Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS) announced the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year at a celebration held at Easton Elementary School. The Teacher and Support Staff of the Year Program recognizes outstanding educators who have innovative ideas, focus positive attention on education, and demonstrate superior commitment to students. The 2022-2023 Talbot Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Katie Spies, Easton Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher. Mrs. Spies earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s Equivalency from Gratz College. She has taught Kindergarten at Easton Elementary since 2015, having previously taught in Anne Arundel County.
Mrs. Spies has held many leadership roles, including the Social Studies Curriculum Review Committee, Kindergarten Math Committee, School-Based Literacy Team, and Primary Talent Development for TCPS Gifted and Talented. She has served as both Lead Teacher and Mentor Teacher and presented professional development sessions for her fellow educators on subjects such as Early Childhood Resources, Rethinking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Virtual Learning. She has served the community coaching youth swim and field hockey teams and lives in Cordova with her husband and four daughters.
“Katie Spies is an inspired, innovative educator who has a gift for helping all students reach their ultimate potential,” said Dr. Lisa Devaric, Easton Elementary School Principal. “I am so proud and happy to see her receive this recognition for her work as a valued member of our team at Easton Elementary School.”
Mrs. Berenice Orellana, Easton High School Multilingual Family Liaison, has been chosen as the 2022-2023 Support Staff of the Year. Mrs. Orellana joined the TCPS team in 2017 to assist and facilitate communication between staff, students and parents of students who are English Language Learners. In this vital role, she monitors students’ academic progress and ensures they stay on track for graduation. She also provides interpretation services for parent communications and conferences, translates and administers assignments and assessments, serves as an instructional assistant, assists student services with home visits and addressing attendance issues, and collaborates with local partners to fulfill student needs.
Mrs. Orellana currently serves on the Board of Talbot Family Network and the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation. She has been a member of the Department of Social Services Advisory Board and the Child Advocacy Center Board and is a volunteer with CarePacks. She resides in Easton with her husband and three daughters.
“Mrs. Orellana truly goes above and beyond to serve the students of EHS, particularly our ELL students and their families,” said Ms. Sherry Spurry, Easton High Principal. “She works tirelessly on their behalf and is respected and appreciated by our entire school community, and we congratulate her on this award.”
“These outstanding members of the TCPS team both demonstrate exemplary work ethic and commitment to ensuring that all students succeed,” said Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent. “I congratulate Mrs. Spies and Mrs. Orellana, as well as all of this year’s finalists on their well-deserved recognition.”