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Bruce A. Lesh was a social studies teacher and department chair for 22 years in Baltimore County Public School system. A past president of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies and Vice-chair of the National Council for History Education, and is a co-founder and member of the board of directors for the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Bruce published three units on teaching American history using primary sources through the Center for Learning has published three articles in the OAH Magazine of History, written book reviews for the History Teacher, and served as Contributing Editor to the Milestone Documents in American History series. In 2011 he published the book “Why Won’t You Just Tell us the Answer?:” Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12. Bruce has provided professional development in over thirty states for thousands of teachers. In 2008, Bruce was named the Organization of American Historians Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year and 2014 the Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Council for the Social Studies. At MSDE Bruce is the Director of Social Studies, Science, STEM, Environmental Literacy, Disciplinary Literacy.
In her role as Coordinator of Social Studies at MSDE, Leah Renzi brings a classroom informed theory to practice approach to the teaching and assessment of social studies. Leah’s leadership of statewide efforts is grounded in 22 years teaching social studies in Baltimore County Public Schools. During her time in the classroom, she taught on both the middle and high school levels. She has served as a Department Chair for Social Studies, leader of a ninth grade transition program, and middle school data manager. She is a past president of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies, and current member of the National Council for Social Studies and the Council of State Social Studies Specialists. Leah taught in the Center for History Education’s, “Teaching American History” program as the middle school instructor and has been awarded multiple fellowships to teach and study abroad in East Asia and the United Kingdom. In addition, Leah has been active in the History Day program as both a teacher and judge. She was named Teacher of the Year by the Maryland History Day program in 2002 and 2006. In 2014, she was awarded the Patricia Behring High School Teacher of the Year. She holds an undergraduate degree in Social Science Secondary Education from Towson University, a Masters in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, and a Certificate in Culturally Proficient Leadership from Notre Dame University of Maryland.
Beth Ann Haas
Prior to joining MSDE, Beth Ann was a social studies educator for 13 years in the Baltimore County Public School System. During her time in the classroom, she primarily taught AP Human Geography, American Government, and U.S. History. She served as College Board AP Reader for five years and an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) coordinator for three years. Besides being a Social Studies Educator, Beth Ann is also a certified Reading Specialist with a Masters in Reading Education. At Towson University, she led a course on Integrating Reading and Technology for a cohort of Masters of Reading students. During her time teaching she led professional development on various topics, including History labs and Common Core reading. As a Social Studies Specialist at MSDE, Beth Ann is responsible for managing all statewide assessment in social studies.
Beth Ann Haas