Frederick County Public Schools announces the 2018 Veteran in Education Service Award winner, Urbana High School social studies teacher Fritz Baclawski. In its second year, the award was created to honor an FCPS employee who has served our nation in the armed forces and provided exemplary service to FCPS and the community.
A committee of FCPS staff, community members and veterans reviewed this year’s nine nominations and chose the award winner. Nominees were veterans who demonstrate exemplary service to FCPS and the community by showing integrity and trustworthiness, perseverance in overcoming challenges, selflessness in helping others, and teamwork and loyalty. In addition to Baclawski, nominees were Pamela Adams-Campbell, Andy Brown, David Goto, Tambuzi Pannell, Dr. Christine Samuels, Dr. Edward Schoder, Brian Smith and Charles Welch.
Baclawski came to FCPS after spending 20 years in the business sector. He was drawn to teaching through his work coaching youth sports. He returned to school at age 44 to pursue his calling to teach and has spent the last 20 years doing just that. He began work at FCPS as a substitute teacher in 1998 and transitioned to a fulltime position teaching social studies at Urbana High in 2000.
A former member of the U.S. Army’s Old Guard, son of a WWII veteran and grandson of a WWI veteran, Baclawski has an incredible passion for history and service to others, says Colleen Bernard, FCPS secondary social studies curriculum specialist, who coordinates the awards process:
“He participated in curriculum-writing workshops for many years and has left an indelible mark on our program as he was instrumental in writing the high school World War I course, one of our most popular social studies electives,” she explains. “He routinely enriches his students’ understanding and learning through field trips and guest speakers. He is working on a local veteran history project, having students interview and research community veterans to preserve their stories,” she adds.
The Board of Education recognized Baclawski at yesterday’s meeting, where he received an engraved plaque and gift sponsored by Woodsboro Bank. FCPS also honored Mr. Baclawski at his school and in the school system’s Veterans Day celebrations and recognition ceremonies.