Northwest High School Teacher is MCPS Teacher of the Year

April 25, 2012
An English teacher at Northwest High School was selected as the 2012-2013 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Teacher of the Year Wednesday (April 25, 2012).

Christine E. Ground,  a teacher at Northwest High School since 2004, was announced as the 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year at the 10
th annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration, which honors MCPS employees and community partners. The event, sponsored by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education, was held at MedImmune Headquarters in Gaithersburg.

The other finalists were Judith Chinn, an AP environmental science teacher at Clarksburg High School and Heydi Dupre, a Spanish teacher, at John T. Baker Middle School.

“Congratulations to Christine Ground on being named MCPS Teacher of the Year and, most importantly, for the outstanding work she is doing at Northwest High School,” said Board of Education president Shirley Brandman. “She and the other Teacher of the Year finalists represent the high quality of educators we have in MCPS.”

“Christine Ground is a teacher who is innovative, collaborative and takes great joy in being with her students each day,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “Congratulations to Ms. Ground and her colleagues for the tremendous work they are doing for the students of Northwest High School.”

Ms. Ground is the leader of the 9
th grade English team at Northwest, as well as the sponsor of the creative writing club and the school’s literary magazine. Ms. Ground's colleagues say her excellent teaching of ninth-graders has provided a strong foundation, helping Northwest High more than double the number of students who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) English and Composition. Her principal, Lance Dempsey, said that Ms. Ground inspires and engages her students by setting clear expectations and individualizing instruction for the needs of each child.

“She fosters self-esteem and encourages her students to be creative, critical and analytical thinkers,” Ms. Dempsey wrote in a nomination letter. “As a result, more and more of the ninth-grade students are achieving at a higher level and have greater confidence in themselves and their academic abilities.”

Ms. Ground also works with other teachers to plan collaboratively and build support networks for students. For instance, she works closely with grade 8 English teachers in the Northwest cluster middle schools to help smooth student transitions from middle school to high school.

The MCPS Teacher of the Year finalists received $1,000 from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund. They will also receive an additional $2,000 from MCBRE and the event sponsors, with $1,000 going to the school. As MCPS Teacher of the Year, Ms. Ground also receives the use of a car for one year from Fitzgerald Auto Group. 

Several other employees and community members received awards at the Champions for Children event on Wednesday evening, including two high school principals, a supporting services employee, a school volunteer and a business partner.

“An important part of having a great school system is celebrating excellence and that’s what Champions for Children is all about,” said Heather Schwager, the executive director of MCBRE. “I want to thank all of the sponsors who donated their time and resources so we could celebrate with the MCPS community.”

The Champions for Children celebration is made possible by generous donations from more than 40 sponsors. All of the winners receive monetary awards and other prizes donated by sponsors. Among the sponsors are: 

- UnitedHealthcare, which sponsors the Teacher of the year Award;
- Kaiser Permanente, which sponsors the Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision;
- Lockheed Martin, which sponsors the Volunteer Champion for Children Award;
- MedImmune, which sponsors the Supporting Services Employee of the Year Award;
- The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the Business Champion for Children Award

The other winners recognized on Wednesday were:

-Rising Star Teacher of the Year: Eupil Muhn, English teacher, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Education Administration and Supervision: Robert Domergue, principal, Damascus High School
Supporting Services Employee of the Year: Ann Tredway, media assistant, Rolling Terrace Elementary School
Business Champion for Children: Washington Talent Agency
Volunteer Champion for Children: Tawnya McKee, Washington Grove Elementary School

Also recognized on Wednesday were: 
The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award: Jeanette Dixon, principal, Paint Branch High School
The Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award: Carrie Viera, English and theater teacher, Rockville High School

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