2018 Teacher and Support Staff of the Year Finalists

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Top from left: Tiffany Sweeney, Kristen Stovall, Debbie Phipps, Renee Warfield Bottom fro left: Jen McGuckin, Oliver McKinney, Nori Burkhardt, Tasha Aikens

Each year, Talbot County Public Schools honors teachers and support staff through the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year Program.  This provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding educators who have innovative ideas and focus positive attention on education, and who demonstrate superior commitment to students.

Any member of the community may nominate teachers or support staff for these prestigious awards. Four finalists were selected from the nominations for both Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year.  

Teacher of the Year Finalists:

Lenore Burkhardt  is an English Teacher at Easton High School.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Art from Washington College in 2002 and an MLIS in Instructional Technology from Towson University in 2011, and she has Maryland Advanced Professional Certification with Library/Media Endorsement.  She began her teaching career at Easton High School in 2004.  

Jennifer McGuckin is a Reading Intervention Teacher at Chapel District Elementary School.  She earned a Bachelors in Psychology from East Carolina University in 1997 and a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Oregon in 2002.  She holds elementary certification in 1st through 8th grades. Mrs. McGuckin began her career with TCPS as a Language Arts Teacher at Easton Middle School in 2002, and moved to Chapel District Elementary in 2007.

Kristen Stovall is a Fourth Grade Teacher at St. Michaels Elementary School.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Mary Washington College in 2004 and a Master’s in Education from University of Mary Washington in 2005.  She holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in Elementary 1-6 and Middle, and she has taught for Talbot County Public Schools since 2007.

Renee Warfield 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 teaching for TCPS in 2007.

Support Staff of the Year Finalists:

Tasha Aikens is an Instructional Assistant in Special Education at Easton High School in a self-contained special education classroom.  She has worked for Talbot County Public Schools for 13.5 years. Tasha loves seeing her students succeed and she takes pride in being a part of their growing independence.

Oliver 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 and Internship Coordinator/Independent Study/In-School Suspension.  He has been the School Safety Officer since 2016.

Debbie Phipps is a Special Education Instructional Assistant at Easton Elementary-Dobson.  She currently works in the P-3 classroom, having worked with TCPS Special Education students since 2006.  She has a special place in her heart for students with special needs.

Tiffany Sweeney is the School Secretary at Saint Michaels Elementary School, a position she has held since 2013. As the first point of contact for students, families and the community, she is truly an Ambassador for SMES.


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