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Laraine Olechowski Named Anne Arundel County Independent Schools Teacher of the Year

St. Mary’s Elementary School art teacher Laraine Olechowski has been named the 2019-2020 Anne Arundel County Independent Schools Teacher of the Year!

Olechowski has taught at St. Mary’s since 2000 when she started as an instructional assistant to the fifth and sixth grades. She then moved into a writing support staff role for the sixth and seventh grade before transitioning to a middle school Language Arts teacher. In 2016, she moved into her current position as the Art teacher for grades four through eight. Olechowski’s love of language and literature is embedded in all of the art projects she guides her students through.

Olechowski has led numerous beautification projects throughout St. Mary’s Elementary. She created a peace garden filled with hand painted rocks and inspirational sayings, worked with students on several hand-painted mural scenes on school hallways and has provided a multitude of seasonal artistic hallway decorations year after year. In addition to her art lessons in the classroom, Olechowski supports students as they extend their artistic abilities through several art clubs, including one for fifth and sixth graders and one for seventh and eighth graders.

Each year, Olechowski partners with her students to create and display their masterpieces through St. Mary’s “Celebrate the Arts” night—an evening when family and friends can view the hard work of the students from the entire academic year. Throughout her time at St. Mary’s, Olechowski has been able to inspire, encourage and develop countless young artists, leaving them feeling esteemed, confident and comfortable with their artistic talents. Her calm and professional demeanor makes her not only a wonderful teacher to all of her students, but also a respected colleague among her peers.