Urbana Middle School art teacher Timothy Snyder was named the Frederick County Public Schools 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year this morning during Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban’s “Prize Patrol” visit to his school. The school system’s most prestigious award recognizes outstanding representatives of the teaching profession. Once again, this year the teacher gets to drive an Audi on a six-month free lease from Ourisman Audi of Frederick, thanks to General Manager Greg Thornton’s partnership with FCPS. (See the photo below!)
“We had 68 outstanding Teacher of the Year nominees. After reading through Mr. Snyder’s nomination packet, it was clear why the selection committee chose him as Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban.
In nomination essays, Mr. Snyder explained that he teaches visual arts from a growth mindset perspective that involves creative, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to foster connections outside the classroom. In the 25 art projects he assigns throughout the school year, one of his everyday goals, in addition to giving students a personalized learning experience inspired by their interests, is to teach them a growth mindset.
“Mindset is a powerful topic that has driven my instruction since the first day I entered this profession,” Mr. Snyder emphasizes. “Achievement is not only the result of classroom instruction, but also one’s belief about his or her ability. In the classroom, students’ perspectives about their ability can drive both behavior and motivation, which leads to achievement and success. We need to encourage effort and explain to students that mistakes are part of the process. Students who accept constructive criticism and failure as a phase of growth are more likely to succeed in the long run.”
Mr. Snyder often starts the school year with a Conflict Resolution Bookmark Art Contest to set the tone for a classroom atmosphere leading students to appreciate and respect diversity and use their artistic skills and creative ideas to support a healthy and positive school environment. He displays student artwork from state-level winners in previous years. One piece depicts a realistic hammer with the phrase, “Build Up…Don’t Tear Down.” He explains that “even students without strong artistic ability can produce meaningful artwork.”
A graduate of Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Mr. Snyder joined Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) in 2011 after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in art from McDaniel College in 2008 and his master’s degree in education in 2010, where he also received the Charles Havens Award as a student-athlete with commendable achievement. At Urbana Middle, he mentors nearly a dozen new teachers and serves on the Continuous Strategic Improvement and Educator Effectiveness Academy teams. He is also the Urbana High School cross country and track and field head coach and was a former nominee for the FCPS Charles Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award.
The local Board of Education will honor Mr. Snyder at their meeting on Wednesday, September 12. He and other Maryland district Teachers of the Year will receive honors at a state-wide gala on October 12. Of the 24 local Teachers of the Year, one will be selected the Maryland Teacher of the Year and go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award.
Just learning he's been named FCPS Teacher of the Year, Urbana Middle School art teacher Tim Snyder celebrates in front of the car that Ourisman Audi Frederick is providing him free for six months. Left to right are Ourisman Audi Frederick representative Ian Walker, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, and Tim Snyder surrounded by his wife and daugher, Kristin and Kenna Snyder, and his parents, Vicky and Joel Snyder. See another photo of Mr. Snyder enjoying one of his Teacher of the Year benefits!