Touchstones Teacher of the Year Award


Cynthia M. Barry Touchstones Teacher of the Year Award

Since 2011, Touchstones has honored an educator in the U.S. or Canada for her or his work in the classroom. Thanks to Cynthia M. Barry, who first sponsored this award and who is herself a long-time Touchstones teacher, we are celebrating our sixth Touchstones Teacher of the Year this December.

NOMINATE A COLLEAGUE OR YOURSELF FOR YOUR WORK WITH TOUCHSTONES: Nominations may be completed by clicking through to this link and providing the requested information.

The nomination period is open until midnight on September 15, 2017.

ABOUT THIS AWARD: Cynthia M. Barry established this award in 2011 to recognize teacher leadership in schools located in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Past winners include Larry Harris of Elkton High School in Cecil County, MD; Shanelle Muse of Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ; Steve Davidson of Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, TX; Myke Healy of Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada; Garreth Heidt of Perkiomen Valley Middle School East in Collegeville, PA; and Debbie Wilkins of Salisbury Elem. School in Salisbury, MD

The award will be presented on Saturday, 14 October, 2017 in Annapolis, Maryland. The winner of the award will receive paid round-trip transportation to Annapolis, Maryland, paid accommodations at a local hotel, and a cash prize of $250.

If you have any questions about the award or the nomination process, please contact the Touchstones Discussion Project at schoolprograms@touchstones.org or (410) 604-3309.

ABOUT THE NOMINATION PROCESS: Educators may nominate themselves or be nominated by a colleague or supervisor for this award. Please indicate below if you are nominating yourself or someone else.

2011 Award winner Debbie Wilkins (center) with her children.

2011 Award winner Debbie Wilkins (center) with her children.



Debbie Wilkins from North Salisbury Elementary School in Salisbury, Maryland, was selected as the first recipient of the Cynthia M. Barry Touchstones Teacher of the Year Award in 2011.





2012cmb

2012 Award winner Garreth Heidt (l) and Award founder, Cynthia M. Barry (r).



The 2012 winner was Garreth Heidt, a Humanities teacher from Perkiomen Valley Middle School East in Collegeville, PA. The 2013 award was presented to Steven Davidson, a high school teacher in the North East San Antonio School District (NEISD).



Cindy and Myke

2014 Award Winner Myke Healy (r) with Cindy Barry (l).



At Touchstones’ special 30th Year Gala event in December of 2014, Myke Healy, Director of Teaching & Learning at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, was recognized as the 2014 recipient.





Cindy and Shanelle

2015 award winner Shanelle Muse (r) with Cindy Barry (l).

The 2015 award was presented to Shanelle Muse, a 5th grade teacher at Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City. She has taught over 100 students using Touchpebbles as an integral part of her English class. Even in her acceptance speech, Shanelle demonstrated her heart as a true educator and role model by sharing her student Emily’s perspective: “[Touchpebbles] made me think more about the world in different perspectives. It also gets me ready for the real world… it will also help everyone stand up for what they believe. After we finish you feel empowered and feel strong, like a gust of wind.”


Please contact Touchstones by phone (410) 604-3309 or email if you have any questions about the nomination process, the form, or the award.

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