PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. —Superintendent Dr. Andraé Townsel and district leaders revealed the Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) 2023 District Employees of the Year at surprise visits to each recipient’s school on March 15, 2023. Mr. John Allen was selected as the CCPS 2023 District Teacher of the Year and Ms. Keren Tuck was selected as the CCPS 2023 District Educational Support Professional of the Year.
“Our staff at Calvert County Public Schools is the best and our 2023 Employees of the Year represent the best of the best,” stated Superintendent Dr. Townsel. “It is an honor to work every day alongside our dedicated, hardworking staff who wholeheartedly support our students.”
Mr. Allen, Journalism teacher at Huntingtown High School, began working for Calvert County Public Schools in 2019. Prior to working for CCPS, he taught English at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL; worked in commercial film production in Chicago, IL; and worked for the American Red Cross as a writer, producer, and director of documentary and educational films. From 1982-2015, Mr. Allen and wife Rhoda Allen owned Signature Communications, a film production company based in Huntingtown, MD. Their production company produced films and related educational materials for PBS, U.S. Peace Corps, National Science Foundation, and the National Park Service. Mr. Allen received his BA from Dartmouth College in English, MA in Teaching from Wesleyan, and an MA in Radio, TV, and Film from Northwestern University. He has also been an international volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
“I believe that just as important as subject matter content, our goal as teachers should also be to model respect, collaboration, and a love of learning,” said Mr. Allen.
Ms. Tuck, Instructional Assistant II for Sunderland Elementary School, has been working for Calvert County Public Schools since 2021. Prior to joining CCPS, Ms. Tuck worked as a nurse at Kingsmead College in Johannesburg, South Africa; as the Associate Director for the Salvation Army in Columbus, OH; and as the Director of Star Lake Camp and Conference Center in Bloomingdale, NJ. She is an active community volunteer and has led several initiatives that have benefited youth such as the Journey for Change Salvation Army after school learning center’s program, Bloomingdale Children’s Choir, Hand’s On teen support program, as well as summer programs for the Salvation Army. At Sunderland Elementary School she has served in a variety of roles from a Special Education Instructional Assistant to most recently working with students with individualized education plans in both the classroom and in small groups or one on one.
“As an educator, my dream is to help children reach theirs by removing the obstacles of limited confidence and the barriers of learning difficulties, enabling them to soar above the clouds and thrive now and into bright futures,” shared Ms. Tuck.
Mr. Allen and Ms. Tuck, along with all the building 2023 Employees of the Year, were honored by the Superintendent, Calvert Board of Education, the Calvert Foundation, and other special guests at a dinner held at the Calvert Marine Museum. Many thanks to the numerous businesses and organizations whose generous donations made this celebration possible.
Additionally, Mr. Allen will be recognized by the Maryland State Board on May 23, 2023. The Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced on October 13, 2023.
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