Board of Directors
Kate Volpe is a 13 year veteran teacher of Social Studies from Howard County Public Schools. She has spent those thirteen years at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia teaching social studies and supporting 9th graders as the 9th grade Instructional Team leader (for the last 8 years). She achieved her National Board Certification in 2019 and was the Maryland Council of Social Studies Teacher of the Year. She works tirelessly to help school break down barriers by providing training and instruction to teachers for the most vulnerable students in their building, including students living in poverty, students suffering from trauma and social emotional needs. Her most recent accomplishment has been planning and executing an addition of a Food Bank for the Wilde Lake community.
Joseph Landgraf is a sixth-year AP Government and AP Psychology teacher from Anne Arundel County Public Schools. He currently teaches at North County High School where he is an elected member of Faculty Council, sponsor of their Mock Trial team, and co-sponsor of their National Honor Society. Mr. Landgraf is a James Madison Fellow and also won Promising New Social Studies Teacher of the Year last year from MDCSS. This is Joey's first year on the board of MDCSS, serving as an at-large member. In his free time, he enjoys pub trivia, golf, and fantasy football.
Richard Malt, Jr. has been teaching Social Studies for 14 years with the Howard County Public School System where he has served as both 9th grade and Social Studies Instructional Team Leader, and Rho Kappa advisor. He was recognized as HCPSS’ First Year Teacher of the Year in 2007, was the Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year in 2018, and was featured in The Baltimore Sun in the “At Work: Passion for Teaching” series. Richard has been treasurer for the Maryland Council for the Social Studies for the past two years, and is deeply passionate about the importance of social studies education in increasing civic engagement and developing the next generation of global thinkers.
Ashley Curtin is the Lead Teacher for the Re-Imagining Student Engagement (RISE) Program in the Social Studies Department at Calvert County Public Schools. Previously, she taught 7th Grade World Geography and 8th Grade US History while also serving as the History Fair Coordinator at Southern Middle School (CCPS). Before moving to Maryland, Ashley served as the Response to Intervention & 504 Coordinator at Deer-Creek Mackinaw High School in Central Illinois. Ashley graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelors of Arts and Master of Arts in International Affairs. She began her educational career as an AmeriCorps VOCAL Literacy Volunteer on Chicago's South Side. Ashley went on to serve as an educational non-profit professional in Adult Literacy and School-Based Mentoring programs. While pursuing her Teacher Certification from Illinois State University, Ashley also taught GED and Adult Basic Education classes at Heartland Community College.
Julia Berg teaches 6th grade history at Bennett Middle School in Wicomico County, and previously taught middle school ELA in Baltimore City. She has worked on social studies curriculum development for grades 3-7, and led professional development workshops from the school level to the national level. She is passionate about helping her students to become curious, empathetic global citizens. Julia enjoys traveling, archaeology, yoga, and hiking.
Kim Eggborn is the Coordinator of Elementary Social Studies for the Howard County Public School System. She began her career as a 5th grade elementary school teacher and has since grown to become involved both nationally and internationally with teachers regarding civics education.
Kim has served on the standing committee for the National Assessment of Education Progress for the Elementary Civics NAEP assessment, taught as an adjunct professor, and served as a member of the SSACI Teacher Collaborative Council to review and provide feedback on the new College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards. Her current hobbies include obtaining a PhD and chasing after her two children. Kim is also on the board of the 2nd Vice President for the Howard County Historical Society and is President for the Asian American Educators of Howard County.
Amanda Venable is the Museum Manager for Rose Hill Manor Park and Museums in Frederick County. There she focuses on creating exhibits and training staff to lead children’s programs and school field trips in a way that promotes learning about the diverse and full stories of the people who lived and worked on the property from 1740-1950. She currently serves as History Day district coordinator for Frederick County. Before her role at Rose Hill, Amanda spent 8 years teaching social studies to middle and high schoolers in Frederick County Public Schools.
Scott McComb is veteran educator. He is currently the Supervisor of Social Studies for Calvert County Public Schools. Scott was twice the president of the Maryland Council for Social Studies and served on its Board of Directors for 7 years. Scott also chaired the Maryland Social Studies Advisory Council from 2011 to 2013. As a passionate believer in the power and importance of an effective social studies education for all children, Scott in pleased to be returning to the MDCSS Board of Directors.
George Toepfer graduated from State University of New York at Stony Brook, with honors, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. He received his Master of Education from the University of Maryland at College Park and went on to earn his Administrator I certification from Towson University. George worked for the Harford County Public Schools for 30 years prior to retiring in 2021. For 11 years he was a classroom teacher at Edgewood High School and for 19 years he was the Supervisor of Social Studies. A member of MDCSS for many years, he was awarded the Distinguished Educator Award in 2007 and the Instructional Leader of the Year Award in 2013 by MDCSS. He also received the Middle States Council for the Social Studies (MSCSS) Distinguished Service Award in 2019. This award recognizes a community member whose career and/or contributions have supported and advanced social studies education. Recently, George has been working with Maryland Public Television as the content support in the creation of online courses for Grades 4 and 5 social studies. He was recently named the Director of Teacher Education for the Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE).
Casey Jakubowski, Ph.D.
Dr. Casey Thomas Jakubowski serves as an education leadership professor at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. A 20+ year seasoned professional, Casey started his career in rural schools in New York State as a social studies teacher. He then went on to serve as a New York statewide curriculum and school improvement professional. Casey has written 3 books (Thinking about Teaching, A Cog in the Machine, and HEARTs Edumatch Publishing) that focus on social studies teaching and practice. He co-authored Crush It from the Start: 50 Tips for New Teachers (School Rubric). Casey is a leader is civics, civics education, rural education policy, and teaching history.