Each year The Washington Post hosts its Outstanding Teacher Award, which honors one teacher from each school division in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Starting this year, one finalist will also be selected as The Washington Post Teacher of the Year.
This is the fourth in a series of posts in the run up to the announcement of the winner, in which we will be carrying profiles of each school’s nominee. Each of these teachers deserves recognition, just for the fact that they were nominated by their principal, colleagues, students and parents for such a prestigious honor.
Parents, students and colleagues nominated teachers, and each ACPS school principal then chose one nominated teacher from their school to move on to the ACPS finalists round.
Last year, ACPS was delighted to recognize Maria Magallanes, Reading Specialist at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, as our ACPS Outstanding Teacher Awardee.
The ACPS winner and the overall winner of The Washington Post Outstanding Teacher Award will be announced in April. Until then, please make sure you congratulate these special teachers when you see them!
Clarence Minor, a fifth grade teacher at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, has been an educator for 13 years, the past 11 of which have been with ACPS. He started started at James K. Polk Elementary School, where he spent five years before moving to Cora Kelly in 2010.
Minor is known as an exceptional role model, mentor and educator whose steadfast encouragement and support has created an exceptional environment where students lift each other up. Recognizing the power of peer support, he has created a classroom culture where, when a student is struggling, the other students repeatedly lift their hands as a sign of support, a gesture so effective in boosting the struggling student, that it is spreading throughout the school. Recognizing that some boys would benefit from spending time with a positive male role model, Minor started an after-school club for boys that provides mentorship, boosts their self-confidence and empowers the boys with important life skills.
Clarence inspires dreams, shapes lives and gives his students hope for their future. His dedication to his children and to the teaching profession is unparalleled. With Clarence Minor’s arrival at Cora Kelly in August 2010, the math program in grade five was completely transformed from an underachieving grade level in the area of mathematics to a grade level with the highest performance for any school in the district on an annual basis” said Principal Brandon Davis, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
Marie Peaches, a fifth grade teacher at James K. Polk Elementary School, has been an educator for 18 years, the past 12 of which have been with ACPS. Confidence, creativity, ambition, inspiration, integrity, excellence and kindness are attributes use by Peaches’ colleagues use to describe her.
Peaches, a National Board Certified teacher, is known for her creativeness and resourcefulness in helping troubled or struggling students through song, chants, and even a little dancing – creating an environment where children feel safe and at home. Her innovative use of the latest instructional strategies and techniques helps challenge her brightest students.
Her passion for teaching is contagious. Marie has the gift of making all students feel good about themselves. She has a true commitment to meeting the needs of each and every student and going above and beyond what is needed for them to excel. Her affectionate and thoughtful manner helps to build relationships and excitement about learning throughout the James K. Polk community,” said her team of nominees.
Jennifer Street, a Talented and Gifted Teacher at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, has been teaching for 11 years, the past nine at MacArthur – the elementary school she attended as a child. She teaches daily pull-out gifted classes of fourth- and fifth-grade math and language arts students where Street is known by her colleagues to go out of her way to foster a creative and structured atmosphere in her classroom. She sets high expectations for her students encouraging hard work, self-awareness and goal setting.
A respected leader and advocate in her school, Street has served as the teacher representative on the TAG Advisory Committee for ACPS, participates in TAG meetings with teachers from across the city and advocates for the vital role TAG education provides in ACPS schools. She also served on the school improvement team, the scheduling committee and coordinates the school’s participation in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Street continually seeks out new resources and technologies to develop and implement differentiation strategies in her students’ learning environments.
Her work with students reflects her high expectations while also demonstrating her understanding of her students’ emotional and social development. She provides intellectually rigorous learning environment where students are engaged in active learning. She creates strong personal relationships with her students and their families. She is a highly collaborative, reflective educator who continually strives to learn and apply best practices,” said Principal Rae Covey, Douglas MacArthur Elementary School.