Photo via Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Joshua Carroll’s classroom approach to STEM instruction has paid off, earning him the coveted Maryland Teacher of the Year award.

Carroll, a teacher in Anne Arundel County for the last 18 years, was presented with the honor on Friday at a gala. State officials recognized him for his project-based approach to teaching science, tech, engineering and math at South River High School in Edgewater.

“Joshua’s ability to recognize the contributions students make to their schools and communities builds positive morale school-wide,” said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, according to a release. “Through encouraging involvement in the community, his students gain experience outside of the classroom, creating real-word understanding and establishing key skills.”

Bryan Burns, one of his early students, said Carroll’s teaching made a lasting impression: “The legacy that one leaves behind cannot solely be defined by individual accomplishments, but it is in his or her ability to inspire others to spread wisdom for a community that one becomes a legacy immortalized for every generation. Josh Carroll became that legacy for me seventeen years ago as he embodies the values of a Teacher of the Year.”

Carroll studied English at Boston College and previously taught it in Anne Arundel County before switching to math and the sciences. He’s active at South River High outside of the classroom, serving as head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach, and on the Principal’s Leadership Team and Student Recognition Committee. He’s also a member of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s committees for cross country, indoor track and student leadership.

Carroll beat out Roland Park Elementary/Middle’s own Justin Holbrook, who teaches math and science to fourth graders, along with five other educators from Maryland. Holbrook was named Baltimore City Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year in May.

In addition to automatically joining the running for National Teacher of the Year, Carroll gets a new Mini Cooper, cash, classroom equipment and travel opportunities.

Some will recall Mergenthaler Vo-Tech art instructor Sia Kyriakakos excelled at the national level last year after being named Maryland Teacher of the Year, making it all the way into the finals. Maryland boasts a strong record in the competition, with three winners and five finalists over the last 11 years.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...