Nominations for the 2019 Shirley J. Lowrie Award will be accepted October 18, 2018, through January 4, 2019.

       Westover and Glenallan Teachers win Lowrie Award  

  2018 Lowrie Winners



Zulay Joa, a teacher for 12 years, is currently a fourth and firth grade STEM teacher at Glenallan Elementary School.  Her principal calls her a "game changer for kids."  She promotes a warm and nurturing environment, in which students feel the confidence to take intellectual risks.

Michelle Kwamena-Poh, a teacher of seven years, is a first grade teacher and grade-level team leader at Westover Elementary School.  She shows a willingness to listen to others' suggestions and works with her team to plan and implement the curriculum.  She even uses kid-friendly characters and games such as Frozen and Minecraft, to captivate students in meaningful learning by making real-world connections.

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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:

  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.

All nomination materials must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019. Please submit application to:

    Pamela Rumer
    Montgomery County Public Schools 
    Office of Human Resources and Development
    Shirley J. Lowrie Award
    45 W. Gude Drive, Suite 2100
    Rockville, Maryland 20850

The Selection Committee will review nominations and make its announcement by April 2019. The winner will receive a $2,500 monetary award.


Please contact the Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD), at 301-279-3900 to learn more about the Shirley J. Lowrie "Thank You for Teaching" Award.