Teacher of the Year

Superintendent Louis Taylor, Worcester County Teacher of the Year Julia Hill and Board President Bill Gordy

Congratulations to Julia Hill,
Our 2017 Worcester County Teacher of the Year 

About Our Winner 
Julia Hill graduated from Stephen Decatur High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Carson Newman College and a Master of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Salisbury University. In her thirteenth year, Hill teaches Precalculus and dual enrollment mathematics courses at Worcester Technical High School. She strives to provide a positive learning environment in which students collaborate, think critically, and develop lifelong learning habits. Hill serves as an advisor for SkillsUSA, a member of her School Improvement Team and a developer for the county math curriculum. She is a mentor for teenage mothers in the community. 

Learn About All of Our Exceptional Candidates for 2017 Worcester County Teacher of the Year





Tara Ball
Tara Ball, Showell Elementary School
Tara Ball earned her Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education from Shippensburg University and a Master of English – TESOL from Salisbury University. Currently in her sixth year of teaching English as a Second Language at Showell Elementary, Ball addresses the English learning needs of her students through creative differentiated instruction. As the Kindergarten Professional Learning Community coach, Ball focuses on improving instructional practices through collaborative efforts and data analysis. Fluent in Spanish, she actively strives to reach students and parents with limited English proficiency. Ball incorporates global perspectives using the arts to help her students value diversity.

Courtney Bova
Courtney Bova, Stephen Decatur High School
Courtney Bova, a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School, attended the University of Tampa earning a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Masters of Arts in teaching from William and Mary. Bova has spent the last three of her nine years teaching Psychology and AP Psychology at Stephen Decatur. Additionally, she advises Mock Trial, Relay For Life, SGA, and is a member of the PBIS committee. Bova hopes that students leave her classroom with a little more inquisitiveness than when they entered; as stronger critical thinkers with a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Michelle Colegrove
Michelle Colegrove, Ocean City Elementary School
Michelle Colegrove earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Towson. In her 8th year teaching, and third year at Ocean City Elementary School, she teaches 3rd grade special education. Mrs. Colegrove has worked on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Kindergarten team at her school. She believes that fairness is not treating all children the same, rather it’s providing the support that each individual needs to succeed. At OCES, Mrs. Colegrove is a lead teacher, a member of the RTI team, a student mentor, and a teacher for summer academy.

Julie Hickman Julie Hickman, Snow Hill Elementary School
Julie Hickman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Salisbury University, and her Masters in Supervisory Leadership from Wilmington University. After inspiring many young students throughout her 16 years of teaching elementary music at Pocomoke Elementary and Snow Hill Elementary, she decided to exchange her piano for an opportunity to teach 2nd grade. Her creative teaching skills from the stage help her to excite magic in her general education classroom. She believes that building positive student relationships is instrumental in creating an active, engaging, and successful learning environment.

Trevor Hill  Trevor Hill, Stephen Decatur Middle School
Trevor Hill of Stephen Decatur Middle School earned a BA from Carson Newman College in Speech Communication, a BS from Salisbury University in Mathematics Education, a MS from Walden University for Technology in Education, and is Nationally Board Certified in Middle School Mathematics. He spent 9 years teaching 8th grade math and is now in his fourth year of teaching Gateway to Technology. As much as he enjoys providing challenges for students, Hill absolutely loves helping students work through the productive struggle to reach that moment of eureka. He is also a robotics coach, Upwards soccer coach, and yearbook adviser.

Karen Holland  Karen Holland, Cedar Chapel Special School
Karen Holland graduated from Stephen Decatur High School, earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Special Education from University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a Masters of Education degree in Elementary School Counseling from Wilmington University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Educational Leadership. In her thirteenth year, Holland is teaching all subjects to outstanding students at Cedar Chapel. At the core of every instructional experience is her high expectations and never-ending push to move students forward by modeling a positive perspective with the entire learning community. She believes that building a positive learning experience is the key to success.

Jennifer Howard  Jennifer Howard, Pocomoke Elementary School
Jennifer Howard, a Pocomoke High alum, earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education and her Master of Arts in School Counseling from Messiah College. In her seventh year of teaching general music at Pocomoke Elementary School, she strives to give each child an opportunity to be creative, unique and shine! A Nationally Certified Counselor, she believes the most important aspects of teaching are building positive relationships and fostering a safe and caring learning environment. Howard directs the PES Choir, is a mentor to university interns, leads the PES Relay for Life team, and is active on several school committees.

 Barbara Kohut Barbara Kohut, Snow Hill Middle School
Barbara Kohut earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership. She currently teaches fourth grade at SHMS. A 15-year veteran, 13 as a seventh grade ILA teacher, she serves Worcester County as a Teacher Champion for the WCPS Education Foundation, fourth grade team leader, new teacher mentor, intern supervisor, and as the school liaison for Salisbury University. She believes wholeheartedly in teaching positivity and practicing kindness. She believes the key to success is high expectations and building classroom relationships where students feel loved and safe.

Jessica McInerney  Jessica McInerney, Pocomoke High School
Jessica McInerney earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Education from Denison University and a Masters of Education from the University of Pennsylvania. McInerney has been teaching for six years, including four years in Government and AP World at Pocomoke High School. She is the Swim Team coach, Student United Way advisor, and co-chair of the Digital Devices Team. McInerney graduates in May with a Masters in History from Salisbury University. Her love of history translates to her classroom, where students dissect historical nuances. McInerney encourages understanding lessons of history and the critical mindset needed to navigate the world.

William Meekins  M Sgt. William Meekins, Snow Hill High School
MSgt William Meekins graduated from Dunbar HS of Baltimore, Maryland in 1979. He joined the Marines in 1980 and retired 26 years later. He is in his 10th year as SHHS’s MCJROTC instructor. He earned a BS degree in Social Science from the UMUC, and earned his Master degree in Education Counselor from Wilmington U. He is currently seeking certification in Addiction Counseling. Giving back to your community and aiding others is what he promotes in his classroom. He coaches both Cross Country and Track & Field. He volunteers at a men’s shelter and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate representative.

Ashley Miller
Ashley Miller, Berlin Intermediate School
Ashley Miller of Berlin Intermediate School is a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School, holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University and a Master of Education in School Counseling from Wilmington University. In her eleventh year of teaching, Miller attributes her success to teaching the whole child. A student’s social and emotional needs are just as important as academic needs. It is Miller’s hope that a positive experience teaches students to become lifelong learners. Miller is currently a mentor teacher, an active member of BIS’s Communication Committee, Writers Workshop lead teacher, and mentors at risk students.

Danielle Pall Danielle Pall, Pocomoke Middle School
Danielle Pall graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She attended Johns Hopkins University where she earned her first Masters Degree in Special Education and McDaniel College earning her second Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. In her sixth year at Pocomoke Middle School, Pall co-teaches in the fifth grade as the special educator and has a total of sixteen years within the education system. Her dramatic and enthusiastic techniques make her classroom a safe and fun place to learn. She participates in afterschool programs, special education team leader, and mentor teacher to university interns.

Sandra Rippin  Sandra Rippin, Buckingham Elementary School
Sandy Rippin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Salisbury University. In her eighth year at Buckingham Elementary School, and tenth year with Worcester County, Rippin currently teaches third grade Reading, both informational texts and literature. She believes in creating an environment which is filled with excitement for learning. Rippin strives to instill in each of her students the love for learning and they can accomplish anything with hard work. She is a mentor teacher to university interns, a member of her school’s PBIS team, and the lead teacher for her third grade team.