TCPS Announces 2018-2019 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year
Photo: Top Left, Support Staff of the Year Finalists Tiffany Sweeney, Debbie Phipps, Tasha Aikens, with Delegate Chris Adams, Delegate Johnny Mautz, Superintendent Kelly Griffith and Support Staff of the Year Coordinator James Redman. Top Right: 2018-19 Support Staff of the Year Award Winner Oliver McKinney. Bottom Left, 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Award Winner Renee Warfield. Bottom Right, Teacher of the Year Finalists Kristen Stovall, Renee Warfield, Nori Burkhardt and Jen McGuckin with Delegate Chris Adams, Delegate Johnny Mautz, Superintendent Kelly Griffith and Teacher of the Year Coordinator James Redman.
Talbot County Public Schools held a “star-studded” celebration honoring teachers and support staff and announced this year’s winners of Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year at the Milestone in Easton on April 12. The Teacher and Support Staff of the Year Program provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding educators who have innovative ideas and focus positive attention on education, and who demonstrate superior commitment to students.
The 2018-2019 Talbot Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Renee Warfield, who is an ESOL/Spanish Teacher at Easton High School. Mrs. Warfield earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a Minor in Art in 2002 from Salisbury University. She earned a Master of Education, also from Salisbury University in 2006. She began her career with TCPS in 2007 as a Spanish Teacher at Saint Michaels Middle High School. In 2014 she transferred to Easton High School, where she now teaches English 9 and English 10 for English Language Learners (ELL) and is a co-teacher for Algebra, Biology and Government. She serves as a translator and interpreter and plans special events for ELL students and their families. She is a member of the Digital Learning Leader Corps and has been Chair and Co-Chair of the Easton High School Spirit Committee. She is also the club advisor for Easton High School’s Cultura Unidas, a bi-lingual service club, and leads training and professional development for her peers.
Mrs. Warfield has demonstrated commitment to the students she serves through her additional work in the community. She collaborates with Chesapeake College on new student enrollment, and she provides after-school tutoring and college planning in partnership with the Chesapeake Multi-Cultural Resource Center. In 2010, Mrs. Warfield was named a Fulbright-Hays Award recipient and through this program traveled to Mexico with teachers from around the state to visit and learn from schools and government agencies. She was an Easton High School Ready “R” Recipient, and Teacher of the Month, and she currently serves on the Dorchester County Library Board of Trustees.
Mr. Oliver McKinney has been chosen as the 2018-2019 Support Staff of the Year. Mr. McKinney is the School Security Officer at Saint Michaels Middle High School. He began his TCPS career as Internship/Work-Based Coordinator at SMMHS in 2009. He has also served as Distance Learning Facilitator as well as the Coordinator of Independent Study and In-School Suspension.
Mr. McKinney has shown exemplary dedication and commitment to the students and community of Saint Michaels Middle High School, devoting a tremendous amount of time outside of school hours in various capacities. He is a founding member and staff mentor of the student group, “The African American Alliance” which organizes activities to raise awareness about diverse cultures and heritages. He serves as a role model and mentor for students, encouraging them to set and pursue ambitious goals for their future education and careers.
After school hours, Mr. McKinney can often be found at the St. Michaels Public Library tutoring students in all grade levels. He is frequently visible at athletic and other extra-curricular events, supporting the students and their families and ensuring their safety. He also serves on the SMMHS Collaborative Action Research for Equity (CARE) team. Mr. McKinney is a friend, mentor and example to the students of Saint Michaels Middle High, from helping with homework to playing basketball and working out with them, and he is truly dedicated.
“I am thrilled to see two such committed members of our staff receive this well-deserved recognition,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “They, along with all of this year’s nominees, represent the level of dedication and service that reflects the true mission and passion of Talbot County Public Schools.”
The nominees and finalists for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year were also recognized at the celebration. They are as follows: Teacher of the Year Nominees: Lyndsey Basham, Saint Michaels Elementary; Tish Blessing, White Marsh Elementary; Andrea Davis, Easton High; Lesa Hughey, Easton Elementary – Moton; Terri Kearns, Easton Elementary-Moton; Kimberly Keech, Easton Middle; Woody Lambert, Easton Elementary – Moton; Ann Miller, Easton Elementary-Dobson and Kathy Regan, Saint Michaels Elementary.
Teacher of the Year Finalists: Nori Burkhardt, Easton High; Jen McGuckin, Chapel District Elementary; Kristen Stovall, Saint Michaels Elementary.
Support Staff of the Year Finalists: Tasha Aikens, Easton High; Debbie Phipps, Easton Elementary-Dobson; Tiffany Sweeney, Saint Michaels Elementary.