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Finalists Named for 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year


Contact: Catherine Shoup, 410-767-0486 or Dr. Darla Strouse, 410-767-0369

Statewide Winner Announced in October

BALTIMORE  – Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, today announced the names of seven finalists for 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

“Maryland’s teachers have a lasting impact on the lives of our students—educating, encouraging, and inspiring our future workforce,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These seven finalists are representative of the high quality of teachers in our great state, and I congratulate the nominees on this well-deserved recognition.”

Dr. Salmon agreed that being a finalist is an exciting honor for each of the teachers.

“These outstanding educators are a true inspiration to their colleagues and students, exemplifying excellence in education across Maryland,” said Dr. Salmon. “Our seven finalists have demonstrated a tremendous drive for student success by creating personal connections and providing support both in and out of the classroom. We congratulate our finalists for surpassing all expectations, and going above and beyond in the work they do.”

The finalists are: Teresa Beilstein, Anne Arundel County; Brandi Jason, Carroll County; Jossie Perry, Cecil County; Michael Franklin, Frederick County; Paige Milanoski, Harford County; Madeline Hanington, Montgomery County; Joshua Edwards, Washington County.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from a number of key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents, and higher education. All finalists were chosen based on a rigorous set of state and national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement. The finalists were selected from a group of 24 local teachers of the year, representing the 24 Maryland school systems.

The 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on October 25, 2019. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities, and a new car valued at more than $25,000, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.

Dr. Richard Warren, Jr., a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 8th grade teacher at Somerset County’s Crisfield High School and Academy, is the current Maryland Teacher of the Year. Maryland has celebrated its Teacher of the Year Program and participated in the National Teacher of the Year Program for 29 years.  In the last 10 years, Maryland has had five national finalists, with three going on to become National Teacher of the Year.

Presenting sponsors of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program are Comcast, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonald’s Family of Maryland, SMART Technologies, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. Platinum sponsors are BGE, Maryland Public Television, NTA Life, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

The selected Maryland Teacher of the Year will go on to compete for the esteemed National Teacher of the Year Award, to be announced next April. Maryland’s Teacher of the Year will also spend the coming year as an educational speaker and advisor in Maryland, and will be honored by the President at the White House next spring. The Maryland Teacher of the Year will also participate in several national meetings and conferences.

Additional information on the seven 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year finalists:   

Anne Arundel County – Teresa Beilstein, South Shore Elementary School, Grade 3

Teresa Beilstein, a National Board-certified teacher, has a Master’s Degree from Walden University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Loyola College. She has developed and implemented science curricula and assessments aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, used in all of Anne Arundel County’s elementary schools.

Carroll County – Brandi Jason, Liberty High School,  Instrumental Music, Grades 9 – 12

Brandi Jason has greatly expanded the instrumental music program at her school. Her wind band, orchestra, jazz, and marching ensembles receive superior ratings at regional and national levels. Her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music are both from James Madison University. She is a three-time GRAMMY Music Educator Semi-Finalist and a 2018 GRAMMY Finalist.

Cecil County – Jossie  Perry, Rising Sun High School, Social Studies, Grades 9 – 12 

Jossie Perry is a National Board-certified teacher who earned her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at Wilmington University, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Global Education from Rice University.  She has been a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms, and is the Coordinator for the Cecil County Teacher Leadership Network.

Frederick County – Michael Franklin, Catoctin High School, Health and Physical Education, Grades 9 – 12

As Department Chair, baseball coach, and Virtual School Instructor, Michael Franklin is very engaged in his school and community. He leads the ROAR Club, Seidel Tournament for Veterans, and Central Maryland Conference (CMC) Gambrill Baseball Program. He won the Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award and the Lions Club Teacher of Year Award.

Harford County – Paige L. Milanoski, Havre de Grace High School, English, Grade 10

Paige Milanoski currently teaches English, Reading, and Drama. She sponsors the student organization Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), which has received multiple acknowledgements, as well as regional media attention, for exemplary efforts in student education and prevention of opioid abuse among young people.

Montgomery County – Madeline Hanington, Hallie Wells Middle School, English, Grades 6 – 8

Madeline Hanington, the first in her family to attend college, earned a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University after earning her Bachelor’s Degree from Pratt Institute.  She teaches English and Digital Literacy. She has won the Milken National Educator Award and is honored as a Lowell Milken Fellow for Unsung Heroes.

Washington County – Joshua Edwards, Clear Spring High School, Fine Arts, Grades 9 – 12 

Joshua Edwards earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from West Virginia University and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Frostburg State University. He is responsible for all Fine Arts courses at his school. He also won the Maryland Outstanding Teacher Using Technology Award.      

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MSDE Release – Finalists Named for 2019-2020 Maryland Teacher of the Year