2019 Substitute Teacher of the Year

2019 Substitute Teacher of the Year

Frederick County Public Schools’ Human Resources Director Tim Thornburg is proud to announce that the third annual FCPS Substitute Teacher of the Year award goes to Mary Salapa. During the past school year, Salapa served as a long-term and regular substitute teacher at Kemptown Elementary School.

Principal Liz Worch strongly supported the nomination, a second year in a row, commending Salapa for exceptional commitment to students: When asked to substitute last year on short notice, “Mary took it upon herself to reach out to the grade-level team, plan lessons, go to the hardware store before school for science materials, and then teach lessons that reflected what the other fifth grade students were experiencing.”

Teachers at various grade levels say they appreciate being able to email lessons to Mary’s home so she can familiarize herself with the day’s plan and prepare any necessary materials. In turn, Mary leaves the teachers detailed notes about the students’ progress. She also participates in team meetings and professional development activities. 

One colleague put it this way: “If I had to describe Mary’s contributions in one word, that word would be invaluable.”

Mary’s approach is very flexible, and she handles behavior challenges well, others say. They commend the calming effect Mary’s positive attitude has on any room in which she substitutes and her ability to think on her feet. 

The school counselor observes that having Mary as a substitute is like having another teacher in the classroom; the students stay on track. She adds, “Even special needs students who have difficulty with transition or changes in routines do well under Mary’s care!”

A third grade teacher reports that Salapa “continually monitors her students’ learning, and adapts her plans to fit their needs. It is very evident Mary Salapa truly cares for the many students at KES; she most certainly deserves this honor.”

The Board of Education of Frederick County will honor Salapa Wednesday, June 12, at the 6 p.m. public meeting, 191 S. East Street, Frederick.    

Photo of Anne Paxton, Mary Salapa and Liz Worch                           

Left to right: FCPS Human Resources Personnel Officer Anne Paxton, 2019 Substitute Teacher of the Year Mary Salapa and Kemptown Elementary Principal Liz Worch