2020-2021 MCPS Teacher of the Year Virtual Celebration

Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Teacher of
the Year Celebration! Our host for this evening celebration
award-winning journalist and morning news anchor at NBC 4 and a
proud graduate of Montgomery County public schools
Eun Yang. Thank you and good evening everyone
for tuning in to this virtual celebration
of three outstanding educators who inspire excellence in students in
and out of the classroom. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is
preventing us from physically coming together at a big celebration as we
usually do this time of the year to honor these amazing teachers as well
as several other awardees we are just excited to
have this opportunity to celebrate them virtually giving you big
virtual hugs tonight and just to let them know how much they mean to their
students their school communities and to the district.
We know how hard it is to teach on a regular basis
and from what I understand even teachers who have expertise in distance learning
find it challenging so my true heartfelt thanks to teachers who
are now facing the challenge of teaching kids in
this very uncertain difficult time this is completely uncharted territory
and you are doing yeoman’s work you are part of the heroes
as part of this pandemic so thank you to each and every one of you teachers and
educators out there The three teachers are for the
finalists this year for the Marian Greenblatt Excellence in Education
Teacher of the Year Award are Annie Moore kindergarten teacher
at Farmland Elementary School, Inge Chichester
world studies content specialist at Sligo Middle School
and Rodney Van Tassell social studies resource teacher
at Winston Churchill High School. We will learn all about these phenomenal
educators in just a few minutes a big round of applause congratulations
just for being nominated we are going to kick off our celebration tonight with a
musical selection that was composed by Alistair Coleman a
2017 graduate of MCPS. Alistair is a
recipient of the George Gershwin Scholarship
at the Juilliard School. His music has been recognized by ASCAP,
American Composers Forum and NPR. His sonata for Joseph Alessi of the New
York Philharmonic is currently touring China and Japan. What an impressive
person. Tonight’s piece “Moonshot” was premiered by the Abeo Quartet in
collaboration with the Glenstone Museum and Smithsonian Institute.
Amazing. His music has appeared in venues including the Kennedy Center
Strathmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.
At Juilliard he was awarded the Gena Raps Prize.
Alistair takes academic coursework at Columbia University
and engages in mentorship with president Joseph W.
Polisi. In the fall of 2020, Alistair will study at the Curtis Institute of Music
in Philadelphia. Another fine graduate of Montgomery County Public Schools That was incredible. I have chills. What
an amazing piece of work and thank you Alistair
for sharing your work with us this evening.
Next up for our special event tonight our virtual event to celebrate the
teacher of the year is Miss Shebra Evans, the president of the
Montgomery County Board of Education who will share
a few remarks. Good evening. Good evening and thank you
on behalf of the moment on behalf of the Montgomery County Board of Education I
just want to thank everybody for joining us virtually this evening
we are going to celebrate some outstanding educators in the Montgomery
County Public School system. Thank you all I’m really inspired
by the finalists and all they do for our students each and every
day they help push our students to their
limits help them become smarter more thoughtful
more competent versions of who they are and now you take the current crisis that we’re in and now they have the added challenge of
doing all this critical work virtually. So I just really want to commend them
for their dedication and their passion because while we’re doing this work and in an uncertain future they’re doing an awesome job and I want
to say their impact is not just on our students
they inspire all of us. They inspire us to
go beyond what’s easy and challenge us to become a better version of ourselves
to become better educators administrators
board members right? So I just want to thank you all for
tuning in to share in this inspiration and right now I want to just say
congratulations to Annie, Inge and Rodney just thank you for
all that you do on behalf of all of our students every single day.
Thank you very much, thank you very much for your remarks and now we will hear
from Dr Jack Smith the Superintendent of Schools. Good evening to everyone who’s turning
in tuning in for this exciting live event tonight live event it is such
a pleasure as Superintendent of Schools to welcome you to our virtual teacher
of the year celebration I have to say thank you to
to Eun Yang for everything for being here and for doing this every year. It’s
a pleasure to see you in this forum. We’ve seen one another in
other forums but thank you for your commitment to
this program. Montgomery County has such a long
history and culture of equity and excellence
and the teachers tonight embody that. Our teachers working alongside support
staff and administrators are the engine of this school system and
they have given this school system a tradition and a culture of excellence
and equity. The award we’re presenting tonight is so
significant because it means the teachers that we’re recognizing have
shoulder the responsibility for students. They’ve truly brought to
life the meaning of the statement all means all for every student’s
learning and well-being. Successful teaching is an incredibly
complex job. It requires content knowledge. It
requires being demanding and caring at the same time.
