The Montgomery County Public Schools Announces Their Finalists for Teacher of the Year!
Since 1988, the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund has promoted educational excellence in Montgomery County by recognizing top teachers in the county. The fund is named for Drew Greenblatt’s mother Marian, a dedicated teacher and advocate of improving the quality of public education.
When Marian Greenblatt was elected to the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education, she set to work immediately to assure that the students of the county could have a higher quality of education, one that would prepare them better for life after high school. She sought to raise academic standards in her county, fighting against laissez-faire administrators who would maintain a status quo even if it meant that their students were trapped in overcrowded classrooms with too few textbooks and no real preparation for the working world. Her first successful effort was to require each of the 100,000 students in the system to read fifteen minutes per day, under their teachers’ supervision.
Marian changed the MCPS system during her term of service on the board, both as a member and as president of the board. By the end of her time as a board member, attendance in classes were up, the teacher to student ratio had improved, and the textbook budget for each student had doubled, allowing students to actually have textbooks to take home for homework. Frivolous courses were reduced dramatically, and stricter adherence to countywide curricula was maintained.
In 1984, Dr. Greenblatt retired from the MCPS Board of Education in 1984 and took up a position as the Director of the Presidential Academic Fitness Award Program for President Reagan, a position that she held until her passing in 1988.
Recognizing MCPS’ Best Educators and Students
In honor of Marian’s efforts to improve the quality of education for students in Montgomery County, the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund was founded to recognize excellent educators. The fund, which is recognized as a 501c(3) organization by the IRS, is managed by her family, led by her husband, Dr. Marshal Greenblatt.
Over the years, the fund has grown in scope, adding more efforts to encourage excellence in education, such as:
- Veteran Teachers Award
- County Teacher of the Year
- Rising-Star Teacher Award
- Aspiring Teacher Award for students at the University of Maryland School of Education
- Excellence in Social Studies by Juniors in High School
- Jones Family/Plasma Fellows/Greenblatt Scholarships for Excellence in Foreign Language
- Montgomery County Students Information Technology Foundation, to teach computer repair as part of the curriculum
Yes, not only are teachers being recognized for providing a top-quality education for their students, but outstanding students are recognized by the award as well. All told, the fund has awarded over $125,000 to teachers and students since 1989!
While many educators would covet any of the various awards from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, the MCPS Teacher of the Year Award is especially prestigious. Winners of this award are entered into a competition to be named Maryland Teacher of the Year. A Marian Greenblatt winner and subsequent MCPS teacher of the year, Kim Oliver, went on to be named the National Teacher of the Year and was honored at the White House in 2006 by the President in a Rose Garden ceremony.
Our Teacher of the Year Finalists
This year, the Teacher of the Year finalists are:
- Kathryn Hageman, a fifth-grade teacher at Diamond Elementary School in Gaithersburg.
- Jane Lindsay, an eighth-grade English teacher at John Poole Middle School in Poolesville.
- Aaron Shin, an eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at Parkland Middle School in Rockville.
Each of these Teacher of the Year finalists are winners of the Marian Greenblatt Veteran Teacher Award, chosen for her/his ability to inspire students and fellow educators alike to be the best that they can be.
No matter which of these three educators goes on to earn the final prize, they can take pride in the fact that they were nominated for this award. Simply being nominated for this honor demonstrates that they have gone above and beyond the minimum standards set for educators by the MCPS system, and that is cause enough to be proud.
Marlin Steel is honored to be a part of this tradition through our CEO’s involvement in the Fund from its conception through its annual work of selecting who we in the county think are the best of the best. We look forward to seeing these educators shape future generations through their hard work and dedication. Hats off to them!
If you would like to learn more about the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, or make a tax-deductible contribution to our 501c3 organization, please visit the Fund’s website today. Few things are as important as improving the lives of our children and giving them the resources they need to be successful in the future, and it’s never too late to start helping. If you would like to know how you could start a similar organization, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.