Mrs. Charlsie Harkins Brooks was inducted as the 157th member of the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame on January 24, 2011.
From Harford County Public Schools:
In October 2000, the Harford County Public School System began an Educator Hall of Fame program in which the Board of Education of Harford County inducts one member into the “Hall” each month during the school year. Former Harford County Public School educators who have provided at least 20 years of extraordinary service to students and staff in the school system are considered for nomination by the Harford County Retired School Personnel Association (HCRSPA). The nominee is prominently featured on the Harford County Public School website, www.hcps.org. The nominee (or his/her family in case the nominee is deceased or unavailable) is also honored at a subsequent Board of Education meeting where he/she is presented with a plaque as well as a Board certificate and certificates from County and State government officials.
Charlsie Harkins Brooks grew up in Bel Air and graduated from Bel Air High School. In 1960, she graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Science. In 1968, she furthered her education by earning her Master of Science in Home Economics, Child Development/Family Life from the University of Maryland. In addition to her two degrees, Mrs. Brooks also earned 50 credits beyond her master’s, including the Advanced Professional Certificate. Mrs. Brooks taught at Aberdeen High (1960-63, 1968-69), Havre de Grace High (1977-80), Bel Air High (1980-83) and C. Milton Wright High (1983-2000) schools during her career with Harford County Public Schools. She was passionate about the value of home economics and the importance of the practical concepts that were taught in that course. In addition, Mrs. Brooks really liked working with students in extracurricular activities, such as the senior class and school proms. Throughout the years, she attended a total of 29 proms! During her career with HCPS, Mrs. Brooks experienced tremendous change in the Home Economics curriculum. She went from teaching all female classes to be homemakers in the 1960’s to preparing both males and females to enter the world of work in food service or child care occupations in 2000. She had to be flexible and adapt as society and the needs of the students changed, especially as she was very active in developing relevant curriculum. Mrs. Brooks can be credited for many major accomplishments during her career. In 1999, she was a Harford County Teacher of the Year finalist. She was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the child development program. She offered a laboratory pre-school where her students could learn about young children by working with them and watching them develop. She wanted her students to be familiar with a quality pre-school program, at the same time providing a good experience for the pre-schoolers and their parents. She ran this pre-school at Bel Air High School and later C. Milton Wright High School. In addition, Mrs. Brooks spearheaded several significant events outside the classroom. In the mid-90’s, she began the long-standing tradition of inviting the John Archer students to attend the C. Milton Wright High School prom. This was and continues to be a great experience for everyone involved. She also organized and implemented the C. Milton Wright Senior Drug/Alcohol Free Cruise, an after-graduation celebration. After 28 years with Harford County Public Schools, Mrs. Brooks retired in 2000 to enjoy her family and travel. Mrs. Brooks is still teaching today as an adjunct instructor at Harford Community College, teaching one or two classes a semester.