It requires being aware of the well-being of every student
in your world in that school and the three teachers we’re recognizing tonight
do exactly that. So I want to say personally thank you to
Annie, to Inge and to Rodney for everything you
do all the time. You make excellence happen every single
day. It is amazing what happens in your
classroom and I know you’ve carried exactly that same kind of work forward
in this virtual learning platform that we’re all learning about and
working to learn to use better every day. So congratulations on this well-deserved
award and all the many teachers that you
represent out there across Montgomery County Public Schools. Thank you for
everything you do. And Jack and Shebra thank you for all
that you do in your leadership of Montgomery County
Public Schools and serving the children of the school system at this very
uncertain and critical time as well. We know that teachers
are the heart and soul of education and while tonight’s celebration
is focusing on the three teachers who are up for teacher of the year award
this year, we do want to take the time out to thank
the 12,000 plus teachers in Montgomery County who
inspire our children to dream big and to really
help unleash that spirit of learning and love for learning and reaching their
potential truly amazing individuals and so we want
to take a look at this teacher appreciation video.
As our whole world has been turned upside down and as
education is being reinvented it’s you our teachers who are on the front lines
of this shift to virtual learning and are providing so
many of the supports to our students. We appreciate all the work that you do I really appreciate Mrs. Pierrelus and Mrs.
McKenna I know you guys are busy at home but you guys are always online for us
whenever you need you. My teacher Mrs. Ahn still does
fun activities just like we’re in school. Mrs. McNester
has been ensuring that each student is fully engaged in English and
doesn’t miss out on any fun and creative thoughtful assignments she makes.
Miss Stephanie Baker she’s not only been assigning us classwork to help us
become better students but she’s also been doing Zoom calls with games and fun activities I like how Mr. Deeb does a scavenger hunt
before virtual classes. I’m really thankful for the assignment
that Ms. Fus gave us which allowed me to learn more about my
classmates and see a different side of them.
I’m happy to see my friends and teacher with the computer. I can’t even
imagine how many hours Mrs. Malanoski has spent
preparing resources and being there for her students during this transition.
Mrs. Abercrombie has been really great she’s been checking up on us both
mentally and to see how we’re doing with our school work.
Ms. Baldwin has been checking up on us and making sure that we know that she
cares about us. So i reached out to my former 10th grade
English teacher Mrs. Bowles and she took the time to
write back with some encouraging words and it meant a lot to me. Wootton staff
did this amazing spirit video for us and it brought everybody’s
spirits up and it was really nice to feel their support during quarantine.
We’ll teach without the apples here and then come back for more but we’ll never
fear we’re educators to the core. These are just some of the amazing
things that teachers have done for us so we just want to say: [Thank you in French] [Thank you in Mandarin] [Thank you in Spanish] [Thank you in Amharic] [Thank you in Korean] Thank you! What a wonderful video! The proof is in
the pudding. I mean if you can get your students to talk so highly about you,
you are doing your job right isn’t that true? Thank you teachers for all that you
do for children every single day especially
in light of this crisis as you’re finding
new creative dedicated ways to go above and beyond
to be there for your students and support your students. And
everyone here appreciates you and I know this community appreciates you too.
All right so on to tonight’s honorees. The reason why you’re joining us
virtually tonight. The application process for the teacher
of the year began during the winter. The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund reviewed numerous applications and narrowed the
applicants down to three very impressive finalists we
celebrate tonight. A panel conducted interviews with each
teacher before casting their vote for tonight’s winner.
To see why Annie, Inge and Rodney are the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Finalists.
Let’s take a look at the video. [Music] As we’re walking in she usually says
good morning family today’s… Thankful Thursday welcome back.
Thank you for coming to school today Stallions. It really makes you consider
all the things that teachers and people do for you.
New day, new opportunity. These kids are my family.
I truly believe that they have been placed in my class for a reason.
And so when they enter this room it’s about establishing a feel of family, an
environment where people feel safe. And that helps all students feel
respected and cared for and it helps grow a better relationship between
her and us. I do believe that you are geniuses. I want my kids at the end of the day to feel like hey I matter to someone. She’s like always been there for me whenever I need to
talk about something, whenever I’m having a hard time.
I could always talk to her. Our kids are the future leaders.
They are in fact global citizens and they don’t even realize it yet. My time in Ms. Chichester’s class truly inspired me not only then but now as a board member. And she inspired me to give back to my community. I want my students to remember me as a warm demander. You’ve got this. I want them to remember me as someone that held them to high expectations but loved them to life at the same time.
