image description

Cash Valley’s Amy Rice Named Teacher of the Year

March 15th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

On Monday, March 14, 2022, the Board of Education of Allegany County hosted the 34th Annual Teacher of the Year Celebration. This year’s award celebration was once again held virtually.  Four ACPS educators were honored for their dedication and commitment to student success. Amy Rice of Cash Valley Elementary School was selected as the 2022-2023 Allegany County Teacher of the Year.  

Mr. Jeff Blank, Superintendent of Schools, and Mrs. Crystal Bender, President of the Board of Education, offered pre-recorded remarks. Mr. Nicholas Amick, last year’s Teacher of the Year, also gave a pre-recorded address during the program.

Amy Rice is a graduate of Frostburg State University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2002 and her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education in 1996. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Cash Valley, where she has taught for 25 years. Mrs. Rice serves as a chairperson for the school’s leadership team and is a member of the STEM/technology action team to encourage family engagement and community partnerships. She also serves as a mentor for student interns from FSU. Mrs. Rice has served her community as a coach for youth soccer and the schools LEGO League, and she has been nominated for the Sallie Mae First Class Teacher Award.

“Students require stable, well-organized learning environments facilitated by groups of adults sharing a common vision-that all students can learn, and that they will do whatever is necessary to help each child succeed,” said Rice.

Three other Allegany County Teacher of the Year finalists were recognized during the virtual celebration. These educators are as follows: Karissa Brandenburg, Braddock Middle School; Jeannette Milburn, John Humbird Elementary School; and Angela Walbert, Flintstone Elementary School.

The sponsors of the 34th Annual Teacher of the Year Banquet included Allegany College of Maryland, Allegany County Board of Education, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Allegany County Board of Commissioners, Allegany County Public Schools, Allegany County Education Association, ACT 1st FCU, Frostburg State University, G&G Studios, and the Sandhir Foundation.

Each year a selection committee is formed to choose the winner of this prestigious award. This year’s selection committee was comprised of Mr. Nicholas Amick, 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year; Mrs. Jennifer Howell, HR Manager for Cintas; Mrs. Juli McCoy, Executive Director of the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce; and Mrs. Kerri Caporale, Owner/Operator of The Caporale Group.

Special thanks should be extended to the members of the planning committee for their efforts in organizing this year’s virtual celebration, especially Jennifer Ramsey, who is the event coordinator.  Other members included Heather Morgan, Jason Huber, who also served as the Master of Ceremonies, Jackie Enright, and Mia Cross. 

Representatives from Frostburg State University, the Allegany County Education Association, Allegany College of Maryland, and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce were all featured in pre-recorded presentations to this year’s winner. Oscar’s Restaurant and Bill Boyer’s Chick-Fil-A in LaVale provided food and gift card donations to both the winner and the finalists. Event programs were printed courtesy of the Career Center’s printing department. The live stream of the virtual awards ceremony was produced by Ryan Brenneman of Allegany Media.

Amy Rice will now join other local Teachers of the Year as a candidate for the Maryland Teacher of the Year.  These individuals will be honored at a meeting of the State Board of Education, and five state semifinalists will be invited to a reception in the fall for the announcement of the Maryland Teacher of the Year.