University of Pittsburgh School of Education

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SOE Alum Named MCPS Teacher of the Year

Published on 5/2/2011 3:47:00 PM

The School of Education is excited to announce that alumnus Brian Freiss has been named Teacher of the Year for Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland) and will now compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Freiss is a 2001 graduate of the Professional Year Certification program. While at Pitt, he student taught at Beltzhoover Elementary and was part of the P.P.S. cohort. Following graduation, he moved to Maryland where he has taught in the Montgomery County School System for the past ten years, all at Highland Elementary, a recent National Blue Ribbon school.

In a news release issued by Montgomery County Public Schools, the announcement took place at the 9th annual Champions for Children celebration held on April 27, 2011. The Champions for Children event honors outstanding teachers, administrators, supporting services employees, businesses and community volunteers. The awards are sponsored by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education.

Freiss, a Title One Focus educator who teaches math on four different grade levels, works closely with other teachers at Highland Elementary School.

“Brian Freiss embodies what every child deserves in a teacher and he is an outstanding example of the high-quality educators we are fortunate to have in MCPS,” said Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast. “I want to thank him for his dedication to students and congratulate him on this much-deserved honor.”

Freiss is a motivational educator. He connects lessons to real-world experiences, tying in popular music or sports references, which keeps students engaged. Always willing to go the extra mile to help students achieve goals, he finds additional ways to support them—by building parent relationships, by tutoring after school, or simply by finding common ground.

He leads outside the classroom as well. He is the sponsor of the Student Council, has organized an after-school basketball program and coordinated a program that brought members of the Washington Capitals to host a ‘Hockey School’ for students, many of whom had never been exposed to the sport.

Freiss has held education classes for parents, spearheaded a movement to bring more parents to Back-to-School Night and created Dinner for Dads, a program inviting fathers to dinner and discussion that has grown from about 10 fathers in the first session to more than 70.

He constantly challenges himself to be the best at what he does. Freiss is a National Board Certified Teacher and played a critical role in implementing school reform efforts that led Highland out of Corrective Action and into national prominence.

This fall, Freiss will join the teachers of the year from the other 23 Maryland public school systems will be honored at a ceremony sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, where the Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced.

To watch a video of the announcement and to hear Brian Freiss speak upon winning the award, please click here.

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