaching from Notre Dame in 2010.

"I am committed to widening the traditional English curriculum so that students can stretch literacy as far as it can go. I help students to understand that they have a life worth writing about and a voice worth listening to,” said Mr. Parker. "Notre Dame was where I received the training to turn my vision for education into reality in the classroom."

 “Josh exemplifies the best qualities of a teacher – he is personable, inquisitive and cares deeply about his student’s success,” said Sister Sharon Slear, SSND, dean of the School of Education. “Notre Dame’s Leadership in Teaching program, with its emphasis on teaching strategies and classroom leadership development, helped prepare him to become the extraordinary educator he is today.”

Sr. Sharon noted that soon after entering Notre Dame’s Accelerated Certification in Teaching (ACT) program, Mr. Parker was hired as a teacher, providing the opportunity to put theory to practice in the classroom as he studied for certification. ACT credits are eligible for transfer into the Leadership in Teaching program, allowing students like Mr. Parker to work immediately toward a master’s degree.

Mr. Parker was named Baltimore County Teacher of the Year in May 2011. In addition, Notre Dame master’s candidate Christian Slattery, a music teacher at Halls Cross Roads Elementary School and 2008 Milken award winner, was honored as Harford County’s Teacher of the Year and named a finalist in the statewide competition. Since 2008, nine Notre Dame graduates have won Teacher of the Year in their respective Maryland counties.

The Maryland and National Teacher of the Year Programs recognize and honor exemplary elementary, middle, and high school teachers who are excellent instructors and education leaders in their schools and communities. The Maryland Teacher of the Year is selected by a panel of judges representing teachers, administrators, parents and representatives from higher education.

As the 2011-2012 Maryland Teacher of the Year, Mr. Parker will receive $9,000 in cash awards, a week at National Space Camp, a 4-day trip to the Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas, additional forums and conferences in Washington, D.C., and Princeton, New Jersey, a Smart Board and supporting materials from SMART Technologies valued at more than $15,000, a 2012 Honda Civic from the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association valued at over $25,000, and many additional gifts and prizes. Mr. Parker also will be honored by the President at the White House in 2012, and he will now go on to compete to become the National Teacher of the Year, which will be announced next April.

Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. Visit www.ndm.edu.