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Raymond Weber Named 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year

Posted April 19, 2023

Raymond Weber, a 5th grade teacher at Salem Avenue Elementary School, is the 2023-2024 Washington County Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made Wednesday evening, April 19, at the annual Teacher of the Year awards ceremony, hosted by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at Fountain Head Country Club. 

As the winner, Weber receives $6,000 from Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) to support his classroom. Representatives from Hagerstown Honda and KIA also provided him with the keys to his choice of a 2023 KIA Sorento Hybrid or a 2023 Honda Accord, which he will have to drive during his term as Teacher of the Year. In addition, Weber receives a prize package that includes free Chick-fil-A for a year from Chick-fil-A of Hagerstown. 

“This award is not just a recognition of my teaching, but also a testimony to the support and encouragement I have received throughout my teaching career and throughout my life,” Weber says. “I would like to thank my colleagues, who have been a source of inspiration and support for me. Teaching is not a solitary profession, but one that requires a collaborative effort to meet the needs of our students. I have been privileged to work alongside many extraordinary educators, and I am a reflection of their passion, character, and strength.”

“Washington County Public Schools is so proud of Raymond as our next Teacher of the Year,” says Dr. David T. Sovine, superintendent of WCPS. “He truly sees the bigger picture when it comes to educating our students. He is a champion of academic excellence, but he also makes it a priority to help develop confident, well-rounded students who are engaged in their community.”

Weber has been with Salem Avenue Elementary for his entire 13-year teaching career. He previously earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), which is a national honor. He is also a Fulbright Teacher Scholar and plans to teach in India this summer. He has participated in elementary curriculum writing, professional development, and Salem’s School Improvement Team. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Shepherd University and a Master of Arts degree from West Virginia University.

Raymond embraces multiple perspectives and experiences in his classroom. He says, “I take an educational approach that acknowledges and accommodates the cultural backgrounds of students, including their language, race, ethnicity, culture, and socio-economic status. By doing so, it creates an environment where students feel comfortable and accepted, allowing them to become more engaged in their learning.”

The four other finalists for Washington County Teacher of the Year were also presented with a check for $1,000 from WCPS to support their classrooms and a gift basket from Chick-fil-A. The finalists include:

  • Amy Deeds, Health Education teacher at South Hagerstown High School

  • Kimberlie Grabenstein, 4th/5th grade STEM Magnet teacher at Williamsport Elementary School

  • Erin Orth, 3rd grade teacher at Fountaindale Elementary School

  • Erika Osborne, Chorus teacher at Springfield Middle School

Weber will now join a cohort of teachers of the year from 23 other school districts in the state who participate in professional learning experiences. They will all be considered for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year, which is anticipated to be announced in the fall.