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News Release: Rose Valley Elementary Educator Named Prince George’s County Teacher of The Year

May 20, 2024
For Immediate Release

Office of Communications

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Kathy Russell, Reading/Language Arts teacher at Rose Valley Elementary School, has been named the 2024 Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during a special presentation at her school on Monday, May 20, where she was presented with a three-year leased car from sponsors Pohanka Automotive Group and NAI Michael.

Russell has devoted twenty-six years to students in Prince George’s County, making significant contributions to reading development and student success. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and has served as a NBCT candidate support provider, reflecting her commitment to excellence in education.

"With a systemic focus on building students’ skills in core subject areas, it is entirely fitting that Mrs. Russell has been selected as this year’s Teacher of the Year," said Millard House II, Superintendent. "Early literacy is key to ensuring that students graduate well-prepared for college and careers."

Russell’s peers nominated her for her outstanding teaching skills, passion for education and mentorship. She has taken on numerous leadership roles, including Mentor Teacher, Reading Department Chairperson and Professional Development Lead Teacher. Additionally, she served on the district’s reading curriculum selection committee, was an ESOL Program Coordinator and reviewed NBCT Fellowship Candidate’s applications.

"Mrs. Russell embodies the qualities of an exceptional teacher," said Dr. Sharon H. Porter, principal of Rose Valley Elementary. "She instills in her students an intense desire to learn and to achieve at a high level. She also supports her colleagues in their professional growth through her leadership and mentorship."

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Russell founded a school-based reading club and developed an after-school program for struggling students. She has also hosted Math Family Night, involving the community and providing support and incentives to over 300 students and parents.

Mrs. Russell will compete statewide with representatives from all 24 counties for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year, coordinated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The winner will be announced in the fall and will represent Maryland in the national competition.