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Morgan Patel

Social Studies Teacher
Montgomery Blair High School

Teacher of the Year Finalist

Morgan Patel has taught social studies at Montgomery Blair High School for 11 years.

A Nationally Certified Board teacher, Patel has taught National, State and Local Government, Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology and Psychology, but has spent the majority of her career teaching AP Human Geography. AP Human Geography is a class that helps students learn about important world issues and devise potential solutions to those issues. After introducing two sections of the course in 2014, so many students began taking it that four more sections were added by 2020. In 2018, Patel started creating presentations on the benefits of taking AP classes, presenting to the school’s Instructional Leadership Team, as well as to student groups, including the Minority Scholars Program, to encourage more minority students to enroll. These efforts have helped; the course has become one of the most popular electives the school offers—and 55 percent of her more than 160 students are minorities. “I would recommend her class to all Blair students just so they could experience her teaching,” one student commented.

Patel believes that one of the most important jobs for a teacher is to help students cultivate the confidence and skills that they need to achieve in academics and in life. She focuses on making sure that students who enroll in an AP class are comfortable and confident learning at a higher level by communicating high expectations and helping them realize they are capable of meeting them. Teaching AP involves instructing important skills, including managing time, note taking, reading and conducting research.

Her class “prepared my son so well for college,” one parent wrote of Patel. “She not only made the subject come alive, but she was very intentional about teaching effective study habits that would transfer to other subjects as well. She is so good at modeling curiosity, excitement about learning and good strategies for learning.”

She has sponsored the Freshman Class Council since 2014, and has sponsored other clubs, including African Diaspora United and the Eritrean Culture Club. She also coached five seasons of junior varsity softball, four seasons of team handball, one season of allied softball and assists with varsity softball.