Four teachers with the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) have won Excellence in Teaching awards from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, which recognizes teachers for excellence in motivating and educating students. This is the 13th year the awards have been given.
Three veteran teachers were selected to receive awards: Susan Kelly of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Jan Schultz of Poolesville High School and Sheila Levine of Maryvale Elementary School. In addition, Victoria Bowie of William Tyler Page Elementary School won the first-year teacher award.
At ceremonies held in their respective school, each veteran teacher was presented with $1,000 and a plaque. The first-year teacher received $500 and a plaque.
Susan Kelly, a 32-year teaching veteran, is a standout at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. She has created a short-term alternative for students unable to remain in the classroom. This gives students the support they need to succeed and return to class. Kelly has involved herself in her students' lives, often calling truant students and even purchasing alarm clocks for late sleepers.
AP Psychology is a very challenging course at Poolesville High School, and yet with Jan Schultz in charge, the course usually has a waiting list. Schultz is well known for organizing the Senior Citizens-Senior Prom at Quince Orchard and Poolesville high schools, so students can bring some extra fun to the lives of elderly folks in the community. She has raised money for AIDS victims by riding a bicycle hundreds of miles and for poor families in Poolesville.
Sheila Levine teaches in the Head Start Program at Maryvale Elementary School. Since November, she has taken her students' performance from the 20 percent to the 90 percent level on the Early Childhood Observation Report. As a mentor to new teachers, she has shared her expertise in the development of techniques for teaching low-income children in Montgomery County. She helped both children and their parents read when she created a lending library for Maryvale families. Thus she inspires her students, and the adults in their lives, to achieve high goals.
Many dedicated teachers hold tutoring sessions for students. This year's rookie winner, Victoria Bowie of William Tyler Page Elementary School, holds extra math sessions during recess and lunch breaks, as well as "Family Math" classes. Parents who have difficulty helping their children with homework can learn right alongside them. Bowie also incorporates real world experience for her students by assigning jobs and having them handle money and read maps.
The awards are administered by Marshal Greenblatt in honor of the late Marian Greenblatt, a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education from 1976-84. Winners are selected from teachers who were nominated by students and community members in recognition of their influence on their students.