April 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 63 F

Annapolis High’s Mary Kay Connerton Named Teacher of the Year

Mary Kay Connerton, a physical education/health teacher at Annapolis High School who has been on the forefront of developing wellness classes and supports for all students and staff, tonight was named the 2023 Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The announcement came at the culmination of the 37th annual Excellence in Education Awards held at the Live! Event Center at Arundel Mills.

Connerton, who has taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for nearly 13 years and at Annapolis High School for the last eight years, serves as the school’s wellness coordinator and is known as a fierce and relentless advocate for student and staff well-being.

“The fact of the matter is that no one gets to this point through the sole work of their own two hands,” Connerton told the crowd of more than 600 assembled for the event. “Someone gets to this point through the work of the hands of many. I have been blessed to have had so many sets of hands to helping me along my journey.”

Connerton created and leads the school’s Trauma-Informed Leadership Team and utilizes a whole-school approach to connect with teachers, administration, school counselors, social workers, and community partners. She also leads monthly counseling groups such as yoga sessions for specific student needs and facilitates professional development for teachers that focuses on the health and wellness of students.

At the county level, Connerton has been instrumental in the creation of a curriculum for the Stretch Your Wellness class available to students throughout the school system.

Connerton is a teacher “whose daily energy, vision, and innovation help transform a school and a school district,” Annapolis High School Principal Patrick Gelinas wrote in his recommendation letter. “As the Wellness Coordinator for Annapolis High, Mary Kay Connerton helps infuse wellness in multiple content areas to support student health and well-being.”

AACPS has had two of the last six Maryland Teacher of the Year winners, Teresa Beilstein of South Shore Elementary School (2020) and Josh Carroll of South River High School (2018). AACPS Teachers of the Year have also been finalists for Maryland Teacher of the Year in seven of the last eight years.

In all, 44 teachers from public and private schools were recognized during this year’s Excellence in Education program. Other finalists for this year’s Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year honor were:

  • Nea Baker, Spanish, Lindale Middle School
  • Ian Burns, instrumental music, Arundel High School
  • Alexis Cutler, second grade, Tyler Heights Elementary School
  • Courtney Kenney, physical education, South Shore Elementary School
  • Christine Colli McCallister, science, Magothy River Middle School

Pamela Hernick, a social studies teacher at St. Mary’s High School, was named 2023 Independent Schools Teacher of the Year. Coral Shreve, a prekindergarten teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, was the other finalist for the award.

Also at the event, Mills-Parole Elementary School principal Richard Rogers was honored with the George Arlotto Leadership Award as the 2023 Principal of the Year and Devon Sanders of Ruth Parker Eason School was honored as the 2023 Educational Support Professional of the Year.

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