Announcing the 2024-2025 FCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists

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Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is thrilled to announce the five Frederick County Public Schools teachers that are advancing as finalists for the 2024-25 FCPS Teacher of the Year Award, the county's most prestigious honor given annually to an educator.

The finalists are:

  • AnnaClaire Ayoub of Brunswick Elementary
  • Brandy Baptiste of Lewistown Elementary
  • Rebecca Delp of Lincoln Elementary
  • Heather O'Brien of Urbana High
  • Ivette Taboas of Urbana Elementary

After teaching collegiate music at Gettysburg College, Susquehanna College, Hood College, and Frederick Community College, and having an active freelance music career on the East Coast, AnnaClaire Ayoub discovered her true passion was to inspire and educate young musicians. She is passionate about music's power in a student's development of self-expression, play, and motor skills. She began teaching music at Monocacy Elementary in 2013, and she joined the faculty at Brunswick Elementary in 2023. In 2017, she was awarded the VFW Teacher of the Year Award for her programs, celebrating veterans. She has a Masters of Music from Peabody Conservatory and she has earned an Orff-Schulwerk certification from George Mason University.

A 2021 nominee for the Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award, Brandy Baptiste believes that building relationships with her students is critical to their learning and growth. In addition to college level courses and a post master's certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Mount St. Mary's University, she also has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Clarion University. She began teaching special education at Centerville Elementary in 2007. In 2018, she became a teacher in Lewistown Elementary's Pyramid Program.

Teaching in Frederick County where she is originally from, Rebecca Delp impacts the students in her home county with her passion and creativity. She strives to make a lasting impact on students and the educational community by cultivating an educational system in which every learner can achieve at Lincoln Elementary. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Susquehanna University as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Hood College. She has served as Team Leader, STEM Leader, Green Schools Coordinator, and the Kindergarten Master Teacher. A native to Frederick County and an FCPS graduate,

Heather O'Brien received a degree in English from Gettysburg College. She discovered her passion for working with students with special needs after she returned to Frederick County to teach English at Urbana High School. She completed her additional certification and became a special education teacher. O'Brien is passionate about learning new programs and techniques that best serve the students in our classrooms and prepare them for future education or careers. Most recently, she became the Learning for Life teacher at Urbana High where she has the pleasure of working with the most amazing group of students each day.

Ivette Taboas celebrates diversity, uniqueness, and equitably educates every student, every day; while also establishing deep connections with families. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University, has completed an Administrative Internship, earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from American Public University, and has completed her National Board Certification. After teaching in Miami, she has taught for FCPS at Hillcrest Elementary, Centerville Elementary, and she currently teaches multilingual learners at Urbana Elementary. She also mentors new candidates for National Board Certification, was a FCPS Master Teacher (2021-23), and is a current SIP Team member and Equity Representative.

All FCPS TOY nominees receive special, personal recognition by the Superintendent and Board of Education. The FCPS Teacher of the Year receives a variety of prizes from the State and FCPS, including professional development opportunities throughout the year, recognition at a state-hosted banquet, and other prizes. The Teacher of the Year's home school also receives special recognition throughout the year, and will have a banner prominently displayed outside of their school.