Monarch Global Academy Public Contract School teacher Heather Carnaghan has been named a finalist for the 2018-19 Maryland Teacher of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Carnaghan is one of seven finalists for the award. The others are: LaQuisha Hall, Baltimore City; Tina Thomen, Carroll County; Staci Lamb, Cecil County; Dr. Richard Warren, Jr., Somerset County; Reneé Warfield, Talbot County; and Jeanine Horst, Washington County.
“This is a huge surprise and I am truly honored,” Carnaghan said. “In Maryland we get the chance to get to know the other candidates (from other counties) and they are amazing. They are an exceptional group of educators.”
Carnaghan is the fourth consecutive county teacher and sixth in the last eight years to be named a state finalist. Three AACPS teachers – Josh Carroll of South River High School in 2017-18, Linda Adamson of Mayo and Jessup elementary schools in 1993-94, and Patricia Neidhart of Broadneck High School in 1988-89 – have earned state Teacher of the Year honors.
Carnaghan is in her 14th year of teaching and her fifth at Monarch Global. This year she is co-teaching students in sixth through eighth grades to infuse project-based learning approaches as well as teaching reading to seventh- and eighth-graders.
As part of a packet nominating her for Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year, one parent called Carnaghan “the teacher that parents hope and dream of for our children.”
Carnaghan believes that the culture of a school is a key in student success. Therefore, she spends significant time mentoring students and staff to build a great sense of community. Through her career, Carnaghan has taught kindergarten and second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth grades.
“I am really excited to be in a position to build awareness of the really amazng things that are happening at contract and charter schools because I think we haven’t been on the radar in a while,” she said.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon will announce Maryland’s Teacher of the Year at a banquet on October 12.