Laura Potter on being named 2015-2016 Harford County Teacher of the Year! You are an inspiring and influential teacher
to so many. As my term as Harford County
Teacher of the Year comes to a close I have given a lot of time recently to reflect. In years past, I remember reading about the
new Teacher of the Year each spring in the newspaper. I never gave too much thought of what the
honor meant exactly. Being given the
opportunity over the past year to experience the honor, if I had to come up
with one word to sum it all up, I would choose rewarding.
I took the
opportunity to revisit my email folder labeled “Congratulations” the other
day. The contents of the folder warm my
heart over and over again, no matter how many times I reread the messages. It was so meaningful to hear from so many
colleagues, friends, acquaintances, former teachers, and former students from
over the years. Each and every personal
message, whether it contained a paragraph or a line was so meaningful, due to
the fact that the individual thought enough of me to take time to send a
note. It was rewarding to have so many
meaningful words spoken to me at my school, Edgewood Elementary. Whether it was administrators, teachers, staff,
students, or parents issuing a congratulatory message, one sole idea remained
the same. It was truly a recognition of
the school and the work everyone inside of it does each and every day. My most prideful moment as a teacher extends
no further than the banquet itself.
After thinking about all of the accolades received that evening, one
stood above the rest. The fact that I
was able to listen to a speech about my impact spoken by my former student Madison
Buddenbohn was the ultimate reward.
Madison was in sixth grade at the time, but delivered a message with the
poise of a Valedictorian. In one minute
she gave me all the praise I would ever need and reassured me 100% that my job
is worth every minute of it.
I would be
remiss if I neglected to mention the wonderful business community of Harford
County. The gifts and monetary donations
offered by so many offer a simple resounding “yes” to the question of “does
education matter?” I spent the better
part of two weeks taking time to hand write notes of thanks to all that
expressed their gratitude for education.
Never in my life have I felt so important as a professional.
before I close, there are a few individuals that I must publicly thank. In life I have discovered that success is
certainly derived from hard work, however, you need a lot of help along the way
in order to get there. The folks that
have influenced my life are too numerous to list, however there are a few that
should not go without mentioning. First
and foremost is my wife, Adrienne Jehnert.
I have the fortune to ride to my job and work alongside the person I
love the most each and every day.
Adrienne has made me a better man personally outside of work, but inside
of school her impact on me has been immeasurable. She has influenced me with an emphasis on organization,
responsibility, and duty as a teacher.
She has taught at Edgewood Elementary School for sixteen years and has
been an invaluable asset. She does not
always get recognized for her excellence but her impact on early childhood
education at our school is invaluable.
She inspires me to be the best person I can be on a daily basis and
there is no doubt that I would not be the type of teacher I am without her
My son Colby
Bransky and daughter Carley Jehnert are without a doubt the apples of my
eye. When I was younger I really did not
have any aspirations other than to be a good dad. My children have made me immensely
proud. I have seen more A’s on my son
Colby’s report cards than I saw on mine during my whole education. He works so hard and shows the desire that I
always wished I had. He is a strong
athlete and balances school and sports successfully. He is growing into such a fine young man. My daughter Carley has the sweetest heart and
in a nutshell, loves to love. She gives
so much to everyone she comes into contact with. For only being in second grade she has
touched so many lives through her charity and generosity. She has her daddy’s heart, her mommy’s
beauty, and the ambition and confidence that I could have only dreamed of. I am astonished at all of her
parents, Bernadette and Larry Jehnert.
My father is as patient as they come as an individual. He has never been overbearing with his words
because he never had to be. His positive
actions were all he needed to set forth to get his message across. Actions speak louder than words could never
be more true. He is a humble man that
did his daily job for almost fifty years without any accolades. He did not look for any and he did not need
any for reassurance. He achieves his
true happiness when he makes others happy.
