Gunpowder Elementary educator Anne Cross chosen as 2014-15 BCPS Teacher of the Year

Norwood Elementary’s Pat Goldys chosen BCPS Principal of Year

TOWSON, MD. – Anne Cross, a veteran 31-year educator who teaches Grade 5 at Gunpowder Elementary School in Perry Hall, is Baltimore County’s new Teacher of the Year.

Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance named Cross the 2014-2015 Baltimore County Teacher of the Year during a ceremony today at Loch Raven High School in Towson.

“Anne Cross is a passionate, dedicated teacher who, in her fourth decade as an educator, still brings excitement and a love of learning to her students every day,” Dr. Dance said. “She reminds us that great teaching is timeless and that a committed teacher can reach children just as effectively after 30 years as she can in her first year. When she says, ‘We’re not done yet,’ we are all inspired. Congratulations to her and to all of our 120 nominated teachers and finalists.”

At the same ceremony, Dr. Dance also named Patrice Goldys, principal at Norwood  Elementary School in Dundalk, as the school system’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. A principal at Norwood since 2004 and at Villa Cresta Elementary School in Parkville from 1995-2004, Goldys began her career as a BCPS teacher in 1980 at Sandy Plains Elementary School in Dundalk. She is a National Board Certified Principal and an alumna of Towson University, where she has earned both a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in elementary education.

“The enthusiasm that Pat Goldys brings to her work is infectious,” Dr. Dance said. “Just walking through her school gives you a sense of the focus, dedication, and joy in learning that goes on every day at Norwood Elementary School thanks to Pat’s leadership and vision. We are proud to have her and all of our nominated principals serving the children of Baltimore County Public Schools.”

Four other BCPS principals were finalists for the Principal of the Year honor: Doug Elmendorf of Chase Elementary School, Andrew Last of Hereford High School, Barbara McLennan of Dundalk Elementary School, and Sam Mustipher of New Town High School.
As Baltimore County’s newest Teacher of the Year, Cross becomes among both the most visible educators in the county and the most prominent in Maryland. Representing nearly 9,000 educators for the next year, she will compete for the honor of Maryland State Teacher of the Year and appear in dozens of venues to champion teaching and the school system.

In addition to teaching fifth-graders, Cross is a Eucharistic minister and is active in the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the Families with Children from Vietnam organization. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and her master’s degree in elementary education from Towson University. She has taught at Gunpowder Elementary for 23 of her 31 years in education.

“To me, becoming a teacher was not just a job; it was a vocation to serve. Now, nearly 40 years later, I realize that teaching is much more than my career; it is my identity,” Cross wrote in her application for Teacher of the Year. “It has always been important to me to continue growing, changing, and evolving. Without that, we become stale and life becomes tedious. I find new techniques, curriculum, and methods an exciting challenge. I love working with new children every year. There is no greater joy or responsibility.”

In addition to Cross, four other finalists were honored during Monday’s ceremony. They are:

·         Adam Carney, an English teacher and AP instructional coordinator at New Town High School in Owings Mills;
·         Kimberly Culbertson, a chemistry and forensic science teacher at Dulaney High School in Timonium;
·         Julie Krause, a Grade 1 teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School in Middle River; and
·         Michelle Webster, a reading specialist at Woodholme Elementary School in Pikesville.

“The four teachers we honor today as finalists represent the best of what we want in our teachers in Baltimore County schools,” said Dr. Dance. “They are talented motivators and experienced learners. They model what it means to achieve, hone, and pursue 21st century skills and talents. And they care deeply about the children they teach. They are models we hold up when we talk about teachers in Baltimore County’s schools.”

The Teacher of the Year receives a variety of awards and gifts from the school system and Baltimore County’s business community, including a $1,000 gift for classroom supplies and technology, a $1,000 cash award, 40-inch flat-screen television, laptop computer and a personalized iPad, memberships to fitness centers and nature centers, tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Orioles, 50 free books,  $500 in school library resources, and gift certificates to a spa, restaurants, movie showings, and health screenings.

The BCPS Teacher of the Year program thanks sponsors NTA Life and the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools as well as donors including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Bluestone Restaurant, Brick Bodies, Cunningham’s Restaurant, Discovery Education, Hewlett-Packard, Irvine Nature Center, St. Agnes Hospital, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ukazoo Books.

# # #

Baltimore County Public Schools, the nation’s 26th largest school district, educates more than 108,000 students each year. The school system has earned a national reputation for academic rigor and student achievement for all and attracts recognition for its emphasis on college-readiness and the excellence of its high schools and fine arts instruction.