Carderock Springs Teacher Wins Lowrie Award
Matthew Ghaman, a fifth grade teacher at Carderock Springs Elementary School, is this year’s winner of the Shirley J. Lowrie “Thank You for Teaching” Award.
A teacher at Carderock Springs for eight years, Ghaman is the fifth grade team leader.
He is an inspirational, creative and passionate leader who makes decisions based on what is best for his students. He consistently engages all students to participate and take academic risks in class. He elevates the importance of student achievement by focusing the conversations around student data and next steps. For the last five years, he has been on the Instructional Leadership Team. He encourages staff to visit his classrooms and advocates for staff to have ongoing peer visits and discussions on best practices. At least three days a week, he sets office hours during his lunch/planning time and provides additional support to students.
He is the sponsor of the Student Government Association, and has helped to create a spirited school culture with an emphasis on teamwork and philanthropy. As a result, Carderock Springs has formed partnerships with the National Institutes of Health, Martha’s Table (where, every Friday from October through May, the school holds a Hunger Helpers food drive), and Fox Hill Senior Center.
Ghaman is highly respected by parents and works collaboratively with them. He shares detailed communication, including general curriculum information and individual student progress reports.
“Author Leo Buscaglia once said: ‘We all may be a tiny speck in the scheme of things, but our individuality demands attention,’” wrote Watkins Mills Elementary School principal Rock Palmisano. “You often hear that teaching is about relationships, relationships, relationships. I agree. Mr. Ghaman responds to his students’ need for affirmation, contribution, power, purpose and challenge. Yes, the individuality of Mr. Ghaman’s students is front, center and celebrated.”
Outside of school, Ghaman is vice president for the League of Educators for Asian American Progress (LEAAP), and has led teacher equity initiatives for mentoring, scholarship fundraising and the hiring of underrepresented ethnicities. He’s also a member of the Student Leadership Board for the Johns Hopkins School of Education to help recruit, train and improve future educators.
The annual “Thank You for Teaching” awards are made possible through the Shirley J. Lowrie Memorial Fund, established at the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. Lowrie taught for several years as a teacher and substitute teacher in California and Connecticut before relocating with her family to Potomac.
As a Lowrie honoree, Ghaman received a $2,500 prize.