From the Prince George's County Schools:
Laura Shelton, science teacher at Benjamin D. Foulois Creative and Performing Arts Academy, has been named the 2014 Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year.
The announcement was made Thursday at the school system’s annual Teacher of the Year Celebration at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt.
“Our new Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year embodies all of the qualities that ensure success in the classroom,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools. “Mrs. Shelton is a master of her content area, engages and motivates her students, has high expectations for achievement, and works hard to ensure students have what they need to succeed.”
Shelton has spent her 15-year career serving students in Prince George’s County Public Schools, starting as a math teacher at Stephen Decatur Middle School in August 1999. She transferred to Thurgood Marshall Middle School in 2008 where she began teaching science, then joined the Benjamin D. Foulois staff in August 2001, where she continues to serve students in the Morningside community.
“Mrs. Sheldon demonstrates the highest level of professional commitment and skill in her work with students and colleagues,” said Dr. Patricia Payne, principal of Benjamin D. Foulois. “Since her arrival, she has worked tirelessly to provide students with inquiry-based learning, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) instruction and exploration, and real world connections through off campus opportunities.”
James W. Jones, Jr., math teacher from Barnaby Manor Elementary School, was the runner-up for Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year; Lisa J. Hawkins, kindergarten teacher at Deerfield Run ES, and Akima Marshall, science teacher from Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. HS, were finalists.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to celebrate all of the outstanding nominees for Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year,” said Board Vice Chair Carolyn Boston. “These individuals all have that ‘star quality’ that sets them apart and are Teachers of the Year in the eyes of their school communities.”
Shelton was nominated by her peers at Benjamin D. Foulois not only for her professional skills, but for her dedication, positive attitude, and support of colleagues and students. She takes on leadership roles at her school as Science Department Chair, STEM Fair Coordinator, School Planning and Management Team Chairperson, National Junior Honor Society Chair, and Eighth Grade Class Sponsor. She was also the school’s STEM Liaison for the Educator Effectiveness Academy for the past three summers. In 2007, she was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Outside of her school community, Shelton has been an active member of the Prince George’s County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority since 1996, currently serving as co-chair of the Science and Everyday Experiences Committee. Through her work with the organization, she partners with schools, libraries and community centers to offer programming that exposed young people to STEM career opportunities and shows them how they relate to their daily routines.
She also serves as co-leader for the Andrews 4-H Club, designing hands-on learning experiences in sewing, agriculture, and STEM-based activities, and is an active member of the Greater Saint John church in Upper Marlboro, serving as a Sunday School teacher and Children’s Ministry worker.
Shelton received a bachelor’s degree in science biology from Longwood College, and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from National Louis University.
She will compete statewide with representatives from all 24 counties for the title of 2013-2014 Maryland Teacher of the Year, coordinated by the Maryland State Department of Education. The winner will be announced in the fall and represent Maryland in the national competition.
The following educators were also nominated for Teacher of the Year:
Nicole Henderson Bailey, Science Teacher, Imagine Foundations at Morningside PCS
Victoria O. Balogun, Special Education/Autism Teacher, C. Elizabeth Rieg Regional School
Sarah A. Bannat, Montessori Teacher, John Hanson Montessori School
Jay M. Bass, Special Education/Adapted Aquatics Teacher, James E. Duckworth Regional School
Tanya Chong, Fourth-Grade Teacher, Thomas S. Stone ES
Marcus L. Davis, Music Teacher, Surrattsville HS
Diane Eades, ESOL Teacher, Kingsford ES
Lisa J. Hawkins, Kindergarten Teacher, Deerfield Run ES
James W. Jones, Jr., Math Teacher, Barnaby Manor ES
Robert V. Kidd, Jr., Special Education/Regular English Teacher, Largo HS
Akima Marshall, Science Teacher, Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. HS
Linda Mitchell, Special Education Teacher, H. Winship Wheatley ECC
Susan Pinales, Second-Grade Teacher, Imagine Foundations at Morningside PCS
Mary K. Rowley, Fourth-Grade Teacher, Ridgecrest ES
Amanda F. Standard, Dance Teacher, Benjamin D. Foulois Creative and Performing Arts Academy
Brennan E. Tanner, Vocal-General Music Teacher, Heather Hills ES