TONIGHT: MCPS to Name Teacher of the Year at Champions for Children Event

April 24, 2019

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) teachers, staff, community members and organizations will be honored at the annual Champions for Children celebration today, Thursday, April 25. The 2019-2020 MCPS Teacher of the Year will also be announced during the event, which will be held at BlackRock Center for the Arts.

The finalists are: 

-Maura Backenstoe, kindergarten teacher at Burning Tree Elementary School
-Madeline Hanington, English content specialist at Hallie Wells Middle School
-Teak Bassett, social studies teacher at Clarksburg High School

The Champions for Children Awards Celebration honors the exceptional work of educators and community partners who make a difference in the lives of children every day.

WHAT: Champions for Children Awards Celebration, including the announcement of the 2019-2020 MCPS Teacher of the Year

WHEN: Thursday, April 25, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (awards program begins at 6:30 p.m.)

WHERE: BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, MD 20874

WHO: Among those scheduled to speak at the event:

-Shebra Evans, President, Montgomery County Board of Education
-Craig Rice, Montgomery County Councilmember
-Jack Smith, Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools
-Ananya Tadikonda, Student Member of the Board of Education

There will also be musical performances by MCPS students. NBC4 news anchor Eun Yang will serve as emcee of the event.

In addition to the Teacher of the Year finalists, those being honored at the Champions for Children event include:

  • Virginia Pantella, STEM teacher at Gaithersburg Middle School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year
  • Brendan Kelly, instrumental music teacher at Einstein High School, Greenblatt Rising Star Teacher of the Year
  • Celeste King, principal at South Lake Elementary School, Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Leslie Atkin, English composition assistant, Wheaton High School, Supporting Services Employee of the Year
  • Cynthia Simonson, MCCPTA Vice President of Educational Issues, Volunteer Champion for Children
  • Strathmore, Partner Champion for Children Award


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