Two Montgomery Blair High School Teachers Win State-level Awards for Excellence in Teaching

November 17, 2000
Two Montgomery Blair High School teachers have won state-level educator awards for their excellence in teaching social studies and health education.

Jim Mogge, a social studies teacher at Montgomery Blair High School, was named Maryland High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year at the conference of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies last month.

Susan Soul‚, a health education teacher at Montgomery Blair, was named Maryland Educator of the Year by the Maryland PTA at the statewide conference November 4.

Mogge has been teaching since 1981, in California and at Richard Montgomery High School in addition to Montgomery Blair. His courses have ranged from government to advanced placement and international baccalaureate European history.

Mogge "has consistently combined new materials with tried and true strategies to help his students learn the complexities of social studies," Lisa Kissinger, president of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies, said in presenting Mogge the award. "I have never heard a single student complain about his class, or the work, and yet everyone learns and understands the course material. Now that defines a great teacher."

Mogge is known around the state as a trainer for History Alive and around Montgomery County for his contributions to curriculum development, technology integration and in-services on interdisciplinary instruction. He has been videotaped by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development for technology integration and has consulted on numerous curriculum development projects and in-service courses.

He also is an instructional leader at Montgomery Blair and often plays the role of mentor to new teachers.

Soul‚ is a graduate of Montgomery Blair High School, and she has been a health educator there since 1994. The Educator of the Year award recognizes one educator in the state who has fostered relationships between parents, schools and the community and has shown an outstanding commitment to the objectives of the National PTA.

Soul‚ was selected for consistently going beyond what is required to promote the welfare of children and youth in the home, school and community. "She is passionate about her students, and creative in spreading the word to teens about healthy lifestyles," said Tina Slater, PTSA Teacher Recognition Chair.

At Blair, Soul‚ adapted the county health curriculum to meet the special language needs of students who are English-language learners. This year, she is pilot testing a health class for students with disabilities. In addition, she has developed an honors curriculum for health and elective courses in human sexuality and in human behavior.

Out of class, Soul‚ sponsors an after-school program that helps students understand issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, and she presents information to teachers about developing peer education programs on HIV/AIDS. In addition, she leads a group of students who research, develop and teach a weeklong curriculum on AIDS to their fellow students.

This is the second time a Blair High School teacher has won the Educator of the Year award. In 1998, Joe Bellino, ESOL resource teacher, received the honor.

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