Highland Elementary Educator Named MCPS Teacher of the Year

April 27, 2011
  Brian Freiss, a teacher at Highland Elementary School, has been named the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Montgomery County and will now compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year.
  The announcement took place at the 9th annual Champions for Children celebration held this evening (April 27) at MedImmune headquarters in Gaithersburg. The Champions for Children event honors outstanding teachers, administrators, supporting services employees, businesses and community volunteers. The awards are sponsored by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education.
  Freiss, a Title One Focus educator who teaches math on four different grade levels and works closely with other teachers at Highland, was chosen from among three nominees. The other finalists were Sharon Moore, a math teacher from Poolesville High School, and Peter McAdams, an English teacher from Benjamin Banneker Middle School.

  “Brian Freiss embodies what every child deserves in a teacher and he is an outstanding example of the high-quality educators we are fortunate to have in MCPS,” said Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast. “I want to thank him for his dedication to students and congratulate him on this much-deserved honor. I also want to congratulate the other finalists and all of our Champions for Children winners." 

  Heather Schwager, executive director for MCBRE, said the business community understands the direct link between outstanding schools and a healthy, thriving business climate, and works to support that in a variety of ways. 

  "One of the very important ways we can support our schools is to recognize the teachers, leaders and staff that are doing such outstanding work for our students," Ms. Schwager said. "Congratulations to Mr. Freiss and all of our Champions for Children." 

  The Champions for Children event honors outstanding educators, leaders, support staff, volunteers and business partners in Montgomery County Public Schools. See a full list of Champions for Children winners.
  Freiss is a motivational educator. He connects lessons to real-world experiences, tying in popular music or sports references, which keeps students engaged. Always willing to go the extra mile to help students achieve goals, he finds additional ways to support them—by building parent relationships, by tutoring after school, or simply by finding common ground.

  He leads outside the classroom as well. He is the sponsor of the Student Council, has organized an after-school basketball program and coordinated a program that brought members of the Washington Capitals to host a ‘Hockey School’ for students, many of whom had never been exposed to the sport.

  Freiss has held education classes for parents, spearheaded a movement to bring more parents to Back-to-School Night and created Dinner for Dads, a program inviting fathers to dinner and discussion that has grown from about 10 fathers in the first session to more than 70.

  He constantly challenges himself to be the best at what he does. Freiss is a National Board Certified Teacher and played a critical role in implementing school reform efforts that led Highland out of Corrective Action and into national prominence.

  This fall, Freiss will join the teachers of the year from the other 23 Maryland public school systems will be honored at a ceremony sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, where the Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced. 

  The Champions for Children awards were made possible by generous donations from several corporate sponsors: 
- Teacher of the Year Award sponsor: UnitedHealthcare
  - Rising Star Teacher of the Year sponsor: Adventist HealthCare
  - Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision sponsor: Kaiser Permanente
  - Volunteer Champion for Children Award sponsor: Lockheed Martin
  - Supporting Services Employee of the Year Award sponsor: MedImmune
  - Business Champion for Children Award sponsor: Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce


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