A kindergarten teacher praised for her creativity, patience and positive classroom climate was named Montgomery County’s Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019.

Kristen Kane, of Forest Knolls Elementary School in Silver Spring, was tapped for the honor at an event Wednesday night. She has been a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Forest Knolls since 2011 and is kindergarten team leader.

School district officials credited Kane for engaging lessons, strong relationships with students and skill in working with children who have special needs, saying her classroom is “fun, lively and interactive.”

She will go on to compete for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Finalists from Montgomery County included Edwina Kollo, a math content specialist at Shady Grove Middle School, and Janet Gallagher, head of the math department at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Teachers become finalists in Montgomery County by winning a master teacher award from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund.