CTY honored eight teachers from around the country last month for their excellence in teaching students with advanced academic abilities. 

The teachers were honored March 1-2 during the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship Conference, held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. This was the 31st anniversary of the conference, which brings new and past fellows from around the country together with education experts from Johns Hopkins and the local community to share ideas and best practices about educating bright students.

This year’s conference theme was “How to Build an Educator: Tough Issues in Teacher Training,” and the program emphasized building a strong foundation for excellence in teachers during their first years in the classroom. Honorees and past fellows shared stories from their own experiences, and workshopped ideas for improving schools’ approaches to teacher training—for example, through networking, mentorship programs, and access to educational opportunities.

“This conference asks the question, ‘What happens when you get some of the greatest teachers in the country in a room together and ask them to solve a problem in education?’” said Amy Shelton, CTY’s director of research and interim executive director. “This year what we found was, as the teachers worked towards a solution for teacher training, their ideas didn’t seem so far-fetched or out of the realms of what we could do—that actually, the structures we have in place could be shifted to address this issue.”

Nominations for the Sarah D. Barder fellowships come from students in CTY’s summer and online courses who live in California, Nevada, and Maryland. Nominated teachers are invited to submit an essay describing their teaching philosophy, and a panel of Johns Hopkins educators selects educators from this group for recognition as Sarah D. Barder Fellows.

Sarah D. Barder, an educator, philanthropist, parent, and friend of CTY, endowed the fellowship in 1988 as a way of recognizing talented teachers of academically advanced students. More than 490 educators have been honored as Sarah D. Barder Fellows to date.

The 2018 Sarah D. Barder fellows are:

  • Allison Atherton, St. Peter School, Washington, D.C.
  • Aaron Betcher, BASIS Independent Fremont, Fremont, California
  • Erich Goldstein, CTY Online Programs, Reno, Nevada
  • Ajay Gupta, CTY Online Programs, Ashburn, Virginia
  • Shayla Heavner, Indiana University East & CTY Online Programs, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Mark Hohmann, Kino School, Tucson, Arizona
  • Jennifer Illiano, Loch Raven Technical Academy, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Julie Little, CTY Online Programs, Buena Vista, Colorado


Media contacts:

Katy Bowman

Maria Blackburn