Literacy Leader Award:
Literacy Educator of the Year Award:
Erik James Sunday
Sunday is a high school social studies teacher and reading specialist, M.Ed. RSP (’10) with more than 13 years of experience teaching diverse learners in Baltimore City. In 2011, he designed a comprehensive literacy program for the charter school that he cofounded, Independence School Local #1. He currently serves as his school’s literacy lead and chairs his school’s instructional committee. In addition, he volunteers time tutoring struggling readers after school. Sunday is a firm believer that the most important skill that he could impart to his students is a confidence and desire to improve oneself through reading.
Carmella Mary Antonino
Antonino is an English teacher and reading specialist, M.Ed.RSP ('08) teaching at-risk/high-risk high school students in Baltimore City. She serves on the School Improvement Committee, the Instructional Leadership Team, the Attendance Committee, and is the English department team leader. In addition, she teaches developmental reading at the Community College of Baltimore County and is an affiliate professor at Loyola, where she works with the McGuire Scholars and MAT graduate students. This is Antonino’s 13th year teaching. Prior to Baltimore City, Antonino worked for the Pittsburgh Public Schools and Orange County Public Schools in Florida. An accomplished urban educator, Antonino has extensive experience teaching diverse students and works vigorously to meet their instructional, emotional, and curricula needs. Antonino’s motto for working with challenging students is, “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”
Nilsson completed her M.Ed. as a reading specialist from Loyola in 2004. Her teaching experience has been primarily in the area of elementary education in Baltimore City schools. In 2006, she teamed up with Erika Brockman to form Southwest Charter School located in a high needs area of Baltimore City. The mission of this school is to “develop eager learners and critical thinkers who are committed to personal success and the success of their communities.” As director of instruction for the Southwest Charter School, Nilsson continues to be at the forefront of literacy instructional leadership and innovation.
Lewis is a master teacher who is committed to continuous self improvement and growth. For 10 years, Lisa has worked at Baltimore Lab School in various capacities including classroom teacher, reading specialist, case manager, and director of tutoring services. Since 2008, Lisa has been an instructor and division director of Loyola's Literacy Scholars Program in which she serves as a mentor and supervisor to graduate students in Loyola's reading specialist masters program. She works with the graduate students in constructing a vibrant, productive learning environment in which children from the community receive individualized instructional support to strengthen their literacy skills. As a division director, Lewis fosters a collaborative community between graduate students, deeping their expertise and professional confidence. More recently, Lewis has worked to expand the Literacy Scholars Program’s family/parent engagement, establishing partnerships with parents and other family members to initiate and reinforce children’s literacy practice at home.
Casagrande is this year’s Literacy Leader, which recognizes an alum from the Literacy Program. Casagrande is an alumna of the Loyola’s Master’s in Literacy program, and is an accomplished reading specialist at Graceland Park Elementary Middle School. She has also started a business working with children who need help with literacy skills, called Hand in Hand Tutoring, as well as worked to develop and implement the summer school literacy curriculum for Baltimore City Schools.
Chilipko is this year’s Educator of the Year, which recognizes a local literacy educator. Chilipko is a first grade teacher at Solley Elementary School with 23 years of experience. She is also a mentor teacher for Loyola University and has mentored 26 interns in her 13 years of teaching in Anne Arundel County Schools. She is primary lead teacher and has presented several workshops to her entire staff. She operates on the philosophy of “catching her students being good” and getting children to believe in themselves.