Richard Montgomery High School teacher Nancy Shay was named the 2017–2018 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Teacher of the Year. Shay, who has worked for MCPS for nearly 30 years was named Teacher of the Year during the 15th annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration, an event honoring excellence in education. The event’s theme was “Inspiring Excellence.”
“Nancy Shay’s creativity in the classroom and commitment to her students represents what all teachers in Montgomery County Public Schools aspire to,” stated Board of Education President Michael Durso. “I am proud to have Ms. Shay as our MCPS Teacher of the Year.”
Shay will now go on to compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Shay was one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year honors, along with Melissa Segal, a fourth grade team leader at Luxmanor Elementary School, and Cherin Hershkowitz, math content specialist at Roberto Clemente Middle School.
All three were named finalists by the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, making them eligible to compete for MCPS Teacher of the Year.
“All of our awardees tonight embody the mission and values of our school district,” said Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith. “Each has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to ensuring all students can reach their potential and succeed. I thank all of our partners and sponsors who have helped us honor our awardees tonight.”
This year’s Champions for Children celebration was held at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, and was hosted by MCPS and the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE). MCBRE is a nonprofit organization, comprising senior business leaders who share their expertise with MCPS leadership and sponsor programs that connect what students are learning in the classroom to the real world.
This year’s event was made possible through generous donations from sponsors, including Fitzgerald Auto Malls, the sponsor of this year’s 2017–2018 MCPS Teacher of the Year Award.
MCPS Teacher of the Year
Nancy Shay is the English resource teacher at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville.
A National Board Certified teacher, Shay’s energy is palpable and she brings a sharp eye to the needs and challenges of her students and the teachers she leads as the department’s resource teacher. Her students know she is accessible and ready to help them.
As the English Department head, she has elevated the work of other teachers through data analysis, sharing best practices and peer visits. She fostered a teacher-driven movement to teach literacy across the curriculum, and is a regular trainer at International Baccalaureate workshops around the country.
Under her leadership, notably her own decision to teach 9th grade English rather than focusing solely on International Baccalaureate students, the minority student achievement gap has narrowed measurably at her school. Shay also co-leads the after-school Homework Club, which provides academic coaching, tutoring, mentoring and support for students, and coordinates monthly RichTalks, schoolwide conversations about race and culture.
Of Shay, Richard Montgomery Principal Damon Monteleone said: “Her passion for the craft of teaching, respect for the content, and encouragement of all students to engage in discourse as a means to high levels of literacy and critical thinking are an inspiration to us all. There is no student she cannot teach. There is no adult she cannot inspire.”
All of the Teacher of the Year finalists receive $2,000 from the Greenblatt Educational Fund and an additional monetary prize from MCBRE. As the MCPS Teacher of the Year, Shay will also receive a one-year auto lease from Fitzgerald Auto Malls.
Several other MCPS staff members and community members were recognized for their excellence and commitment at the Champions for Children event. They are—
Yecenia Morales, Spanish teacher at Wheaton High School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year;
Amra Nansimbi, fourth grade teacher at Glenallan Elementary School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year;
Audra Fladung, Elementary Director of School Support and Improvement, Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision;
Cristina Carbonell, paraeducator at Ronald McNair Elementary School, Supporting Services Employee of the Year;
Fitzgerald Auto Malls, Business Champion for Children; and
JoAnn Burl, Springbrook High School cluster coordinator with the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, Volunteer Champion for Children.