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Liberty High’s Brandi Jason named state Teacher of the Year finalist

Instrumental music teacher Brandi Jason directs students during a class at Liberty High School in Eldersburg Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Jason has been named as one of 25 semifinalists for the 2017 Music Rducator GRAMMY Award.
Instrumental music teacher Brandi Jason directs students during a class at Liberty High School in Eldersburg Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Jason has been named as one of 25 semifinalists for the 2017 Music Rducator GRAMMY Award. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Liberty High School instrumental music teacher Brandi Jason is one of seven finalists for Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Jason, named Carroll County Teacher of the Year in the spring, has greatly expanded the instrumental music program at Liberty since she began working there in 2005. Her wind band, orchestra, jazz, and marching ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at regional and national levels. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from James Madison University.

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A three-time Grammy Music Educator semifinalist and a 2018 finalist, Jason joins Teresa Beilstein, Anne Arundel County; Jossie Perry, Cecil County; Michael Franklin, Frederick County; Paige Milanoski, Harford County; Madeline Hanington, Montgomery County; and Joshua Edwards, Washington County as state Teacher of the Year finalists, according to a news release issued by State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon on Thursday.

“Maryland’s teachers have a lasting impact on the lives of our students — educating, encouraging, and inspiring our future workforce,” Gov. Larry Hogan is quoted as saying in the release. “These seven finalists are representative of the high quality of teachers in our great state, and I congratulate the nominees on this well-deserved recognition.”

Added Salmon, via the release: “These outstanding educators are a true inspiration to their colleagues and students, exemplifying excellence in education across Maryland. Our seven finalists have demonstrated a tremendous drive for student success by creating personal connections and providing support both in and out of the classroom. We congratulate our finalists for surpassing all expectations, and going above and beyond in the work they do.”

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from a number of key Maryland education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents, and higher education. All finalists were chosen based on a rigorous set of state and national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement. The finalists were selected from a group of 24 local teachers of the year, representing the 24 Maryland school systems.

The winner will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore on Oct. 25. The winner will receive cash awards, technology equipment, national travel opportunities, and a new car valued at more than $25,000, donated by the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association.

The selected Maryland Teacher of the Year will go on to compete for the esteemed National Teacher of the Year Award, to be announced next April.

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