Jaimie Ridgely Named 2023 Worcester County Teacher of the Year

Jaimie Ridgely Named 2023 Worcester County Teacher of the Year
Posted on 03/24/2023
Newark, MD, March 24, 2023– In a celebration of excellence in education, tonight Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) announced the 2023 Worcester County Teacher of the Year: Jaimie Ridgely of Stephen Decatur Middle School. 

During its annual Teacher of the Year celebration, Worcester County Board of Education President Todd Ferrante made the announcement following a program honoring all 14 school-level teachers of the year and their commitment to providing a high-quality education to the young people of Worcester County.

“I am so proud of both Jaimie and all of the incredible teachers we have honored this evening,” said Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor. “Jaimie will be a fantastic representative not only for her school, but our entire school system as she progresses to the state-level program. Her passionate advocacy for building student literacy is to be commended.”

A National Board Certified teacher, Ridgely prioritizes writerly identity exploration, joy, and agency in her Enrichment and Technology Education classes at Stephen Decatur Middle School. She believes community, voice, choice, and reflections are the cornerstones of building a student-centered classroom. 

“Writing has transformational properties for both writer and reader. When one discovers their voice and their ability to capture their ideas with words, then they hold the power to make a difference in the world. When students learn that their words can have a lasting impact, then they become aware of the value of their gift,” Ridgely said in her portfolio. “In this way, teaching students to write well becomes an act of service to the world, one writer at a time.”

Ridgely has earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Salisbury University, where she also serves as an adjunct professor. With over 21 years of teaching experience, Ridgely also serves on her school improvement team, is a peer mentor and professional learning facilitator, and Worcester LEAD teacher. She also dedicates time afterschool to stoking the interests of her students through programs like her Book Club, Dungeons & Dragons, and tutoring sessions.

Ridgely was one of four finalists announced during the program, who were in the running for the prestigious title. The other outstanding finalists were Michelle Bradley of Pocomoke High School, Silviya Gallo of Worcester Technical High School, and Wendy Macrides of Ocean City Elementary School.

Ridgely was selected by a panel of judges representing experts in the field of education, community leaders, and the current reigning 2022 Worcester County Teacher of the Year. All candidates were judged based on a rigorous set of criteria in alignment with both the state and national level Teacher of the Year programs, which include instructional abilities, collaboration, building connections with our community, leadership and innovation both in and out of the classroom, and the ability to articulate their education beliefs and advocate for how to better this field.

Learn more about all of the 2023 school-level Teachers of the Year by visiting https://tinyurl.com/WCPSTOY

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