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Maryland Accelerates to Hold Fifth Annual National Leadership Conference

June 9th, 2024 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Accelerates Fifth Annual National Leadership Conference will be held on Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14, at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Md.

Maryland Accelerates is a comprehensive partnership between Frostburg State University’s College of Education and Health and Natural Sciences and three high-need, rural school districts. The program was created to improve the preparation of new teachers, address the needs of rural schools and improve student achievement in Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties. “Launched with the generous support of a $4.1 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program has partnered with our districts to implement multiple strategies to sustain and scale the program,” said Dr. Boyce Williams, FSU’s dean of the College of Education and Health and Natural Sciences. “To date, 36 new teachers have graduated through the original Teacher Quality Partnership grant.”

In 2023, Sen. Chris Van Hollen sponsored a congressional earmark for FSU to expand and scale Maryland Accelerates beyond the initial three district partners. “We brought on Howard County Public Schools as a new partner, expanded the partnership with Frederick County Public Schools and this May launched a fully virtual cohort of students to scale the program beyond the geographical boundaries of FSU,” said Williams.

Catherine Provost, director of Constituent Services for the Office of Sen. Van Hollen, will open the conference with welcoming remarks on the senator’s behalf. Dr. Mamie Parker, former head of Fisheries for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Glenn Whitman, history teacher and Dreyfuss Family director at the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, will be this year’s keynote speakers.

Parker will speak to attendees about “Uplifting Maryland Educators: Leading With Power, Inspiration and Excellence in Creating a Sustainable Future.” She also hosted a presentation on FSU’s campus in March highlighting her journey as a Black woman breaking down barriers to help save the planet. Whitman will provide closing remarks about how teachers are brain changers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of professional development activities throughout the conference, including speakers, breakout sessions, working groups, networking and team building. The superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, Dr. David T. Sovine, will hold a fireside chat moderated by Dr. Nancy Shapiro, associate vice chancellor for Education and Outreach and special assistant to the chancellor for P-20 Education at the University System of Maryland.

“Quality educators are key to student success, and the need for well-prepared, well-trained, qualified and diverse teachers in our rural communities is especially important,” said Williams. “That is why the Maryland Accelerates program is so important to these communities.”

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit .