Forest Knolls Elementary School Educator Named MCPS Teacher of the Year

April 18, 2018

Forest Knolls Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kristen Kane was named the 2018-2019 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Teacher of the Year during the 16th annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration, an event honoring excellence in education.

Kane has been a kindergarten and first grade teacher at Forest Knolls since 2011. She is also the kindergarten team leader and PTA staff liaison.

“I am proud to have Kristen Kane as our MCPS Teacher of the Year,” said Board of Education President Michael Durso. “Her creativity in the classroom and dedication to our students is inspiring.”

Kane, who will now go on to compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year, is a collaborative, patient and reflective teacher. She creates a positive classroom climate and develops engaging lessons while building strong relationships with her students. Her classroom is fun, lively and interactive. She differentiates and designs instruction to promote student choice and delivers lessons that meet her diverse learners’ needs. She is skilled at working with students who have special needs, including learning disabilities, speech and language developmental delays and ESOL students.

Kane was one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year, along with Edwina Kollo, math content specialist at Shady Grove Middle School; and Janet Gallagher, resource teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund named the finalists.

Several other MCPS staff members and community members were recognized for their excellence and commitment at the Champions for Children event, held at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown. They are:

  • Erin Crowley, kindergarten teacher at Somerset Elementary School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year;
  • Helene McLaughlin, physics teacher at Northwood High School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year;
  • Myriam Yarbrough, principal at Paint Branch High School, Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Education;
  • Stephen Ricketts, building service manager at Hallie Wells Middle School, Supporting Services Employee of the Year;
  • Wells Fargo, Business Champion for Children; and
  • Gillian Huebner, Chairperson of the School Climate and Safety Subcommittee, Montgomery County Council of PTAs,  Volunteer Champion for Children

“All of tonight’s honorees embody the mission and core values of the school district, and represent what all MCPS employees aspire to,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “I thank them for their commitment and dedication to our students.”

The event was made possible through generous donations from sponsors, including Fitzgerald Auto Mall, the sponsor of the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year Award. All of the Teacher of the Year finalists receive $2,000 from the Greenblatt Educational Fund. As the MCPS Teacher of the Year, Kane will also receive a one-year auto lease from Fitzgerald.


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