James Sellinger, Chancellor of Education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Dr. Donna Hargens, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, announced May 20 the 2020 Archdiocesan and Independent Catholic School Teachers of the Year.
Karin Abbott from Monsignor Slade Catholic School in Glen Burnie was named Archdiocesan Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Catherine Hellie from Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn was named Archdiocesan High School Teacher of the Year.
Chris Taddiken from Calvert Hall College High School in Towson was named Independent Catholic High School Teacher of the Year.
The Teacher of the Year recipients were selected by the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Teacher of the Year Committee, which included Department of Catholic Schools staff and representatives from the Archdiocesan School Board, according to a May 20 news release.
The committee selected Abbott and Hellie from a pool of 44 archdiocesan elementary and high school Teacher of the Year nominees, all of whom were the recipients of their school’s 2020 Teacher of the Year award. Taddiken was selected out of the Archdiocese of Baltimore independent Catholic high school nominations. The decision was based on each nominee’s demonstration of Catholic identity, innovative instruction, professionalism and leadership.
Hargens and Sellinger made the surprise announcement to the Teacher of the Year winners and their colleagues during virtual staff meetings early May 20. Following the announcement, each winner received a socially distant, in-person congratulations from Dr. Hargens.
“Mrs. Abbott, Mrs. Hellie, and Mr. Taddiken are outstanding educators, whose dedication is evident,” Hargens said in the news release. “They inspire a love of learning and work diligently every day to help their students grow academically and spiritually.”
About the 2020 Teacher of the Year Winners
· Archdiocesan Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Karin Abbott holds a master’s degree from Towson University in arts integration and has 17 years of teaching experience. She currently teaches preschool through 8th grade music at Monsignor Slade Catholic School and serves as the director of the school play.
· Archdiocesan High School Teacher of the Year: Catherine Hellie is a world language teacher at Archbishop Spalding High School. She has 19 years of teaching experience and has served as the foreign language department chair for more than 14 years. She holds a master’s degree in education.
· Independent Catholic High School Teacher of the Year: Chris Taddiken is a mathematics teacher at Calvert Hall College High School. He has seven years teaching experience and recently completed his M.A.T. degree and attended the AP Calculus Institute.
The Department of Catholic Schools will honor the Archdiocesan Teacher of the Year winners, along with the Teacher of the Year winners from each Catholic school in the Archdiocese at a later date.