Three distinguished educators join HCPS Hall of Fame during fall 2014 induction
Gloria J. Liedlich
Gloria J. Liedlich, the second oldest in a family of five children, was born and raised in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. She attended California State College of Pennsylvania (now California University of Pennsylvania), a teacher’s college, and found that she truly enjoyed mathematics. She decided to major in secondary education, and she graduated in 1971. She went on to earn her master’s in Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University in 1978.
Ms. Liedlich began her career with Harford County Public Schools at Bel Air High School in 1971 after being recruited from her college. She was fortunate to have relatives living in Harford County, which helped with her transition to the area. Ms. Liedlich taught mathematics at Bel Air High for eight years before transferring to C. Milton Wright High School in 1979 when the school opened.
Ms. Liedlich felt that her role as an educator was to be as accessible as possible to her students and fellow teachers and to be knowledgeable about any new techniques and strategies that would help deliver a lesson. Her top priority as a teacher was providing a quality education to the students of Harford County, and she enjoyed every day in the classroom. Never during her career did she say she was going to ‘work’, she always said she was going to school. She was passionate about mathematics and tried to share her enthusiasm with her students by selecting activities that enhanced their understanding of the concepts.
Throughout her career, Ms. Liedlich participated in many countywide curriculum committees, like Gifted and Talented and Mathematics Ad Hoc Committee; chaired various math conferences and competitions, such as Math Day, Trig Stars and the Mathematics Conference for Students; and was involved in the HCPS task force for writing objectives and a multitude of in-service training for teachers. She spearheaded several programs at C. Milton Wright, like the after school tutoring program, SAT Prep, and Computer Math. Ms. Liedlich was also a member of several educational organizations including the Parent Teacher Student Organization, HCEA, NCTM, HCRSPA. In addition, she was a women’s basketball and lacrosse coach throughout many of her teaching years.
What Ms. Liedlich is most proud of is the many students she taught that went on to become teachers – many of them math teachers – and the opportunity to mentor new teachers while she served as department chair and even during her retirement. She was the recipient of several special honors throughout her career, including the 1987 nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. In addition, she received recognition as Harford County Coach of the Year for basketball by the Aegis and the Baltimore Sun. In 2012, she was inducted into the C. Milton Wright High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
After 34 years of dedicated service to the students of Harford County, Ms. Liedlich retired in 2005 to spend more time with her family and to travel. She enjoys wood carving in her spare time. Currently, Ms. Liedlich has returned to HCPS to work part time in the Office of Accountability.
Ms. Liedlich has resided in Harford County for 43 years and was married for 37.5 years to her husband Fred until his passing in December of 2013. She is very fortunate to still have many aunts, uncles and cousins living in Harford and surrounding counties.
Ms. Liedlich was nominated for induction into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame by Phillip Snyder, HCPS supervisor of Accountability, with endorsements from Sarah Morris, HCPS supervisor of Mathematics; Marlene Molter, former principal of C. Milton Wright High School; Eric Clark, HCPS grants accountant and former colleague; and Joseph Collins, assistant principal.
Allyn Smith Watson
Allyn Smith Watson, a native of Harford County, graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1970 and Salisbury University in 1974, where she also earned her master’s degree in 1988. She later earned 30+ hours in Administration and Supervision from Loyola College.
Ms. Watson began her career in education as a fifth grade teacher at Youth’s Benefit Elementary School where she taught for three years before teaching eight years in other counties. She returned to Youth’s Benefit Elementary as a first grade teacher for five years before being named teaching assistant principal at North Bend Elementary School. She became a full time assistant principal at North Bend in 1993 and held a similar position at Youth’s Benefit Elementary for one year before being named principal of Edgewood Elementary School, where she served from 1997 to 2003.
During her years at Edgewood Elementary, the school underwent a total modernization. Collaborating with school leaders, parents and teachers became an integral part of the school’s success. Improved student achievement on Maryland state tests removed Edgewood Elementary from the Title I Federal School Choice List. Implementing a variety of research-based instructional strategies, enlisting support through partnerships with local businesses and establishing close working relationships with parents, Ms. Watson and her staff created a community of learners, something she is extremely proud of during her career.
Ms. Watson continued her vision of school communities in her position as the supervisor of Compensatory Education (Title I) in 2003, a position she held until she retired in 2011. Monitoring instructional programs through federal funding that supported student learning were ongoing. Creative use of Title I funds allowed for a partnership with Harford Community College for Title I parents to earn their GED, an annual Title I Parent Conference, a summer school program for at-risk students and professional development for teachers.
In 2002, Ms. Watson received the Excellence in Minority Achievement Award presented by the Maryland State Department of Education. In 2003, Ms. Watson represented Maryland as the National Distinguished Principal of the Year. Assisting students on their journey to academic success was the highlight of Ms. Watson’s career. She misses the classroom environment and daily interaction with students.
Born into a family of educators, Ms. Watson credits her parents, Jim and Beth Smith – both outstanding educators – for her love of teaching. She joins her father as a member of the HCPS Educator Hall of Fame. Her sister, Susan Hopkins, is an art teacher currently at Fallston Middle School. Collectively, the Smith family has served the youth of Harford County for 121 years. In retirement years, Ms. Watson plans to spend more time with her family, renovating her home and traveling.
Ms. Watson was nominated for induction into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame by Donna Lewis, a former colleague, with endorsements from Carolyn Lang, Joyce Stevenson, Larry Jehnert and Patricia Skebeck, also former colleagues.
Joseph J. Hughes
Mr. Joseph J. Hughes was born in Philadelphia of Irish parents. He has a sister and two brothers whom he remains very close to today. He entered St. Charles Seminary when he was still a teenager and received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He served as a parish priest and high school teacher for six years. During that time, he earned a Master of Art in Guidance and Counseling from Villanova University. After he moved to Harford County in 1971, Mr. Hughes continued with his education earning 30 credits in School Law, Understanding Juvenile Delinquency, and Psychology. His service to Harford County Public Schools includes Joppatowne High School counselor from 1972 to 1992 and pupil personnel worker from 1992 to 2002.
During his career he served on numerous committees, including the Reform Initiative Committee for Guidance Steering, the Special Education Transition of Harford County, Pupil Services Advisory, Family Life and Human Development, Long Range Planning Task Force for Special Education, County Crisis Intervention Team, Planning Committee for the Study of Educational Delivery Services offered to Secondary Age Handicapped Youth, and Long Range Planning Committee for Special Education. In addition, he was very active in the community and served on the St. Margaret Parish Council, the Board of Directors for Harford County Habitat for Humanity and was commissioner and coach of baseball and soccer for Harford County Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Hughes was the recipient of many awards and honors, including the first to receive the Harford County Home Teacher’s Humanitarian Award. He was also nominated twice for the Harford County Most Beautiful Person Award.
Mr. Hughes has had many serious illnesses over his lifetime, but through his handicapping conditions, his life has always been about building up his children and his friends and reaching out without reservation with his outgoing personality to anyone he meets. He leaves lasting impressions on the people with whom he has worked.
Mr. Hughes and his wife of 40 years, Germaine, have three successful children, Kristin, Joe and Dan. They could not be more proud of their accomplishments, especially graduating from the colleges of their choice in four years. They each have continued to move forward in their careers making their parents swell with pride.
Thomas Owen, Charles Marzan, Joseph Snee and Edward Naus, former supervisors and colleagues, nominated Mr. Hughes for induction into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame.