The Washington Post today announced the winners and finalists of the 2019 Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: Kelly Harper, left, one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year, greets her 3rd grade students at Amidon-Bowen elementary school, on April, 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

The Post’s 2019 Teacher of the Year is Kelly Harper, a third-grade teacher at Amidon-Bowen Elementary in Washington, D.C. Harper believes that education is a powerful tool for dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Her students engage in culturally relevant lessons with an emphasis in social-emotional learning. Each month, Harper brings in various men and women of color who hail from D.C. to speak with her students. Harper partnered with Howard University to take her students on college visits and to meet with student leaders on campus. As a result, 98 percent of her students shared in an exit survey that they wanted to go to college after graduating from high school.

EDGEWATER, MD - APRIL9: Nelson Horine, principal of Anne Arundel County Evening High and Summer School, Jesse Reiger, assistant administrator, and Rosaria Jablonski, lead administrator, standing left to right, visit with students Miranda Cline, Hope Riley, Chandler Mech and Logan Kovach, seated left to right, during an American Sign Language class at South River High School in Edgewater, Md., on April 9, 2019. Horine is the Washington Post Principal of the Year. (Cheryl Diaz Meyer for The Washington Post)

The Post’s 2019 Principal of the Year is Nelson Horine II, principal of the six campuses of Anne Arundel Evening High School in Anne Arundel County. Horine’s vision is for students who have experienced learning barriers in the comprehensive day school environment to have a second chance in evening school. After identifying that the Hispanic student body had the lowest graduation rates of any student group in the district, Horine developed a partnership with the Mexican National Institute of Adult Education to bring programs to Annapolis High School that serve immigrant Latino students with course completion and ensures they graduate on time.

Both winners will receive a $7,500 monetary award, profile in The Washington Post, feature spot in a ½ page Washington Post ad and signature trophy.

In presenting these awards, The Post aims to encourage excellence in school leadership and to contribute to the improvement of education in the Washington metropolitan area. The Principal of the Year Award, formerly known as the Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards, was established in 1987 and seeks to honor the principal who goes beyond the daily responsibilities of their position to create an exceptional educational environment through dedicated leadership. Since 1983, the Teacher of the Year Award, formerly known as the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards, recognized a pre-kindergarten-12th grade teacher who ensures students receive a high-quality education through first-class and creative instruction.

Among the award winners are more than 35 principal and teacher finalists. The standout educators were chosen by their school systems for their exceptional work and unwavering commitment to students in the Washington area.

2019 Teacher of the Year Finalists

April Rodgers (Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School, Alexandria City); Heather Carnaghan (Monarch Global Academy, Anne Arundel County); Wilson Ramirez (Washington Lee High School, Arlington County); Willanette Thomas-Lohr (Huntingtown Elementary School, Calvert County); Brooke A. Shnipes (La Plata High School, Charles County); Thora Balk (Capital City Public Charter School, DC Charter Schools); Mary Bauer (Orange Hunt Elementary School, Fairfax County); Marc Robarge (George Mason High School, Falls Church); Raymond Crowell (Marshall Middle School, Fauquier County); Sylvia Hennessie (Guilford Elementary School, Howard County); Jennifer Rodgers (Dominion High School, Loudoun County); Randolph Scipio (Metz Middle School, Manassas City); George C. Valletti III (Manassas Park Elementary School, Manassas Park); Daniel E. Werbeck (North Bethesda Middle School, Montgomery County); Samantha Bardoe (Gaywood Elementary School, Prince George’s County); Gail Drake (Battlefield High School, Prince William County); Keya Belt (St. Martin’s Lutheran School, Private school); Tracy Harding (Leonardtown High School, St. Mary’s County); Benjamin Diggs (North Stafford High School, Stafford County).

2019 Principal of the Year Finalists

Rene Paschal (Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, Alexandria City); Judy Apostolico-Buck (Barcroft Elementary School, Arlington County); Brock Fulton (Huntingtown Elementary School, Calvert County); Kathy D. Perriello (Henry E. Lackey High School, Charles County); Maisha Riddlesprigger (Ketcham Elementary School, Washington, D.C.); Brandy Tyson (Center City Public Charter School – Trinidad Campus, DC Charter Schools); Keesha Jackson-Muir (Braddock Elementary School, Fairfax County); Joshua Wasilewski (Long Reach High School, Howard County); Jennifer Meres Short (Sterling Elementary School, Loudoun County); David Rupert (Metz Middle School, Manassas City); Pamela Kalso (Manassas Park High School, Manassas Park); Kim M. Redgrave (Stephen Knolls School, Montgomery County); Saundra Carr (Tayac Elementary School, Prince George’s County); Hamish Brewer (Fred Lynn Middle School, Prince William County); Mike Egan (Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center, St. Mary’s County); Robert A. Bingham (H.H. Poole Middle School, Stafford County).

Learn more about The Post’s Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards here.