SMECO honors five teachers for excellence in math, science

SMECO honors five teachers for excellence in math, science


Five Charles County Public Schools teachers were recently honored by the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) for their accomplishments in the area of mathematics and science.

Honored as Outstanding Mathematics Teachers of the Year were: Darleane Lowe, Eva Turner Elementary School; Crystal Holm, Milton M. Somers Middle School; and Kristin Steger, Thomas Stone High School.

Honored as Outstanding Science Teachers of the Year were: Brian Colaizzi, Piccowaxen Middle School; and Robert Bingham, La Plata High School.

Lowe teaches general mathematics to kindergartners and uses a variety of teaching techniques to reach all learners. She maintains positive relationships with her students, which creates a sense of excitement in her classroom and her students are always eager to learn. Lowe participates in math-based workshops, ranging from math investigation and questioning strategy workshops to technology-based learning. She is also a member of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) and attends conferences to share information among her colleagues.

Holm teaches sixth grade on-level and accelerated math courses and incorporates technology into her lessons to excite her students. She strives to ensure that all of her students understand math concepts and uses student data to guide her lessons. Holm serves as the sponsor of the LEGO Robotics team, the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team and works with students in the Sea Perch underwater robotics program. She has also served as a MESA facilitator and teaches at the College of Southern Maryland's (CSM) Kids College.

Steger teaches algebra and foundations of algebra and uses a unique and stimulating teaching approach to enhance her lessons. She holds high expectations for her classes and maintains a positive rapport with students. Steger regularly incorporates the use of technology into her lessons and holds training sessions on the use of Smart Boards, Smart Notebook software and Study Island. She also is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NEA and the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), and served as a cheerleading coach at Stone.

Colaizzi has taught several science courses ranging from earth science and biology to anatomy and physiology and Advanced Placement (AP) biology. He also spent several years teaching at the high school level before joining the science department at Piccowaxen. He displays passion for learning and science in his classroom and his students are eager to learn from him. Colaizzi has completed several courses through the Space Discovery Institute offered annually by Charles County Public Schools, including rocketry, nanotechnology and kinesthetic astronomy. He also helps officiate at county track and field and cross country meets.

Bingham teaches biology and previously taught classes in earth and life sciences, physical science and chemistry. He is well known among La Plata staff as a hardworking teacher who goes above and beyond to reach all levels of leaners. His lessons are fun and interactive for students, who then strive to achieve excellence in his class. Bingham has participated in the Charlotte Danielson Framework observation/evaluation pilot program, which involves teacher observation and focuses on teacher effectiveness. He is also a member of the NEA, MSEA, the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The teachers were nominated for the award by staff, students and parents. Each was chosen for their outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, rapport with students, enthusiasm for teaching, professionalism and innovative teaching methods. They were honored by SMECO May 2 during a ceremony.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technological advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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