Josh Cook of John Humbird to Receive Honor; 4 Other Finalists Recognized
On Thursday, April 1, 2010, Lisa Stevenson, ACPS Teacher of the Year coordinator, visited John Humbird Elementary School to inform fourth grade teacher, Josh Cook, that he had been selected as the 2010 Allegany County Teacher of the Year. Josh, along with school-level teacher representatives and four county finalists, will be honored at an annual celebration in the fall. His next step will be competition at the state level.
Josh began his teaching career in 2001 as a first grade teacher in Frederick, Maryland. Two years later he relocated back to his home town of Allegany County and has been employed at John Humbird since his return. He has taught at multiple grade levels specializing in reading and math support. Since Josh’s arrival at John Humbird, he has been highly involved in the school community acting as the Partnership Action Chair, the Emergency Planning Chair, a School Improvement Team member, and a School Achievement Team member.
Josh received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Frostburg State University in 2001 as well as his Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision in 2006. He and his wife, Andrea, reside in Cumberland and have three children, Collin, Emma, and Madelyn.
All Teacher of the Year candidates must be full-time classroom, resource, or media teachers with a minimum of five years teaching experience. School-based teacher representatives must then complete various application forms should they be interested in becoming a candidate for the county level Teacher of the Year recognition. Nine school-level reps submitted applications this year.
A selection committee comprised of five judges completed a selection criteria scoring form for each applicant. Candidates were judged on areas such as education history and professional development activities, professional biography, philosophy of teaching, teaching profession, and communication skills. Judges included Ernie Kaylor, retired administrator and college professor; Mary Lough, 2009-2010 Allegany County Teacher of the Year; Jennifer Spriggs, administrative service coordinator for Allegany County Public Libraries; Andy Vick, executive director of the Allegany Arts Council; and Kristen Barkley, education reporter Cumberland Times-News.
This selection committee ultimately narrowed the candidates down to five finalists, including Cook, to compete for the county Teacher of the year title. The four other county finalists include Misty Twigg, Cresaptown Elementary School; Tammy Edwards, Allegany High School; March McCagh, Washington Middle School; and Jenna Chesky, Washington Middle School. These finalists participated in a formal interview process with the selection committee, and Josh Cook was selected through consensus as the winner.