Perea Brown-Blackmon, a Montessori specialist at Langdon Education Campus, is the 2012 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year.

Brown-Blackmon, who teaches grades 3 and 4, was honored Friday with a surprise classroom visit by Mayor Vincent C. Gray and a delegation of top city and school officials. In a statement, they said Brown-Blackmon won praise from parents and colleagues for culturally relevant lessons and hands-on projects to stimulate children’s interest in science, math, technology and writing.

At one time or another in her 17 years at Langdon, Brown-Blackmon has been cheerleading coach, step team adviser, choir director, lead teacher and grade-level chairperson. She’s also a recipient of the 2011-2012 Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching.

All nine of her children are current or former DCPS students, according to the statement. Her husband, Jonathan Blackmon, teaches at Coolidge High School

It’s also worth noting that she breaks a three-year run of public charter school teachers who have been Teacher of the Year recipients.

The winner is selected by education leaders from a group of citywide nominees who write essays and are interviewed and observed in class. The other finalists this year were Steven King of Shepherd Elementary and Drew Snodgrass of D.C. Preparatory Public Charter School.