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April 15 Gala Honors Education Leaders and Supporters

April 11, 2008
Sixth Annual Champions for Children Gala to Honor Montgomery County Teacher of the Year

Awards Ceremony Celebrates Staff, Teachers, Leaders, and Volunteers

The sixth annual Champions for Children Awards Gala will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. The gala is hosted by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE).

The celebration honors outstanding educators, education leaders, and supporters.  WJLA TV7 news anchor Leon Harris will host the gala. Performing groups from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Damascus, Kennedy and Watkins Mill high schools add will add to the festivities.

The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Montgomery County Teacher of the Year, chosen from among three Greenblatt Excellence in Teaching Award winners, an annual award in memory of former Board of Education president Marian Greenblatt. The Teacher of the Year for Montgomery County will go on to compete for Maryland State Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year finalists are:

Stephanie Colby Lee, Westland Middle School
Stephanie Colby Lee, sixth grade science teacher at Westland Middle School, inspires a love of science in her students and is considered a master teacher by students, staff and parents. Her expertise is evident in many areas, including use of technology in the classroom, piloting of a GreenKids program and work with the Bay Savers Club.

Lori Martioski-Taylor, Richard Montgomery High School
Richard Montgomery High School chemistry teacher Lori Martioski-Taylor knows how to gain her students’ attention by making a pickle light up in brilliant shades of orange with an electrical charge. But she ensures student success by thorough preparation, high academic standards and plenty of support for students at all levels.

Christopher Orlando, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Chris Orlando, a mathematics teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School for the past six years, has taught a full range of mathematics courses, including AP calculus, and has piloted higher-level courses beyond Advanced Placement. Students flock to his classes because he makes it cool to be smart. In six years of teaching AP calculus in Maryland, he has had 328 students take the AP exam, with a 96 percent passing rate and 53 percent scoring “5,” the top score.

Other honorees include:

Sean Kelly, teacher in the Emotional Disabilities Cluster Program, Clarksburg High School—Marian Greenblatt First Year Teacher Award

Debra Mugge, principal, Argyle Middle School—Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision

Chris Lazor, building service worker, Spark Matsunaga Elementary School—SEIU Local 500 Supporting Services Employee of the Year

Joel Snyder, arts administrator, educator and proponent of audio description for those who are blind—MCPS Distinguished Alumni Award

Montgomery Blair High School Parent and Community Volunteer Program—Volunteer Champion for Children

Montgomery County Teachers Federal Credit Union—Business Champion for Children

Suzanne Maxey, principal, Seneca Valley High School—Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award

Gwen McWhorter, math resource teacher, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School—Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award

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