(March 22, 2019) Get a good workout and celebrate educators this Saturday at Stephen Decatur High School during a Zumbathon fundraiser to support the Worcester County Teacher of the Year Program.

The Teacher Celebration Zumbathon, hosted by WOC Fitness, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the high school on Seahawk Road, off Route 50, in Berlin. 

“I just want to say that working here, and actually representing Worcester County Public Schools, has been nothing short of amazing,” said Karen Holland, organizer of the Zumba event. 

Karen Holland

Karen Holland

Holland teaches fourth through sixth grade at Cedar Chapel Special School in Snow Hill. She was named the 2018 Teacher of the Year for Worcester County. 

Holland is also a Zumba instructor at WOC Fitness and said she is looking forward to the event.

“[Participants] should be prepared to sweat their tails off, but have lots of fun dancing, and mingling with everyone else because Zumba is like a big party,” Holland said. “It’s a huge party.”

Four Zumba instructors will be on hand and DJ Jeremy will provide the music. 

Holland hopes the event will draw at least 75 participants. She encourages guests to bring friends, or even come solo, because dancing “lightens the mood” and “brings out the best ... in everyone.”

Admission costs $15. Tickets can be purchased at WOC Fitness, off Route 50 in West Ocean City, in advance, in or at the school that morning.

Event proceeds benefit the Worcester County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year Program.

“So if anything, just come out and dance to thank a teacher,” Holland said.

Carrie Sterrs, public information officer for the school district, said the program is also “part of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program and the National Teacher of the Year Program.”

The Worcester County Teacher of the Year program recognizes one teacher from each school who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom. These 14 school-level finalists then compete at the county level to be named the Worcester County Teacher of the Year. The teacher selected will then move on to compete at the state level.

The finalists for the 2019 Teacher of the Year are: Caitlin Bunting, Buckingham Elementary School; Michael Anne Bunting, Berlin Intermediate School; Brandi Casteneda, Pocomoke High School; Anne Cook, Stephen Decatur Middle School; Jessica Custis, Pocomoke Middle School; Lavonya Dashiell, Pocomoke Elementary School; Zak Johnson, Cedar Chapel Special School; Angie Rankin, Showell Elementary School; Gina Russell, Snow Hill Elementary School; Heather Shockley, Snow Hill Middle School; Sharon Smith, Stephen Decatur High School; Jennifer Spicer, Ocean City Elementary School; Rick Stephens, Worcester Technical High School and Ashley Streebig, Snow Hill High School.

“I think we have an outstanding group of teachers this year to represent each school,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said during a January Board of Education meeting. “These teachers are truly shining examples of the high-quality teaching occurring in classrooms across this county.”

The Teacher of the Year winner will be announced on Friday, March 29, during the annual banquet at the Clarion Resort hotel on 101st Street in Ocean City.

Worcester County’s Teacher of the Year will “serve as an ambassador for our school system,” Sterrs said.

Holland commended the community’s involvement in the school district, praised the overall experience of being Teacher of the Year and appreciated the camaraderie among her fellow educators. 

“It provides a lot of growth for our teachers and it builds this … great community of kind of taking care of each other,” she said.

For more information, contact Holland via email at knholland@worcesterk12.org or call Cedar Chapel Special School at 410-632-5320.

Photo courtesy Esther Max/Flickr

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