By Grace Apostol
Elm Staff Writer
Coordinator of Secondary Education and Lecturer in Education Erin Counihan was the recipient of the Washington College Cromwell Award for Innovation and Teaching at the 2022 Washington Birthday Convocation on Feb. 25.
According to the Interim Provost and Dean of the College Dr. Michael Harvey, this award “recognizes achievements in the use of new instructional technologies, the use of traditional technologies and creative ways, novel approaches to instruction, and new ways to engage students in the learning process.”
“Counihan’s truly innovative and inclusive work has greatly benefited her students, the College, the secondary education program, the Department of Education, and the wider Kent and Queen Anne’s County communities,” Dr. Harvey said during Convocation.
Minoring in secondary education, Student Government Association Secretary of Student Life sophomore Kamden Richardson has known Counihan since spring of 2020.
“I work with her on campus, as she is not only my teacher, but also my advisor for the education track and certification program,” Richardson said.
Richardson said Counihan is someone who is not only approachable, but also pushes her to do her best at every opportunity presented.
“One of my favorite things about Counihan is her ability to be flexible and work with you on an issue to get it resolved,” Richardson said. “She is very approachable, and wants to see her students succeed, and be the best they can be, which is very encouraging. I know I want to live up to her standards, and it pushes me to work harder in her classes.”
Counihan received a bachelor’s degree in English from Union College in N.Y., and went on to receive a master’s degree in English education at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City. Counihan has been a member of the WC community since 2010.
With her experience spanning from New York, Indiana, Texas, and the surrounding Kent County area, Counihan worked as an English teacher both for middle and upper schools. She also worked as an Apple Teacher, a MD State Teacher Education Program Reviewer, a Maryland State Department of Education Secondary Literacy Course Reviewer, and as a Pre-AP English Teacher Trainer, according to the WC website.
In addition, Counihan is also a Google Certified Educator, a Nearpod Certified Educator, a National Geographic Certified Educator, and an Advanced Placement Literature and Composition certified teacher and exam reader, according to the WC website.
As a student of Counihan’s, Richardson is excited to spend more time learning from her for the remainder of her college career.
“I am really looking forward to getting closer with her as I continue my time on the education track and learning everything she has to teach,” Richardson said. “She has worked in many different schools across the country, and she has knowledge that no one else does.”
“One thing she has helped me with is finding confidence in the classroom,” Richardson said. “There are days where the thought of being an educator is terrifying and overwhelming. She always makes me realize that those times and those thoughts are what’s going to make me a great teacher. She knows how scary it can be, and she helps students overcome those fears and push past them.”