A middle school English teacher lauded for fostering a love of learning and boosting student confidence was tapped as the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year in Maryland’s largest school system.
Madeline Hanington, from Hallie Wells Middle School in Clarksburg, was selected for the top honor in Montgomery County Public Schools during an awards celebration Thursday night in Germantown.
Hanington, who was once an English-language learner herself, was praised for an effective teaching style described as “dynamic, challenging, innovative and nurturing.”
Academic intervention programs she created in her classroom led to a rise in state test scores by at least 5 percent, school system officials said.
“Her lived experience: immigrant parents, poverty, academic success, coupled with her natural traits of caring and dedication, make Ms. Maddy Hanington an exceptional teacher who makes that difference in children’s lives,” Hallie Wells Principal Barbara Woodward said in a recommendation.
At Hallie Wells since 2016, she works as an English content specialist and teacher, and is co-sponsor of the National Junior Honor Society, along with a Lady Scholars program.
Hanington was a Milken Educator Award winner in 2011 and has served as a mentor to teachers at her school and supported others outside her building, according to school officials. She previously taught at Cabin John, Lakelands Park and Gaithersburg middle schools.
She will go on to compete for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Other Montgomery County finalists were Maura Backenstoe, a kindergarten teacher at Burning Tree Elementary School, and Teak Bassett, a social studies teacher at Clarksburg High School.