Graduate Alumni Spotlight | Kate Ehrlich, M.A.’10

Kate Ehrlich

“When I began my M.A. program in 2007, I worked and lived in close proximity to Hood’s campus. It was convenient for me to commute to classes after my workday.”

Humanities M.A.


  • Humanities (M.A.)


  • Art & Archaeology
  • History

Kate Ehrlich, M.A.’10, is a graduate of Hood College’s humanities master’s program and is a local teacher in Frederick County. Before Hood, Ehrlich graduated from Towson University in 2006 with a bachelor’s in history, social sciences and secondary education. Ehrlich has been teaching in the county for 18 years and has taught at Governor Thomas Johnson High School and Oakdale High School. We spoke with her about her experiences in the humanities program, and how the content knowledge she gained in the program has helped in her teaching career.

Could you briefly describe your career and educational background?

I graduated from Towson University in 2006 with a bachelor’s in history, social sciences and secondary education. I began teaching that fall at Governor Thomas Johnson High School and transferred to Oakdale High when it opened in 2010. I earned my master’s in humanities at Hood College in January 2010, with a capstone project that focused on the use of racist and nativist arguments in the women’s suffrage movement. I have held National Board Certification in social studies/history for adolescence and young adulthood since 2011.

What drew you to study at Hood College?


When I began my M.A. program in 2007, I worked and lived in close proximity to Hood’s campus. It was convenient for me to commute to classes after my workday.

I also very much wanted to earn a degree related to my content area, rather than solely based on education. Later, this allowed me to teach dual enrollment classes via Frederick Community College.

What got you interested in the Humanities?

I have always enjoyed interdisciplinary studies, and I found it intriguing that I could earn a degree that encompassed many different fields—including the study of literature, history, art and sociology. I was also excited to be able to set my own course of study and to develop a concentration related to my own interests.

What was the process of becoming a teacher like? Where all have you taught at?

I student-taught in Harford County at both Edgewood High and Fallston Middle. In FCPS, I started at Governor Thomas Johnson High School and later transferred to Oakdale High when it opened. I was among the first staff members of Oakdale, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to shape that building’s character. In June, I will be finishing my 18th year with FCPS.

How were the candidates for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award chosen?

This is the criteria for the award, as stated by the MD Council for the Social Studies: “The nominee must be a current middle or high school educator who has made a significant contribution to social studies in a public or private Maryland school. The nominee shall have exhibited outstanding professional qualities in working with students, colleagues and the community.”

I was nominated by Colleen Bernard, Ph.D., curriculum specialist for secondary social studies in FCPS. Upon selection, I was recognized at the MD State House in February and at the MD Council for the Social Studies Conference on April 6.

I was nominated, in part, because of the Black History Exhibit Project that I developed. I worked with student volunteers to create a traveling exhibit about Frederick’s Black history. It premiered at the C. Burr Artz Library in February 2024, and it is currently moving through all the Frederick County high schools. Students conducted historical research about people and events related to slavery, Black churches, racialized violence and segregation in Frederick County. We then created a 20-panel exhibit to spread awareness about these important stories.

Would you have any advice for aspiring teachers at Hood College?

I would suggest that they find ways to get classroom experience as early into their training as possible. Back in my undergraduate days, I volunteered two days a week at Dumbarton Middle in the school’s English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. I was able to work with experienced teachers, practice classroom management and sharpen my skills at engaging children in learning. That experience helped prepare me for student teaching.

I would also urge aspiring teachers to engage in professional development and other experiences that will sharpen their content knowledge. Often, there is such a focus on teaching strategies that the need to develop a strong understanding of one’s curriculum can be lost. There are wonderful domestic and foreign travel programs for teachers available to help achieve this goal.

Are there any fun facts or trivia about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a frequent traveler, and I often engage in professional development tours abroad and in the United States. This summer, I have been chosen to participate in a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program to Peru. I will be spending six weeks improving my Spanish language skills and learning more about Peru’s history and culture while living with families in Piura and Cuzco. My previous study tours have included programs in Korea, India, Germany, China and the American South.

Inspired by Kate’s accomplishments as a social studies teacher? Ready to #GOFURTHER in your career? Learn more about Hood College’s graduate programs, such as humanities, by clicking here.