Somers teacher is Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Somers teacher is Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year


The Maryland Council for Social Studies, Inc. (MDCSS) recently named Milton M. Somers Middle School teacher Allen Hopkins as the 2014 Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year. He was nominated for the award for his exemplary leadership in social studies education and for his passion for teaching history. Nominees are recognized for their work in social studies at the middle- or high-school levels, and exhibit professional qualities while working with students, staff and the community.

Hopkins has been teaching social studies at Somers for the past 12 years and credits his recognition to his coworkers and students. “I am tremendously honored to receive the award but owe my success to the terrific administrators, teachers, and most importantly the students of Milton Somers. The administration always has my back, the teachers here inspire me, and the students make my job a whole lot of fun each and every day,” he said.

Hopkins is the social studies department chair and eighth-grade team leader at Somers. He creates lessons that are exciting and engaging for students that teach them how to use several resources to learn about history. The enthusiasm Hopkins demonstrates while teaching creates student interest in history because of his ability to make subject matters more alive and relevant to his classes. His nomination was coordinated by Jack Tuttle, content specialist in social studies for Charles County Public Schools, and Elaine Tubb, a government resource teacher. In their nomination statement, Tuttle and Tubb describe Hopkins as a dedicated professional and role model for other teachers.

“Mr. Hopkins is an exemplary classroom teacher, as well as a school and district instructional leader for social studies. His professionalism includes thoughtful and respectful interactions with students and fellow teachers. Teachers frequently seek instructional advice from him or visit his classroom to observe techniques. Whether he is delivering a lesson in his classroom, organizing an extracurricular activity, or serving as the eighth-grade team or social studies department leader, Mr. Hopkins always demonstrates a high level of instructional proficiency and professionalism, and is truly dedicated to social studies and helping all students achieve,” according to the statement.

In addition to serving as department chair and team leader, Hopkins sponsors the National Junior Honor Society and is a member of the school improvement team and the school-based student learning objectives (SLO) pilot implementation group. He has been instrumental in the implementation of new literacy standards in social studies for students and provided teacher training and professional development to several peer groups. Hopkins also focuses on his own professional development by participating in events such as the We the People Bill of Rights weekend seminar and the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute.

He will be honored with the award at the MDCSS conference Oct. 17. Hopkins has a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Frostburg State University, and a master’s degree in history from American Public University. For more information about the MDCSS, visit http://mdcss.org/.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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