FCPS Names Madison Baker its 2023 Teacher of the Year
Redbud Run Elementary School English Language Learner (ELL) Teacher Madison Baker has been named Frederick County Public Schools’ 2023 Teacher of the Year. Baker, who is a Millbrook High School graduate, currently serves at the elementary school she attended when she was a student attending Frederick County Public Schools. Interim Superintendent of Schools John Lamanna visited Redbud Run Elementary School this morning to surprise Baker with the Award.
Baker has served as a full-time ELL teacher at Redbud Run Elementary School since 2018. In addition to serving as a substitute teacher in both Loudoun and Frederick County Public Schools, Baker has worked as a full-time Spanish teacher in Loudoun County and as an adult ELL teacher with Heart for Change in Columbia, South America. She says, “My first experience teaching English Language Learners was abroad in Columbia. After just a few classes and interactions with my students, I knew that is exactly what I wanted to teach when I returned to the U.S. I felt as though I could help my students better their lives by learning English, just as learning Spanish had bettered mine.”
She adds, “The influence to become a teacher started when I was a student in Frederick County. My teachers, coaches and organization/club leaders were role models and support systems to me. Seeing the impact schools have on children through my own experiences made me want to choose a career where I could be part of a community that allowed me to lead, be an advocate and help students grow educationally and emotionally. Fast forward to present day, and I am back at Redbud Run working alongside some of the staff that helped shape me into the educator and person I am today.”
Lamanna says, “Ms. Baker’s story exemplifies Frederick County Public Schools’ vision of being an innovative community where caring relationships and authentic learning inspire all students. She was inspired by her teachers, coaches and others to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Not only has she achieved her dream, but she now inspires her own students and is making a tremendous impact in their lives by helping them learn English and being a positive presence within her school community.”
Baker was one of three finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award. The other finalists were Evendale Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Sara Landis and Sherando High School French Teacher Crystal Marshall.
The other nominees were: Erin Mastropietro, Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School; Deborah Robertson, Armel Elementary School; Susan Corno, Bass-Hoover Elementary School; Kathleen Dick, Gainesboro Elementary School; Renae Kuhn, Greenwood Mill Elementary School; Sarah Cassell, Indian Hollow Elementary School; Brandi Vicchio, Jordan Springs Elementary School; Lauren Marrocco, Middletown Elementary School; Jessica Latta, Orchard View Elementary School; Marcie Jurkowski, Stonewall Elementary School; Barbara Scott, Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School; Theresa Leasock, Frederick County Middle School; Greg Gaynor, James Wood Middle School; Betsy Sloan, Robert E. Aylor Middle School; Mary Ann Keffer, James Wood High School; Garrett Hammer, Millbrook High School; Adam Pullis, Dowell J. Howard Center; and Deniece Hare, Senseny Road School/Northwestern Regional Educational Programs.
Frederick County Public Schools initiated the Teacher of the Year program in 1990. Each spring, every school nominates one candidate for the Teacher of the Year Award. Each candidate is asked to complete an application which is reviewed by a committee of community leaders and educators. Three finalists are selected and interviewed to determine the Frederick County Teacher of the Year. The recipient of the award represents Frederick County in the Virginia Teacher of the Year program.
The Teacher of the Year receives a plaque; a gold signet ring featuring the school division’s logo encircled by the words “Teacher of the Year”; a $3,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; and a $250 gift card. The Teacher of the Year runners-up receive a plaque; a $1,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; and a $250 gift card.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Navy Federal Credit Union sponsored this year’s Teacher of the Year Award. The ring given to the Teacher of the Year is provided by Gregg Miller, the local representative of the Herff Jones Company. The gift cards awarded to the Teacher of the Year and the two runners-up were donated by McGriff Insurance Services.