Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Announces 2018 Garrett County, Maryland Hometown Hero

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a local library media specialist at Northern Middle School with the Hometown Hero distinction during the 51st Annual Autumn Glory Festival. This year’s Hometown Hero is Ali Schilpp, who was named the 2018 National School Librarian of the Year by the School Library Journal. This year’s Hometown Hero is sponsored by FireFly Farms Creamery & Market. Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine, is the title sponsor of the 50th annual Autumn Glory Festival.

Ali Schilpp, library media specialist at Northern Middle School, was selected by a panel of School Library Journal judges to recognize K-12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st century tools and services to engage children and teens fostering multiple literacies. Schilpp was chosen for developing a digital citizenship library program that fosters global connections with classrooms in foreign countries. Schilpp also installed a flexible seating “makerspace” that creates opportunities for interactive experiences. In addition to receiving prizes provided by the program’s sponsor, Scholastic, Schilpp is currently featured on the cover of the September issue of School Library Journal.

“We are very proud of Ali and extremely excited that she has garnered this national praise,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “Librarians largely go unmentioned but Ali has taken the role to a whole other level and Garrett County students are reaping the benefits. Ali is yet another example of what makes Garrett County Public Schools so great.”

The 2018 Hometown Hero will be honored in the Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade, sponsored by First United Bank & Trust, which begins at 1 pm on Saturday, October 13, 2018 in downtown Oakland.

Hometown Heroes recognizes individuals or groups who have excelled in the last year garnering state or national visibility for our community. Past honorees include: iLEGO Maryland State Champion F.L.L. team who was the winner of the Maryland FIRST LEGO League Champions Award, the Southern Lady Rams Basketball Team, who won the 1A Maryland State Championship, NeXT GEN: the FIRST Global Innovation Award Winner and Trent Lohr and Joe McClosky, winners of Fishing University’s “Make Me A Star High School Team Challenge”.

The 51st Annual Autumn Glory Festival is presented by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. The 51st Annual Autumn Glory Festival is October 10 – 14, 2018. Festivities include two large parades, concerts, band competitions, art exhibits, antique & craft shows and much more. The Festival is timed to coincide with the peak of Fall foliage in Garrett County and you can view the breathtaking scenery of the spectacular foliage by driving the 2018 Autumn Glory Fall Foliage Tours.

In 2017, TripAdvisor selected Oakland, MD as one of 20 Best Fall Vacations in America for Seeing Autumn Foliage. Also in 2017, Oakland, Maryland was  selected by U.S. News and World Report as one of 50 Small Towns Across American with Gorgeous Fall Foliage, listed Oakland as one of the prettiest leaf peeping towns in the U.S. and Readers Digest listed Garrett County as one of the 11 Road Trips That Showcase Stunning Fall Foliage You Need to Take This Autumn. Autumn Glory also landed in the international spotlight in 2007, when the popular travel website, listed it tops among fall festivals in the world. To the delight of locals and visitors alike, Autumn Glory in Oakland, Maryland, beat out Paris’ Festival d’Automne (#5) and Munich’s Oktoberfest (#7) – in addition to a bevy of domestic celebrations, including San Francisco’s Dias De los Muertos. “Music, parades and awesome colors are at the center of this festival,” noted the site, plugging in particular the Grand Feature Parade, the Maryland State Banjo & Fiddle Championships and the Tournament of Bands.

For more details about the 51st Annual Autumn Glory Festival, please log onto or call 888.387.5237 or 301.387.4386.