A Maryland kindergarten teacher is stepping into the national spotlight.
Kimberly Oliver, a teacher at Broad Acres Elementary School in Montgomery County, today was named one of four finalists to become the 2006 National Teacher of the Year. She will be competing against teachers from Florida, Kansas and Washington State to become the 56th recipient of the national award.
A graduate of Hampton University with a Master's degree in elementary education, Oliver has taught at Broad Acres for six years. In that brief time she has attained National certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and has served as a mentor for 10 fellow teachers pursuing certification at her school. Oliver serves on Maryland's Professional Standards Board and Maryland's K-16 Leadership Council.
State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick said that Oliver's selection as a finalist is an honor for the State and indicative of the thousands of outstanding educators working at Maryland public schools. She is the first Maryland finalist since 1992.
"Kim is truly one our best and brightest young teachers, going the extra mile to introduce her students to the joys of learning," Dr. Grasmick said. "She is representative of the good work going on in schools across the state. Kim, and teachers like her, deserve our recognition and respect."
Oliver is a strong advocate of high quality early childhood education programs, which she believes will lead to significantly higher student achievement.
The Maryland State Department of Education, which administers the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program, bestowed the State honor on Oliver this fall. She was one of seven finalists for that award.
The National Teacher of the Year Program, presented by the ING Foundation, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers and is sponsored by Scholastic, Inc. A panel of educators, representing 14 national education organizations, chose the finalists from a pool of candidates representing the U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense education facilities.
Oliver and her fellow finalists will be in Washington, DC, March 5-7 for final judging in the competition.
President Bush will recognize the National Teacher of the Year during a ceremony scheduled for the week of April 26.
The Maryland Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the following major sponsors: Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonald's Family of Greater Baltimore, Bank of America, Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Peripheral Vision LLC, State Farm Insurance, Verizon of Maryland, and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.