Three MCPS teachers have been named finalists for the 2015–2016 Teacher of the Year award. The three educators are recipients of the Veteran Teacher Award by the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund. The finalists are:
- Josephine Luster, a Grade 5 teacher in the Highly Gifted Center at Chevy Chase Elementary School in Chevy Chase. She is National Board Certified and involved in many school activities, including administering afterschool programs; coordinating an arts effort at the school; leading the homework and cheerleading clubs, and mentoring new teachers.
- Jill Raspen, a Grade 6 English teacher at Ridgeview Middle School in Gaithersburg. She teaches many others about the new Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education being used throughout MCPS. A Peace Corps alumna, she encouraged a shift in the grouping of English classes, which led to better results on the MAP-R tests and increased the percentage of her students who made the honor roll.
- Joseph Gannon, Jr., a social studies teacher at Damascus High School in Damascus. He started the Economics and Advanced Placement (AP) World History programs at the school and has sponsored the girls’ golf team and the debate team. He has also organized 14 trips abroad to 16 countries. He teaches special education, on-level, honors and AP-level courses.
The Greenblatt Education Fund is also honoring Ginger Berry, math teacher at Argyle Middle School in Silver Spring, as the 2015 Rising Star Teacher of the Year. This award honors a first- or second-year teacher whose creativity and enthusiasm encourages students to stretch themselves and achieve more.
Finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award are interviewed by a panel of educators, Board of Education members, MCPS staff and representatives from the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, as well as a member of the Greenblatt family.
The teachers, along with other MCPS employees and partners, will be honored for their exceptional work as part of the annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration hosted by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE). The MCPS Teacher of the Year will be named during the event, which will take place on Tuesday, April 21, at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
The Marian Greenblatt Fund, named for a former Board of Education member, recognizes teachers that inspire their students to achieve, encourage younger teachers to be the best they can be, and help their school and community. Recipients of the Veteran Teacher Award must have five years or more of teaching experience in Montgomery County and receive a prize of $1,000. The recipient of the Rising Star Teaching Award receives $500.