Annapolis High School Center physical education, health, and wellness teacher Mary Kay Connerton today was been named a finalist for the 2023-2024 Maryland Teacher of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Connerton, who was named Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year in April, is one of seven finalists for the award. The others are: Brianne Sounder, Cecil County; Nicole Rhoades, Frederick County; Andrea Schulte, Queen Anne’s County; Raymond Weber, Washington County; Tara Martens, Wicomico County; and Dr. Jaimie Ridgely, Worcester County.
AACPS has had finalists in eight of the last nine years, and four AACPS teachers have earned the state award since the program began in 1986.
“The work I do is a bit out of the box, but it is the exact link that could lead to the acceleration of every individual for not just educational success, but also personal success,” Connerton said. “I am filled with gratitude to represent Anne Arundel County Public Schools as a Maryland State Teacher of the Year finalist. I hope that this platform will allow us to expand the mind, body, and spirit connection as a regular part of the school experience to truly reach the whole individual.”
Connerton, who has taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for nearly 14 years and at Annapolis High School for the last nine years, serves as the school’s wellness coordinator and is known as a fierce and relentless advocate for student and staff well-being.
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.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mohammed Choudhury will announce Maryland’s Teacher of the Year during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on October 13, 2023.