People will say I love you to death but what does that mean?
To love you to life means I want to see you live. I want to see you prosper
and so I just want my kids each and every day to know that if no one else
has said to them on that day I love you. I need them to know that I
do. I have wanted to be a teacher
literally since I can remember. If there’s a sphere
in your hand please stand up. I like to go to school
to see Ms. Moore. Kindergarten to me is an incredibly important year. Ms. Moore taught me how to read some words
like the and you. Cylinder! it is my task to get these kids to love
school and to find something
that I can pull out of them that makes them
feel excited about learning. My favorite thing in class
is writing. She lets us do math that’s fun. Hands on your lap, eyes on me, ready for business. I expect a lot from these little kids. We get one quiet reminder and if we get three we can’t have a blue sparky. I expect them to learn so many things that are just sort of life lessons on top of
all of the academic stuff that we learn. She’s sweet
to me that’s why I love her. You can’t do anything if you don’t
believe in yourself, right? I am called mom probably I would say an average of 12 to 15 times a day. I try to take care of them the way I
would take care of my own child. Yeah there’s a lot of momming that goes
on. She’s kind of like a grandma. She’s like 50 years old I think. I started off as a stockbroker.
Didn’t really enjoy that lifestyle at all. So I just you know decided that teaching was where I wanted to be. Mr. Van Tassell is a passionate and friendly and helpful teacher that is definitely one of my favorite teachers that I’ve ever had. When I first started teaching AP U.S. History in 2001 we had 28 students. Next year we have 250 students enrolled. I was really nervous actually about
taking the AP class. I heard from other people that it
was going to be a difficult class but I did really well in both quarters you
know got A’s. I think it’s important that students
recognize that they can all perform at the highest
level so it really does lay a foundation for them to be successful throughout
high school and into college. He’s the reason I want to continue
social studies in college. I really like all of the history courses that they offer
here because he got me on that track. Every single student he taught, I feel like leaves knowing that they have a teacher that cares about them and how they’re doing academically and
socially. Good morning. I love coming in and doing what I’m doing. Every single day I get 100 good mornings, 100 thank yous.
No other job do you have that where you know it’s
kids are intrinsically motivated to be better and they’re happy to see you. [Music] Wow can we just give those three
teachers a big round of applause. Oh my goodness gracious listen I have been
emceeing this event for many, many years for Montgomery
County Public Schools and you think that I would feel like I’m hearing the
stories of these teachers and feel I’ve heard that but every year I’m
beyond impressed. Every year I hear the stories of the
teachers who are putting their life’s work their heart and soul into
these classrooms and these children and I am so inspired and feel so grateful and again makes me want to be back in the classroom.
All three of you are just amazing. That video was
it’s like making me all emotional to hear those kids talk about how much they
love their teachers is truly special. You are all so deserving of this award and we can clearly see how much passion and dedication
and commitment and love you show for your students each and every
day. All right so now for the moment we’ve been waiting for, the announcement
of the 2020-2021 MCPS Teacher of the Year award this year this award rather recognizes the highest
level of teaching excellence in the district
and the individual selected will go on to compete for the Maryland State
Teacher of the Year award and that winner receives a cash
prize from the Greenblatt Educational Fund
and the MCPS Educational Foundation. And now to
announce the MCPS Teacher of the Year award is someone who knows
exactly how our finalists feel right now. Last year Maddy Hanington an english
content specialist at Hallie Wells Middle School was named
MCPS Teacher of the Year. I remember her who can forget that beautiful smile.
Madeline or Maddy I should say has some words of wisdom now for our three
finalists tonight. Hey Maddy. How are you? Great to see you. Oh it’s
good to see you too. And you all look wonderful and I’m so
excited for you. I’m beyond excited. Thank you. So I just wanted to thank you for letting me share in the celebration and celebrating you three,
you’re amazing. The videos show it. I’m just gonna
share a little bit about my year So I went on a camping trip on Smith
Island. That’s part of the whole Teacher of
the Year process. We went on this camping trip. I don’t do camping so it
was interesting. So I kissed a crab
and then I was also attacked by mosquitoes.
Seriously true story but it was amazing. I was able to
travel to Puerto Rico to recruit teachers and I met some extraordinary
people with extraordinary stories so that was really
special to me. But I think the best part of this
journey for me was meeting the 23 other Teacher of the
Years because I have made some lifelong friends.
And so I value and I cherish that the most.
I’m grateful for all my experiences. I’m thankful for Ms. Dempsey and the MCPS staff who make this all possible.
