Blair High School Educator a Finalist for State Teacher of the Year

August 26, 2010
   James Schafer, a physics and mathematics teacher at Montgomery Blair High School, has been named a finalist for 2010-2011 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
   The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) named Schafer and six other educators across the state as finalists for the statewide honor. They were chosen by a panel of judges from education organizations that represent principals, teachers, school boards, unions, parents and higher education. Oral interviews will be conducted with the finalists on Saturday, September 11 and the Maryland Teacher of the Year will be named on October 8.
   "Congratulations to James Schafer on being named a Maryland Teacher of the Year finalist," said Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). "He is a shining example of the outstanding educators we have in every school throughout the district."
   Schafer, a graduate of Rockville High School, began his teaching career at Blair in 2002, where he taught multiple levels of physics, ranging from introductory 9th grade conceptual physics through advanced placement (AP) classes. He also taught in the BLAST Summer Enrichment Program for incoming 9th grade students who needed additional support in organizational and study skills and peer relationships.
   He began teaching primarily in the school’s Math, Science, Computer Science Magnet Program in 2007. Known for his ability to teach complicated concepts to a broad range of students, his upper-level electives boast some of the highest enrollment numbers of non-magnet students at Blair. His students achieve extraordinary results—all of his students scored a 3 or higher on the AP Physics exam last year.   
   For the past four years, Schafer has coached Blair’s highly successful It’s Academic quiz team, winner of the 2008 Washington metro area championship.
   Schafer graduated cum laude in 2002 from the College of William and Mary with degrees in physics and applied mathematics.  He also has achieved certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

MSDE Press Release on Teacher of the Year Finalists

Listen to James Schafer's speech when he was named MCPS Teacher of the Year (Real Media)

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