Five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teachers were recently named 2017 Outstanding Math and Science Teacher Honorees by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) for their accomplishments in the area of mathematics and science teaching. SMECO recognizes teachers through the math and science awards program annually.

Honored as Outstanding Mathematics Teachers of the Year are Erica Hughes of Mary H. Matula Elementary School, Casey Cleary of Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and Gretchen Salopek of Thomas Stone High School.

Honored as Outstanding Science Teachers of the Year are Christina Reighard of Indian Head Elementary School and Sarah Earnshaw of North Point High School.

Hughes is a fifth-grade teacher and has been at Matula for the past seven school years. She is a CCPS graduate and started her career at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School. Hughes taught at Barnhart for three years before joining Matula’s staff. She has sponsored the school Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team and serves as a math team coach. Hughes is also participating in the State Personnel Development Grant implemented by Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland State Department of Education. The grant focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities in grades prekindergarten through sixth. Hughes has also been honored by the Board of Education of Charles County as an exemplary employee and received awards from the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee.

Cleary has been teaching at Stoddert for the past four years. She teaches algebra I and grade-level math for eighth graders. She has also taught algebra II and seventh grade math. Cleary is the eighth-grade team leader and served as the team leader of the Positive, Behavioral, Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program for two years. She is also the MathCounts team coach and will serve as the acting Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator next school year, once Stoddert completes the implementation phase.

Salopek has been teaching at Stone for the past two years. She teaches Foundations of Algebra and primarily works with freshmen. She is also the sponsor of the Class of 2019. Prior to joining the faculty at Stone, Salopek taught seventh graders at Mattawoman Middle School for four years. At Mattawoman, Salopek served as a department chair and team leader.

Reighard has been teaching with CCPS for 10 years, and has spent the last four years at Indian Head. She works with students in grades second through fifth and teaches life science, earth science, physical science and space science. Prior to joining Indian Head staff, Reighard taught at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School. She is the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) team leader at Indian Head, an advisor to MESA students and helps to write curriculum.

Earnshaw is a Biology teacher at North Point and began her career with CCPS in 2007. Earnshaw is also the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology teacher. She sponsors the Science National Honor Society and serves as a senior mentor to students. As a senior mentor, Earnshaw helps to review student portfolios and is often asked for letters of recommendation. She has helped to facilitate professional development sessions and STEM presentations at the Charles County Public Library. Additionally, Earnshaw plans after school AP and high school assessment (HSA) Biology extended learning opportunities for students.

The teachers were nominated for the awards by staff, students and parents. Each was chosen for their outstanding performance in the areas of creativity, rapport with students, enthusiasm for teaching, professionalism, and for using innovative teaching methods in the classroom. They were recognized by SMECO in an April 27 ceremony.