This week, the Richard Montgomery High School (RMHS) Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and school staff showed their support for English teacher, Nancy Shay, with a cake and celebration after she was chosen as a finalist for the 2017–2018 MCPS Teacher of the Year Award by the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund.
The Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) website states that Shay serves as an English resource teacher and is National Board Certified. Beyond her stellar qualifications, the energy Shay dedicates to everything she does is evident. Her students know she is accessible and ready to help them. At the same time she understands the challenges her students face.
RMHS is the site of the International Baccalaureate program that students from across the county compete to enter. Although Shay could have focused solely on these IB students, she made a decision to teach 9th grade English too. Her effort is part of a much greater emphasis by the entire staff on the minority student achievement gap. The gap has narrowed measurably during the last two years.
Shay also co-leads the after-school Homework Club, which provides academic coaching, tutoring, mentoring and support for students. At the beginning of the year about 40 students attended and now the number hovers around 100. She also coordinates monthly RichTalks, schoolwide conversations about race and culture.
“Her passion for the craft of teaching, respect for the content, and encouragement of all students to engage in discourse as a means to high levels of literacy and critical thinking are an inspiration to us all,” said Principal Damon Monteleone. “There is no student she cannot teach. There is no adult she cannot inspire.”
The other two finalists are Melissa Segal, fourth grade team leader at Luxmanor Elementary School; and Cherin Hershkowitz, math content specialist at Roberto Clemente Middle School.
All the finalists have taught for five or more years in Montgomery County. They are interviewed by a panel of educators, Board of Education members, MCPS staff and representatives from the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, as well as a member of the Greenblatt family. The Marian Greenblatt Fund, named for a former Board of Education member, recognizes teachers that inspire their students to achieve, encourage younger teachers to be the best they can be, and help their school and community. The Fund awards each Teacher of the Year finalist a prize of $2,000, and the two Rising Star Teaching awardees $1,000 each.
The MCPS Teacher of the Year will be named during the annual Champions for Children Awards Celebration hosted by MCPS and the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.