Maryland Teacher of the Year Named Finalist for National Honor
Baltimore City’s Athanasia Kyriakakos is One of Four Teachers Nominated for Top Honor
Sia–as she’s known to her colleagues–is an art teacher at Baltimore City’s Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School She was named the 2016-2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year last October. Sia will compete for the national honor along with teachers from California, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
“We congratulate Ms. Kyriakakos on this terrific honor for her and for the State of Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Great teachers and great schools make an enormous difference in the lives of our children and in the future of our state.”
Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said that Sia not only believes that every student can learn and succeed; she does everything in her power to make it happen.
“Sia is always on the lookout for innovative ideas to engage and inspire her students,” Dr. Salmon said. “One of her former students wrote that Sia opened her eyes and gave her hope in the future. There is no better description of great teaching.”
A Baltimore city teacher since 2011 and at Mergenthaler since 2014, Sia’s rich and varied background includes a decade of living in Greece as a child. She spent time teaching in Connecticut, studying and teaching at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago, and held positions in both Greece and Sweden. It was during her time in Connecticut just after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, that she found her passion: connecting students to the possibilities of art.
Maryland teachers have had remarkable success in the National Teacher of the Year program. Sia becomes the fifth Maryland teacher named a finalist since 2006. Three have been named National Teacher of the Year.
The four finalists for Teacher of the Year will be interviewed by a select panel in March. Announcement of the National Teacher of the Year will come in May in a White House ceremony attended by all State Teachers of the Year.
The National Teacher of the Year Program, presented by Voya Financial, Inc, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Presenting sponsors of the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program are Comcast, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonald’s Restaurants of Greater Baltimore, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and NTA Life. Platinum sponsors are BGE, Lockheed Martin, Maryland Public Television, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.