Washington Grove Teacher Wins State Award
Serena Keeney-Horsch, first grade two-way immersion teacher at Washington Grove Elementary School, has been named the 2020 Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. It is the first time an MCPS teacher has won the award since it was established in 2007.
The Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year award has been developed to honor the field of language teaching and elevate the status of the profession at the state, regional, and national levels. It also offers opportunities to highlight the importance of becoming proficient in other languages and cultures.
Keeney-Horsch was a pioneer in the establishment of the dual-language program in MCPS. She has delivered a dual-language summit at two elementary schools. The awards panel was impressed with her ability to lead and unite others in a common direction; her passion for language as a socio-cultural force for inclusion; and her positive attitude. She holds monthly meetings with parents, and supports not only Hispanic cultures authentically in her classroom, but also the heritages of learners from around the world.
Next year, she will serve as the Dual Language Coordinator and Intervention Teacher at Washington Grove.
“She has a great rapport with the students and entices in them the eagerness to learn,” a parent wrote in a recommendation letter. “It is exciting to witness the evolution of language development thanks to her dedication. As parents who are not bilingual, we are especially grateful our daughter has such a passionate teacher to engage her in learning a new language, which we feel is very important for her cognitive and social development. In fact, our daughter is now able to converse socially in Spanish even outside of school settings.”
As part of the award, Keeney-Horsch will represent the Maryland Foreign Language Association (MFLA) at the regional conference in New York in February 2020. She will then compete at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) in February 2020 for the Regional Language Teacher of the Year.
People on the Move
The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments at its May 30 business meeting:
- Scott M. Hughes, Supervisor, Technology Innovation, Modernization, and Management, Department of Technology Integration and Support, Office of the Chief Technology Officer
- William McGrath, Supervisor, Physical Disabilities Programs
- Gary M. Rand II, Principal, Sligo Creek Elementary School
- Rosario P. Velasquez, Principal, Jackson Road Elementary School
A retirement celebration will be held for Kim Bishop, general maintenance worker II at the Bethesda Maintenance Depot, after 30 years of service to MCPS. It will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at the Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Dr. in Rockville. The cost is $30, which includes dinner and gift, with a portion of the proceeds also supporting the MCABSE Scholarship Fund and Bond Programming. RSVP here by June 14. Make checks payable to Melaika Brown and Pony them to Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Dr., Room 177, Rockville.
Anika D. Browne, special education teacher with Alternative Programs, died on June 3. She was 46 years old and had 21 years of service with MCPS.