Nominations for the 2021 Shirley J. Lowrie Award are now being accepted.

       Two Elementary School Teachers win Lowrie Awards  


Lynn Longley, daughter of Shirley J. Lowrie, presents the award check to

Catherine Ladd and Travis Payne


C. Ladd Lowrie Award Winnter 

T. Payne Lowrie Winner


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Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award
For Elementary School Teachers 

The Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award was created by the family of Shirley Johnston Lowrie (1935–2003). Shirley grew up with a strong desire to become a teacher. In 1957, she graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught for several years as a teacher and substitute teacher in California and Connecticut before relocating with her family to Potomac, Maryland.

Well after her teaching career, Shirley remained a strong supporter of the many teachers in her life. Her family created the Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award, through The Montgomery County Community Foundation, to honor her memory by recognizing and encouraging outstanding elementary school teachers in Montgomery County.


The Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award seeks to honor extraordinary elementary school teachers who have a deep dedication to the teaching profession. Nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Serves as an elementary school teacher (prekindergarten through Grade 5) who works directly with students in the classroom on a daily basis
  • Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of subject matter which is communicated effectively to students
  • Shares his/her enthusiasm for learning with their students
  • Encourages students to set and achieve high goals
  • Fosters relationships with colleagues, parents, and community members
  • Goes the extra mile to ensure that their students receive the support they need to succeed


To nominate an elementary school teacher for the Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award, please submit the following nomination packet which must include:

  1. A copy of the Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award cover sheet, signed by the principal of the nominee's current school.
  2. Three letters of nomination. One nomination letter must be from one of the nominee's current school administrators.  Additional nomination letters may be from students, parents of students, teachers, or other administrative colleagues. Nominators are encouraged to provide specific examples of how the teacher exemplifies the eligibility requirements of the award.
  3. A 200 word biography, written to highlight the specific award for which the awardee was nominated.

Nominations for the 2021-2022 Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award are now closed. Please visit us again next fall. 

The Selection Committee will review nominations and make its announcement by April 2021. The winner will receive a $2,500 monetary award.


Please contact the Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD), at 240-740-7012 to learn more about the Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award.