Tigers recognized for excellence in education

By Rebecca Kirkman on June 18, 2019

TU alumni named principals, teachers of the year

Monica Sample
Overlea High School Principal Monica Sample ’05 speaks at the Baltimore County Public Schools 2019 Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year gala on April 24. (Photo courtesy of BCPS)

As the 2018-2019 school year comes to an end, recognition for educators rolls in. This year, many TU alumni were recognized for their work as teachers and administrators.

We’ve highlighted some award-winning alumni making a difference in Maryland.

BCPS Secondary Principal of the Year Monica Sample ’05

Monica Sample was recognized as the 2019-2020 Baltimore County Public Schools Secondary Principal of the Year for her dedication to improving the culture at Overlea High School, where she has served as principal for three years.

“Culture and climate have to be addressed first,” Sample told Team BCPS, “if you want to move a school from good to great. Scholars and teachers need to have pride in their school. They must feel like they belong and are accepted. It has to be like a family where the members believe in each other and support each other, even when others don’t. And you can’t allow complacency to settle in. You have to keep pushing, pushing, pushing…”

Sample earned a master’s in human resource development from TU in 2005.

 

BCPS Elementary Principal of the Year Charlene Behnke ’91

After nearly three decades in education, Charlene Behnke was recognized as the 2019-2020 Baltimore County Public Schools Elementary Principal of the Year for her leadership at Honeygo Elementary School, which opened in fall 2018.

“I am so grateful to the school system to be able to create a school from the ground up, seeing the building rise from land that used to be a nursery. How often do you get to see a blank slate and to create something new?” Behnke told Perry Hall Patch.

Behnke graduated from Towson University in 1991 with a bachelor’s in elementary education. Her son plans to study music education at TU in the fall.

 

St. Mary’s County Teacher of the Year Jennifer Cord ’02

Jennifer Cord has been employed with St. Mary’s County Public Schools for more than two decades. In April, the fifth grade teacher at White Marsh Elementary School was selected as the county’s choice for the 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year program.

Cord earned a master’s in human resource development from TU in 2002.

 

Howard County Teacher of the Year Sylvia Hennessie ’09

Sylvia Hennessie has been working at Guilford Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland, since 2015. In that time, she’s become known for her ability to build connections with students and create a nurturing yet academically challenging environment.

She was chosen as one of two 2019-2020 Howard County Public School System Teachers of the Year. The award came with an extra bonus: keys to a new Ford EcoSport from Apple Ford.

Hennessie graduated from TU with a degree in family studies in 2009.

 

Charles County Principal of the Year Kathy Perriello ’89

A seasoned educator, Kathy Perriello was recognized for her leadership as principal of Henry E. Lackey High School in Indian Head, Maryland. She was named 2019-2020 Principal of the Year by Charles County Public Schools. She was also a finalist for the Washington Post's Principal of the Year.

"I want the students here to have the best. The best teachers, the best opportunities for success,” Perriello said in a press release. “I believe in high expectations and students will rise to meet high expectations.”

Perriello graduated from TU in 1989 with degrees in Spanish and secondary education.

West Side Pride! Kathy Perriello, principal of Henry E. Lackey High School, was named the 2019 Charles County Principal...

Posted by Charles County Public Schools on Thursday, May 9, 2019

 

Baltimore Sun Best School Principal Kenneth Pipkin ’10

Baltimore Sun readers voted Kenneth Pipkin, principal of St. Joseph School - Fullerton in Baltimore, Maryland, as the best school principal in the city for the newspaper's annual Best of Baltimore poll.

Pipkin led St. Joseph, a pre-K – 8th grade Catholic school, during its recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2016. The award acknowledged the school’s use of technology to enhance students’ ability to learn.

Pipkin earned a master’s in human resource development from TU in 2010.

Mr. Pipkin won Baltimore's Best School Principal! Each year, the Baltimore Sun runs a poll to find the best in...

Posted by St. Joseph School - Fullerton on Wednesday, April 17, 2019
 

  

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.