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Baltimore County Middle School Teacher Brianna Ross Named 2021-2022 Maryland Teacher Of The Year


CONTACT:  Lora Rakowski, 410-767-0486


BALTIMORE, MD (October 7, 2021) – In a celebration of Maryland teaching, tonight the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced the 2021-22 Maryland Teacher of the Year: Brianna Ross, social studies teacher at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County Middle School Teacher Brianna Ross Named 2021-2022 Maryland Teacher Of The YearDuring a television special hosted by Maryland Public Television (MPT), MSDE made the announcement while honoring Maryland educators and their commitment to excellence in education. While also marking the 31st year of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program, the special production showcased all 24 Maryland district Teachers of the Year.  Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury commended Maryland’s educators by video message.

“We are proud of Maryland’s outstanding teachers who have been Maryland Strong in the face of so many challenges,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I want to recognize all of tonight’s honored Teachers of the Year and thank them for their talents and commitment to students across our state. We are grateful to Briana Ross for her contributions to her classroom, community, and education in our state and congratulate her on the tremendous recognition of being named the 2021-2022 Maryland Teacher of the Year.”

Ms. Ross, who teaches sixth grade social studies, serves as the Equity Liaison and Social Studies Department Chair at her school.  Viewing teaching as a “revolutionary act of love,” she also launched a Summer Transition Program to help students thrive in middle school. Brianna has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is working on a doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership.   

“We know that the most important school-based factor in a student’s success is the educator in front of the classroom each day. Teachers profoundly impact the positive trajectory of students’ lives, and we must recognize and support our teachers, who bring their skills, passion, and commitment to classrooms across Maryland,” said State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury. “On behalf of the Maryland State Department of Education, I recognize all of our great teachers across the State, our 24 local Teachers of the Year, our finalists, and our Maryland Teacher of the Year Briana Ross. Ms. Ross inspires and encourages her students to think critically and creatively.  She is a teacher committed to bringing success and opportunity to every one of her students.”

Ms. Ross will go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced in April 2022. She will spend the upcoming year as a speaker and advisor in Maryland and will also join other state winners from across the United States in programs and events hosted by the National Teacher of the Year Program, including a White House Ceremony.

“On behalf of the Maryland State Board of Education, I extend sincere congratulations and appreciation to all our Teacher of the Year honorees! Exceptional and caring educators are integral to ensuring our students receive the high-quality education and positive learning experiences they desire and deserve,” said State Board of Education President Clarence C. Crawford. “You are to be commended for your dedication and service to the students of Maryland – and for your perseverance and invaluable contributions in helping them navigate the academic, social, and emotional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Finalists were selected by a panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, retired school personnel, school boards, teacher unions, and higher education. Selection criteria were based on a rigorous set of written narratives and interviews that included discussion around student engagement, creativity in instructions, improved school culture, education and instruction reaching beyond the classroom, community collaboration, and student achievement results.

The other outstanding finalists were Jing Dai, Anne Arundel County; Sidney Thomas, Baltimore City; Adrin Leak, Prince George’s County; Stephanie Mackenzie, Queen Anne’s County; Lauren Greer, Talbot County; Caroline Schlegel, Washington County; and Dustin Thomas, Wicomico County.

Ms. Ross will receive cash awards, technology prizes and numerous other gifts. Maryland Teacher of the Year sponsors include: presenting sponsors- Comcast, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonalds’s Family Restaurants of Baltimore, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and SMART Technologies. Platinum sponsors are Maryland Public Television, NTA Life/Horace Mann Company, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Gold sponsors are: Baltimore Sun Media, Bank of America, Maryland State Education Association, and WJZ-13.

“I want to thank the Maryland State Department of Education and the many sponsors for putting the spotlight on outstanding teachers throughout Maryland. I have had incredible opportunities to learn and grow as a teacher in Baltimore County and I thank so many who have stood by me as colleagues, supervisors, and friends,” said Ms. Ross. “As a social studies teacher, my primary concern is helping my students develop their critical consciousness, to understand how to recognize inequality and develop the skills to combat it.”

The 2021- 2022 Maryland Teacher of the year program was hosted by Denise Koch of WJZ-13 and MSDE Director of Partnerships and Recognition Dr. Darla Strouse on MPT2 stations and online at

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2021-22 MD TOY Press Release 10.7.21