BALTIMORE (AP) — A Howard County high school teacher is Maryland’s Teacher of the Year.

Jody Zepp is a government and psychology teacher at Hammond High School. Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery made the announcement Friday night at an event honoring top educators in Maryland.

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Zepp says students can talk about the future only when they see one, and each day she helps students focus on their next positive step.

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The 24th Annual Maryland Teacher of the Year Gala honors educators from each of the state’s local school districts.

Other finalists for the award were Kelly O’Hara of Cecil County; Erin Doolittle of Frederick County and Jane Lindsay of Montgomery County. Anna Breland of Somerset County, Bridget Whited of Talbot County and Courtney Leard of Washington County also were finalists.

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