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Anne Arundel elementary educator named Maryland Teacher of the Year

Teresa Beilstein, third grade teacher at South Shore Elementary School, in a group with her students.
Teresa Beilstein, third grade teacher at South Shore Elementary School, in a group with her students. (Anne Arundel Public Schools / HANDOUT)

Teresa Beilstein, who teaches third grade at South Shore Elementary School in Crownsville, was named Maryland Teacher of the Year for 2020 Friday night.

Beilstein developed and implemented science curricula and assessments used in all Anne Arundel County elementary schools, according to the Maryland State Department of Education.

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Dr. Karen Salmon, the state schools superintendent, announced the selection at the 29th Annual Teacher of the Year Gala at Martin’s West.

“Teresa has brought innovation and excitement to her students and the entire school community, creating a culture of excellence which extends beyond her classroom," Salmon said in a statement. "She is truly an amazing teacher, who exhibits creativity and dedication to the profession and to her students.”

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Beilstein has taught at South Shore, an International Baccalaureate school, since 2013. It was her first teaching position, after serving as an enrollment advisor for Walden University and a commercial relationship manager at SunTrust Bank.

“This profession is truly an honor,” Beilstein said in a statement released by the Anne Arundel school district. “It is the intersection of my passion and purpose. I am so lucky to have a career that fulfills me as a person. It’s more than I could ever ask for and I’m honored to represent my colleagues across the state.”

She now will vie for the national teacher of the year title. In the last 10 years, Maryland has had five teachers go on to be finalists for the national honor. Three have won the national title.

All 24 school districts in the state select a teacher of the year, and a panel of judges representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents, and higher education selects the finalists.

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The other six finalists this year were:

  • Brandi Jason, who teaches in and greatly expanded the instrumental music program at Liberty High School in Eldersburg in Carroll County. Her wind band, orchestra, jazz, and marching ensembles have received superior ratings at regional and national levels. She has been a finalist and semi-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.
  • Jossie Perry, a social studies teacher at Rising Sun High School in Cecil County, who has been a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms and coordinates the county’s Teacher Leadership Network.
  • Michael Franklin, who is a health and physical education teacher at Catoctin High School in Frederick County. He also is a department chair, baseball coach and virtual school instructor and has won the Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award and the Lions Club Teacher of Year Award.
  • Paige Milanoski, who is a 10th grade teacher of English, reading and drama at Havre de Grace High School in Harford County. She sponsors the Students Against Destructive Decisions group, or SADD, which works to prevent opioid abuse among young people.
  • Madeline Hanington, who teaches English and digital literacy at Hallie Wells Middle School in Clarksburg in Montgomery County. She is the first in her family to attend college, has won the Milken National Educator Award and was honored as a Lowell Milken Fellow for Unsung Heroes.
  • Joshua Edwards, who teaches fine arts at Clear Spring High School in Washington County. He has also won the Maryland Outstanding Teacher Using Technology Award.

Beilstein will receive a cash award, technology equipment and a new car. She will spend the coming year speaking, advising and participating in national conferences. She will be honored at the White House next spring.

She succeeds Dr. Richard Warren Jr. of Crisfield High School and Academy in Somerset County. He teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to eighth graders.

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