SMECO seeks outstanding teacher nominees

The Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and the Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s school systems are accepting nominations for the 2021 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards through Friday, Jan. 29.

The awards are for educators who exemplify excellence in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Mathematics, science, and STEM nominees must teach at a school served by SMECO.

Winning teachers will receive cash awards of $500 for their personal use.

Parents, students, community members and colleagues are invited to submit nominations for these awards, and teachers may nominate themselves. Nominees must have a current standard Maryland teaching certificate and tenure within their county. Award winners from the last five years are not eligible.

Nominations must be completed and submitted electronically to the mathematics or science curriculum supervisor in the appropriate county.

For more information, go to

Calvert optimist essay contest now open

The Optimist Club of Calvert Prince Frederick is accepting essays from students as part of its Optimist International Essay Contest through Friday, Feb. 5.

The theme of the contest is “Reaching Your Dreams by Choosing Optimism." In addition to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship.

Six winners will be chosen and each will receive a certificate, a medallion and a cash award. One overall winner’s essay will advance to the district level competition where students will be competing for a $2,500 college scholarship.

For more information, go to