Teacher's efforts recognized

Feb. 8, 2005, midnight | By Sayoh Mansaray | 15 years, 11 months ago

English and Connections teacher Carole Tomayko has been nominated for the seventeenth annual Marian Greenblatt award, given to veteran teachers in Montgomery County who do an excellent job of motivating students to achieve.

As part of the award, three teachers will receive a $1,000 check, and one teacher will become Montgomery County Teacher of the Year. This teacher will receive the use of a new car for 12 months and will represent Montgomery County in the Maryland Teacher of the Year competition.

The award is named after Dr. Marian Greenblatt, a former President of the Montgomery County Board of Education. Greenblatt strove to raise academic standards. She believed that teachers are the center of the education system and that great teachers deserve recognition. She died of breast cancer in 1988, but her legacy lives on through the award.

Tomayko, the only National Board Certified teacher in Blair's English Department, describes her teaching style as old-fashioned. She tries to simply convey to her students the same values that her teachers conveyed to her: the interaction between literature, writing and life.

Tomayko said that she would feel "tickled" if she were to win. "[It's] gratifying. I'm pleased to be recognized," she added.

This recognition is well-deserved, according to English Department resource teacher Vickie Adamson, who praises Tomayko as a unique teacher who is able to help students of all levels understand that education is important. "Mrs. Tomayko really does make a difference in students' lives," she said. Adamson added, and Tomayko's students agree, that Tomayko knows how to present a lesson plan that kids will understand and remember.

Freshmen Juliet Huang and Priyanka Gokhale both agree. They said Tomayko has helped them improve their writing and vocabulary skills. Huang added that as a result of having Tomayko for Connections, she has more ideas about her future career. Both students agreed that Tomayko's encouragement is a large part of why she is a great teacher. They believe her lessons will stay with them long after they leave her classroom.

Tomayko takes joy in writing her lesson plans as well. "Preparing a lesson is like cooking a holiday meal, serving it and having everyone enjoy it," she said.

Amy Thomas, a U.S. History teacher, previously worked with Tomayko as part of a freshman English and history team and admired her energy in the classroom. "I think the best thing about her is she's so enthusiastic about what she does," Thomas said. She acknowledged that Tomayko motivates her students because she is interested in classroom activities. It is easy to tell that she is "into it," Thomas said.

Tomayko credited her work environment with enabling her to do a good job. "Being surrounded by excellent teachers on all sides is what makes it possible for anyone to flourish," she said.

For Tomayko, teaching has been a perfect match; she loves her colleagues, the students and the way Blair is run. Soon after Tomayko started teaching at Blair, she was given the opportunity to work anywhere within the county, but she chose to stay at Blair. "I am where I want to be," she explained.

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Sayoh Mansaray. Sayoh Mansaray is a junoir who is SUPER excited about being on the Silver Chips staff. She enjoys the simple pleasures in life, like sleeping late and eating. Sayoh hates waking up early (who doesn't?), so adjusting to school again has been a bit hard, … More »

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