Baltimore City pre-K educator is Maryland Teacher of the Year

Berol Dewdney of Baltimore City was named the Maryland Teacher of the Year on Thursday night.

Baltimore City prekindergarten teacher Berol Dewdney was named Maryland Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education.

Dewdney, who teaches at The Commodore John Rodgers School in Butchers Hill, was among seven finalists for the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. Her award was announced Thursday night.


Dewdney will receive $6,000, attend NASA Space Camp and spend a week in Washington, D.C., where she will meet President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden in the Rose Garden. She will spend the year as a speaker and adviser and compete with other states’ winners for the National Teacher of the Year award, to be announced in April.

“To my students in Baltimore, I love you more than anything. To every student in Maryland and America, you are the revolutionary leaders that our world needs,” Dewdney said in a recorded video message. “We are ready to lead and we will do so with love, and just like my pre-k students say, we are smart, we are brave and we can do anything.”


This will be Dewdney’s 10th year teaching pre-K at Commodore John Rodgers. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in 2013 and a master’s from the Johns Hopkins University in 2015, according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Education. She also serves as an instructional coach across the district and as a team lead.

Dewdney earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in 2013 and a master’s from the Johns Hopkins University in 2015.

“There is nothing I believe in more than the unstoppable power of students and teachers and that we will build a world that is worthy of their greatness by elevating their leadership,” Dewdney said.

Other finalists were Charles Whittaker of Anne Arundel County, Alicia Amaral Freeman of Baltimore County, Jonathan Kurtz of Frederick County, Ashley Gereli of Harford County, Elizabeth McDonald of Washington County and Rebecca Matthews of Wicomico County.

Twenty-four Maryland teachers recognized by the board will receive citations from the Maryland General Assembly and the governor’s office. They will also have the chance to tour the White House and visit Smith Island for a special retreat.

“I want to congratulate Ms. Dewdney on this tremendous achievement along with the leadership, educators, and students at The Commodore John Rodgers School,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release. “Maryland’s teachers are among the best in the nation. They play a vital role in educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders, and I want to thank each and every one of them for their commitment to public service.”

State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury also congratulated Dewdney. “We know that the single most important school-based factor in student success is the teacher in front of the classroom,” Choudhury said in a news release. “As an early childhood educator, Ms. Dewdney is setting the foundation for positive outcomes in school and life.”

Teachers are chosen as finalists by a panel of judges that include principals and teachers as well as members of school boards and unions. The panel evaluates educators based on criteria that include student engagement and achievement, creative instructions, improved school culture, and education that reaches beyond the classroom.