Raul Ortiz Is State Teacher of the Year Finalist

August 23, 2007
Damascus High School Teacher Named Finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year

Raul Ortiz, named Montgomery County Teacher of the Year last April, has been selected as one of seven finalists for the 2007–2008 Maryland Teacher of the Year. State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick announced the selection of the finalists August 23.

Ortiz heads the successful Automotive Technology Program at Damascus High School. More than teaching auto technology skills, he serves as a role model for what his students can achieve and inspires his students to continue learning. After spending 19 years as a master automotive technician, Ortiz continued his education to receive his teaching certification, then went on to earn a master’s degree equivalency in education.

Ortiz has guided Damascus High School through the rigorous process of achieving two of the highest certifications possible for an auto technology program. He also has built partnerships with local dealers and repair shops, placing students with employers.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, students, parents and higher education.

Oral interviews with the finalists will be conducted September 15. The Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced October 5 during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore County. In addition to winning cash and other awards, the winner will spend the coming year as a speaker and advisor in Maryland and will go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

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