They are hard-working and they’re wonderful at it.
Of course Dr. Smith who is always smiling and
receives me every event I go to. So thank you Dr. Smith.
I’m grateful to my family, my friends, my colleagues you know my work family Hallie
Wells Middle School one of the best middle schools out there.
A wonderful principal Dr. Woodward who lets us be us,
who lets us care for our children and and give them everything they deserve. So I’m grateful to her. I’m also grateful
and thankful for Fitzgerald because I rode in a really
nice new car this year. And of course the Greenblatt family.
Their dedication and support for educators is amazing and incredible and we so appreciate that so thank you so much.
Okay so my advice to the new Teacher of the Year
is to take it all in. It is so much fun and it’s such a valuable experience. It’s an interesting year to be a teacher isn’t it? You know we didn’t
expect this, nobody planned for this so you are representing hard-working
teachers. Teachers who love their students, who
worry about whether they’re safe and healthy and have food on the table.
And that’s what we do, right? We lose sleep over our students because we care
about them so much. So that’s who you’re representing. You
are representing these superheroes, right? Teachers are
superheroes and so we have three right here, three
superheroes. So thank you so much for all that you do
and know that you are going to have a blast.
Okay so hmm, I have my red envelope here. I’m so
excited for this. I need a drum roll… MCPS Teacher of the Year, our very own superhero.
Inge Chichester. Congratulations. Thank you, Maddy. I wish I were there to hug you. [Music] Congratulations to the 2020 MCPS Teacher of the Year.
As a former MCPS teacher, I understand the time energy and commitment you put into your profession. Your dedication and passion
inspires us all. Thank you for all you do to help our students thrive
and make our county a better place. [Music] Congratulations to the 2020 MCPS Teacher
of the Year. You inspire excellence in all of us. [Music] Congratulations to our Montgomery County
Public Schools Teacher of the Year. We thank you for your dedication, passion
and commitment to our students each and every day.
Again, congratulations on your win. [Music] Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations to the 2020 Teacher of the Year. You inspire MCPS students to dream big. Congratulations. [Music] Yay! Congratulations Inge!
Listen I’ve been doing this for a long time and I think you’re the first
teacher who’s making me cry. I am so happy for you, a big
congratulations and I will turn it over to you to say a few
words tonight. Thank you, thank you Mrs.Yang.
I’d like to start out by saying thank you to Dr. Smith our superintendent
and Mrs. Evans our school board president for your leadership during this
unprecedented and historic time in history.
Thank you to the Greenblatt family because
without you I would not be being recognized on this platform tonight.
Thank you to the other finalists, Annie and Rodney. Thank
you so much for your support and humor through this process. Thank you to my
Sligo family. Thank you for your belief in me
and our teamwork. Lastly, thank you to my Burr and
Chichester family for your unwavering love, patience and
understanding. This award means a lot to me. I am
honored and I am truly humbled. This recognition means that our system
sees us teachers who work in a school
whose demographics mirrored that of our own county.
This says and they have spoken that our work is not in vain.
That our passion is real and it’s okay that we’ve sacrificed. I
vow as the Montgomery County Public Schools Teacher of the Year
to represent all 165, 267 students and every last one of the 24, 246 staff members
with the same vigor that I bring into the classroom
each and every day. I look forward to us moving forward
in hope in realizing that we can accomplish great things
despite what’s going on in the larger society. I can’t wait to
this time next year when we celebrate our
academic gains and the social emotional growth of
our students. So thank you, God bless and good night. Thank you. Oh my goodness, congratulations and to
Annie and Ronnie also congratulations to you. Can we give just another big round
of applause to all our nominees and our rewardee
this evening. Just what an inspiration, Inge. Just such a
moving speech too. thank you very much and a huge
congratulations just incredible stories of excellence
tonight and to hear about your dedication is really
just very heartwarming. What a special evening even virtually
it’s been really touching. You touch me right here, Inge. And thank you everyone for joining us
this evening to celebrate these incredible educators
who really deserve our appreciation and our respect. Your work does not go
in vain ever that is for sure. Congratulations to you Inge and we
will see you in the fall because the Champions for Children
celebration where we will honor the Teacher of the Year
and eight other awardees who have been selected for other
MCPS awards. Hoping we can all get through these uncertain times
together. Teachers, educators we rely on you. As you’ve said tonight you are so much more than just
a teacher in a classroom and being there means so much during this uncertain time
it really is a beacon of hope. So thank you all for all you do. Everyone
have a great evening, stay safe.
Thanks so much, have a great night

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