Teaching in HCPSS: A Dream Come True

Growing up in Howard County and attending its public schools, Noelle Mineart knew two things very early: she wanted to become a teacher, and she wanted to teach in Howard County.

While at Rockburn Elementary School, Mineart began volunteering in summer school programs because her younger brother Nicky attended them. Her brother is the reason she decided, at the wizened age of nine, to become a teacher.

At Bonnie Branch Middle School, Mineart discovered: “I really loved math, which was apparent to my sixth grade math teacher, Mark Ensor. He was by far my favorite teacher in sixth grade, and he sparked my interest in math.” By seventh grade, Mineart decided she wanted to be a math teacher. “My teacher’s passion and enthusiasm showed me how I could be myself as a teacher. Teaching math was a place where I could use my humor and also share my love and knowledge of math with other people.”

In high school, Mineart learned about the Teacher Academy of Maryland, a statewide program that prepares students for a career as an elementary, middle or high school teacher. Students in the academy can conduct formal observations, develop and deliver lesson plans in a K–12 setting, and participate in special events and activities.

The teacher academy allowed Mineart to take charge of her education. Through the academy, Mineart benefited from Ensor as her mentor and taught his enrichment class for a year. In college, she was able to share her real-world teaching experiences and apply evidence from her time in the academy.

Following high school, Mineart returned to her alma mater Howard High School to speak to the teacher academy class. She emphasized the importance of making the students’ time in high school count by taking advantage of opportunities, such as writing and implementing lessons, working with children in multiple environments, and networking with teachers and other professionals.

Mineart returned to teach in Howard County to be close to her family but also because of the quality of the education delivered by HCPSS. Mineart said, “I always knew Howard County had a great school system. Teaching here was just my dream. Being able to graduate from here and then come back and work in Howard County is pretty amazing. I don’t think I could see myself anywhere else besides Howard County.”

Mineart is now a special education teacher specializing in mathematics at River Hill High School and is currently completing her master’s degree at University of Maryland University College.

Learn more about HCPSS teacher preparation programs →

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