The Maryland State Department of Education announced seven finalists for state Teacher of the Year on Tuesday morning.
The finalists include Katrina Griffin, who teaches German at North County High School in Anne Arundel County, and Athanasia Kyriakakos, an art teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical Senior High School in Baltimore City.
Griffin is the 2016 national Foreign Language Teacher of the Year finalist. She earned a Master's in German at Middlebury College in 2007.
Kyriakakos, a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, represented Greece as an artist in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000.
The other teachers named Tuesday are Donna Miller from Calvert County; Anne Highfield from Cecil County; Michael Williams from Montgomery County; Tamara Forte from Queen Anne’s County and Christy Briggs from Wicomico County.
Finalists were measured against a rigorous set of national criteria that include teaching philosophy and results, community involvement, knowledge of general education issues, and suggestions for professional and instructional improvement.
The winner will be selected at a gala reception and dinner in October. The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from education organizations representing principals, teachers, school boards, teacher unions, parents and higher education. The finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year will be in the running for National Teacher of the Year. Three Maryland Teachers of the Year have been selected for the national honor since 2006.