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Archdiocesan Teachers of the Year announced

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has named it 2018 Teachers of the Year.

The Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Kristen Zorica of St. John the Evangelist School in Severna Park, and the High School Teacher of the Year is Genie Massey of St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown, according to a June 12 news release.

The teachers were selected from 45 nominees, each of whom was voted his or her school’s Teacher of the Year. The archdiocesan Teacher of the Year Committee selected Zorica and Massey for the top honors based on Zorica and Massey’s demonstrations of Catholic identity, innovative instruction, professionalism and leadership, according to the news release. Classroom observations and interviews were also considered.

James Sellinger, archdiocesan chancellor of education, said both teachers “set an example of teaching excellence among students and co-workers alike.”

A middle school teacher at St. John the Evangelist, Zorica earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University in California and a master’s degree in education from George Mason University in Virginia. She has logged 18 years of teaching experience.

“(Zorica’s) instructional abilities bring out the excitement of students to read, write and talk about literature and the world around them,” Sellinger said in a letter to Zorica.

She uses drama, theater, drones and Lego robotics to create unique opportunities for her students, according to Sellinger. Zorica also serves as a mentor to new teachers.

Massey is the social studies department chair and AP teacher at St. Maria Goretti with 10 years of teaching experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Randolph Macon Women’s College in Virginia and a master’s degree in teaching from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“(Massey) gives hours of after-school instruction to students needing extra assistance (and) nurtures the gifts and talents of her students,” Sellinger said in a letter to Massey.

Coaching government students in competitions and accompanying AP students to Holocaust and Antisemitism seminars fills Massey’s time, according to Sellinger. She also continuously hones her technology skills to improve instruction.

Zorica and Massey will receive certificates and awards for Teacher of the Year August 26 at the 2018 Convocation of Catholic Schools at the Church of the Nativity in Timonium.