• News Release: Cooper Lane Elementary School Educator Named Prince George's County Teacher of the Year

    News Release: Cooper Lane Elementary School Educator Named Prince George's County Teacher of the Year

    June 25, 2020
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications

    UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Cooper Lane Elementary School third-grade teacher Mary Piccirilli is the 2020 Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year. Selected from a pool of 14 other outstanding nominees, the announcement was made today with a surprise visit to Piccirilli’s home. 

    Piccirilli has spent her entire seven-year career teaching in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), serving Cooper Lane Elementary School students for the past two years. Prior to Cooper Lane, she was a second-grade teacher at Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School.

    “Ms. Piccirilli truly represents what I consider to be a model teacher,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer. “Not only does she possess the skills to engage students and effectively teach the curriculum, she truly cares about equity, academic success and the overall well-being of all students.”

    Piccirilli will compete statewide for Maryland Teacher of the Year, coordinated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). As the county Teacher of the Year, she will receive a pre-paid three-year lease on a new 2020 Honda from sponsor Pohanka Automotive Group. She was nominated by her peers for her engaging classes, commitment to ensuring student success and dedication to improving instructional techniques. She also performs several leadership roles, including serving as Grade Level Chair, mentor teacher and chair of her school’s Culture Committee.

    “Ms. Piccirilli’s passion for education, love for children and hard work ethic has impressed the Cooper Lane Elementary School community,” said Principal Dr. Kishawn Smith. “I am honored to support such an educator to serve as Teacher of the Year and ambassador for education.”

    Piccirilli, a Talented and Gifted (TAG) certified instructor, is in the process of earning National Board Certification, considered the “gold standard” for educators. She was previously named Teacher of the Year at Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School.

    Joshua Pleasant, World Culture and Geography teacher at Benjamin Tasker Middle School, is runner-up for this year’s Teacher of the Year award. Vitalia Forbes, second grade teacher at Accokeek Academy, and Lindsey Joseph, English teacher at Crossland High School, are finalists. Other nominees included:

    • Carlos Baez, Technology/TV Production, International High School at Largo

    • Katelyn Blackburn, Grade 2, Barack Obama Elementary School

    • Dr. Sameano Porchea Bond, Math, Benjamin Tasker Middle School

    • Nadia Campbell, Reading and English language arts, Kettering Middle School

    • Ingrid Cruz, STEM Integrations, Oxon Hill Middle School

    • Devorah Garcia, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Cool Spring Elementary School

    • Christina Harter, Kindergarten, Deerfield Run Elementary School

    • Karon Johnson, Dance and Health, Gwynn Park High School

    • Scherie Leak, Grade 4, Chillum Elementary School

    • Manuela Pagunsan, Science, Greenbelt Middle School

    • Adelle Winston-Beasley, Grade 2, Edward M. Felegy Elementary School

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    About PGCPS:  Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), the nation's 20th largest school district, has 206 schools and centers, more than 136,500 students and 22,000 employees. Under the leadership of CEO Dr. Monica Goldson and the Prince George's County Board of Education, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for college and career-readiness programs that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including dual enrollment and language immersion.