He is the greatest guy I have ever known and will ever know for that
matter. Superheroes do not always wear
capes. Last, if I could dedicate the
award of Harford County Teacher of the Year to anyone it would be to my
mother. She lasted the test of time with
me. I broke her heart over and over when
I was younger. She would work like a dog
during the day, putting in close to sixty hours a week. She would come home to nothing but
trouble. I was ignorant and
irresponsible. She tried so hard with
me, but her message just did not sink in.
But guess what? She NEVER gave up
on me……EVER! She was persistent. When they said a mother’s love is
unconditional and everlasting they were not kidding.
So, this is
it. I was never sure how many people
ever read my blog, but I did hear from a few.
I love to write and I love to share my message to help others learn, so
I enjoyed writing these blogs every couple of weeks. It has been my honor and my pleasure to serve
as Harford County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. I now belong to an esteemed fraternity of
educators and for that I am really proud.
Twenty years ago, no one and I mean NOONE who knew me could have
possibly predicted this measure of success.
Let’s just say…..I was a project.
This award is a testament to everyone out there who put forth effort
towards me and never gave up on me. For all of those that said that I didn’t
listen, I did. It took me awhile to get
“it” but I did listen.
Thank you to
5/24/2022 1:46 PM
4/28/2022 5:00 PM
4/26/2022 5:00 PM
Following the Board of Education’s decision to make masks optional in Harford County Public Schools, we want to provide additional information to students, staff, parents, and guardians.
If staff or students are sick, please stay home.
Bel Air High School: Monday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Fallston High School: Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
North Harford High School: Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Aberdeen High School: Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
If you have already registered with MAKO for a prior COVID-19 screening clinic, you do not need to complete the registration again before attending a voluntary clinic.
If you have not registered with MAKO, please click here for registration information.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say, “COVID-19 Community Levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 based on the COVID-19 Community Level in your area.”
Based on the CDC’s latest update, the COVID-19 Community Level in Harford County is “low.” When community levels are “low,” CDC guidance says:
Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.
Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
Click here for more information about CDC COVID-19 Community Levels.
Click here for a video message following the Board of Education’s decision to make masks optional in HCPS. A big “thank you” to Ms. Abbott’s 5th graders at Ring Factory Elementary School who star in the video! #HCPSuperStars
3/1/2022 1:45 PM
Tonight, February 28, 2022, at 6:51 p.m. during the Board Business meeting, the Board of Education of Harford County voted to lift the mask mandate in all Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) school buildings and facilities, making masks optional for students, staff, and visitors who wish to wear them. The change will take effect tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. This comes after conversations with local health officials following the Maryland State Board of Education and the Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) vote to lift the state mask mandate for schools.
We want to be very clear: We support students and adults who choose to continue wearing masks in our school buildings and facilities. Now that the mask mandate has been lifted, this is a personal and family choice. Much like any other personal choice or difference of opinion, there will be no tolerance in our classrooms, schools, or offices, for anyone who wishes to intimidate, tease, or bully anyone else for their choice of whether to wear a mask or not. We ask all our adults to lead by example and all our families to have conversations with their students about this important issue. We must continue to exercise grace, patience, and flexibility with one another.
On February 25, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) amended its federal mask order to no longer require that people wear masks on buses operated by school systems when they are carrying out school-system related business. As a result, effective tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, masks will also be optional on school buses, when those buses are carrying out school-related functions.
Following the current quarantine and isolation guidance set forth by the CDC, Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), students and staff who have completed their five-day isolation or quarantine period should continue to mask in all public settings, including schools, for five additional days. Additionally, all students utilizing health suite services will need to utilize a mask during their visit based on guidance from the CDC. Masks will be provided in health suites as needed.
Please click here for the HCPS Operational Status effective March 1, 2022. It is also available on hcps.org.
We have all been anxious to get to this point. Again, with masks now optional in schools, HCPS facilities, and on school buses for school related activities, we ask everyone to continue to exercise diligence, caution, and kindness, as we traverse the road ahead, HCPStogether.
2/28/2022 6:52 PM
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