BCPS program aids Dundalk teacher
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:05

Former BCPS student now a math teacher

by Nicole Rodman

    Sarah Starkey always knew that she wanted to be a teacher.
    “I love working with students and I wanted to become a teacher that would inspire my students to follow their dreams,” Starkey told The Eagle last week.
    So, when she got the chance to follow her dreams in the very county in which she grew up, she seized the opportunity.
    That opportunity came in the form of the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Scholarship Loan Program.
    Established in 2006, the program offers loan scholarships to BCPS seniors interested in pursuing careers teaching mathematics, science, special education or technology.
    The $4,000 scholarship may be used to enroll full-time (at least 12 credits per semester) in an approved teacher education program at a Maryland college or university.
    The funds may be used to pay tuition and fees or to purchase books or other educational supplies.
    In order to receive funds, students must sign a promissory note agreeing to teach full time in a BCPS school.
    Students may apply for the award each year for up to four years, though recipients must teach  at a BCPS school for one year for each year of the award.
    Scholarship loan recipients must maintain Maryland residency and begin teaching at a BCPS school within six months of graduation from college.

To be eligible for the award, students must be BCPS seniors with a minimum grade point average of 2.80.
    Starkey, a 2009 graduate of Towson High School, decided to apply for the program after completing an internship at Dumbarton Middle School during her senior year.
    “I had such a great experience working as an intern at Dumbarton Middle that I knew by the end of my senior year of high school that I wanted to come back to BCPS to teach,” Starkey explained.
    “I knew from that point on that I wanted to give back to the community  and county that gave so much to me.”
    After graduating from Towson High, Starkey attended Salisbury University, where she majored in mathematics with a track in secondary education.
    “I focused on math because even though it didn’t always come easily to me, I always had great teachers who made learning math fun and made the content accessible for all of their students,” she said.
    “I felt the need to become the type of teacher who makes every student love math, even if they aren’t good at it.”
    Starkey graduated last May and began teaching at Dundalk High School last fall.
    “So far this year, I have had an incredible experience at Dundalk High,” she said. “I have had a great time working with all of my students and have received a ton of support and encouragement from the faculty, especially the DHS Math Department.”
    Starkey credits the BCPS Scholarship Loan Program with providing her with the “encouragement, job security and connections” she needed to make her dreams a reality.
    “I would encourage students to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, be it an internship, a scholarship, or even just a network connection to someone in your future field of study,” she concluded, adding, “Hard work, dedication, and perseverance will lead you toward success.”
    The latest batch of Scholarship Loan recipients, four graduating seniors, received their awards during a ceremony at the BCPS Greenwood Campus in Towson on May 15.
    For more information on the BCPS Scholarship Loan Program, visit www.bcps.org/students/pdf/ScholarshipLoanFlyer.pdf.