Congratulations, Ms. Cernik!

Mercy High School Communications Department
Ms. MaryClare Cernik named as Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools Independent School Teacher of the Year!
May 10, 2023

Mercy High School is proud to announce that Ms. MaryClare Cernik is this year’s Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools Independent High School Teacher of the Year. Dr. Donna Hargens, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools, and other members of her team surprised Ms. Cernik with her award late this morning.  

In her remarks, Dr. Hargens noted what a prestigious honor this award is and discussed the competitive nature of the selection process. During Catholic Schools Week, each school in the Archdiocese of Baltimore names their Teacher of the Year, who is then nominated for archdiocesan awards. After a classroom observation, multiple interviews, and review of recommendations, Ms. Cernik was selected as one of three educators to win awards this year out of more than 12,000 teachers throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 

In her application materials, Ms. Cernik said, “I chose to teach in a Catholic school because I knew I wanted to give back to the community that strengthened me. I knew I wanted to inspire students to change the world, make it a better and kinder place, and to know the power God gave their own two hands.” Ms. Cernik noted the slogan of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools, “rise above,” and hopes our Mercy Girls see that they can do so in anything they put their minds toward. She spoke about her teaching philosophy being rooted in Catholic teachings, but also in enthusiasm as she challenges her students to match the level of enthusiasm she brings to teaching. 

Ms. Cernik noted that she was honored to receive this year’s award. She quoted Catherine McAuley— “It is a special favor of God to be made a teacher”—and expressed her gratitude for the Mercy High School community and the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools for affirming her commitment to her vocation as a teacher. 

Ms. MaryClare Cernik joined the Mercy High School faculty in 2016 and serves as our technology department chair. She also moderates Mercy’s Craft Club and works tirelessly as Prom coordinator. Prior to teaching at Mercy, Ms. Cernik taught language arts at Immaculate Conception School in Towson. She earned her master’s degree in educational technology from Loyola University Maryland and her bachelor’s degree in education from Salisbury University. She also attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. We are grateful for Ms. Cernik’s faith-filled dedication to our Mercy Girls. Congratulations, Ms. Cernik!