ANNAPOLIS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Many retired Anne Arundel County teachers and staff return to AACPS schools to bring their deep knowledge and honed skills to benefit our students. Most are temporary “retired-rehires,” while others simply volunteer their time and talents. Our Volunteer of the Month is the epitome of one such life-long teacher.
Today, the Board of Education is pleased to honor Mr. Don Patterson.
Since December 2011, Don has faithfully volunteered every Monday in the science and math classes at Annapolis Middle School. As a retired science teacher and special educator, Don is an incredible resource who is instrumental in supporting students’ learning by re-teaching concepts to struggling learners or engaging advanced learners in extension activities. Teachers value Don’s content knowledge, instruction expertise, and willingness to help where ever needed.
Through his easy, gentle manner Don builds trusting, respect-filled relationships with both students and adults. His kind demeanor calms students, allowing them to be more receptive to challenging new concepts. He lives and breathes the “Kids at Hope” philosophy that “all children are capable of success, no exceptions!”
Generosity is one of Don’s many attributes. He has supplemented classroom libraries and instruction with donated books and supplies, both new and from his own collection. Don enjoys sharing his wealth of experiences both in and beyond the classroom – especially when it comes to digging and studying fossils. His passion and depth of knowledge are apparent in the “Maryland Fossil Beach” activity he creates each year for the 8th grade classes. To prepare, Don travels to Southern Maryland to collect boxes of fossils representing different ancient species. The students dig through the “beach” for fossils. They clean and identify them and then Don then invites the students to keep their finds.
When he can, Don also volunteers to chaperone field trips, serves as a science fair judge, and often assists teachers with planning for and setting up labs and activities.
Beth Foster, Annapolis Middle’s Science Department Chair, writes, “Mr. Patterson’s gracious spirit inspires others to kindness and respect for each other. His passion for science fosters a desire to never stop learning. The impact Mr. Patterson has on both students and teachers is immeasurable.”
Mr. Don Patterson, would you please come forward?
With great appreciation, I would like to present this Volunteer of the Month Certificate and Bell to you.