Oakdale Middle School art teacher Kathy Tobery is the Frederick County Public Schools 2008 Teacher of the Year. The 11-year teaching veteran received the good news last week when the FCPS “Prize Patrol,” led by Dr. Linda Burgee, FCPS superintendent, visited Ms. Tobery during her planning time.
Frederick County Public Schools
Oakdale Middle School art teacher Kathy Tobery is the Frederick County Public Schools 2008 Teacher of the Year.
The 11-year teaching veteran received the good news last week when the FCPS “Prize Patrol,” led by Dr. Linda Burgee, FCPS superintendent, visited Ms. Tobery during her planning time. Others there to congratulate her included the school’s administration; staff members; her husband, sister and parents; and her four-year old daughter Zoe.
At the May 14 Board of Education meeting, Ms. Tobery will receive another sign that she is Frederick County’s top teacher: the keys to a new car. The Ideal Buick GMC Hyundai dealership, located on Rt. 355 in Frederick, will provide her with use of a car for the next year through a partnership agreement with the local school system.
Ms. Tobery was nominated by Jeanne Dolan, the parent of two of Ms. Tobery’s students. In her nomination, Ms. Dolan wrote, “Ms. Tobery is very motivated and a positive person to be around. We look forward to having her teach our son for the next two years.”
Neal Case, Oakdale Middle principal, commented that “a true teacher is a person who can listen to others reflectively, incorporate others’ ideas to promote positive growth, give credit where credit is due, and work towards common goals/vision — Mrs. Tobery is this teacher. She is an excellent staff member and passionate about building life-long relationships with students. I have found Kathy’s classroom to be very inspirational, motivational, and engaging for learners — she is the best art teacher that I have had the privilege to work with during my career.”
“I think her true gift to students — and to middle school education in general — actually has very little to do with developing artistic abilities,” wrote Karen Shomaker, the Renzulli teacher at Oakdale Middle. “Ms. Tobery’s real strength lies in establishing an environment and expectations that support middle schoolers as they become better people. Through their study of culture and history, her students learn to understand, accept, and ultimately appreciate others who are different from themselves. Students leave Ms. Tobery’s class with attractive, creative artwork. More importantly, they leave her class with open eyes and open minds.”
Ms. Tobery earned her bachelor’s degree at Towson University, graduating cum laude. She earned her Advanced Professional Certificate in 2006 and continues to work towards her Ceramics Certificate at Hood College.
The Maryland Board of Education will honor Ms. Tobery and the winners from Maryland’s 23 other school districts at a special luncheon on May 29 and at a statewide gala on October 3 at Martin’s West, Baltimore. Of the 24 local school system’s Teacher of the Year, one will be selected the Maryland Teacher of the Year and that individual will go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award.