• News Release: Ridgecrest Elementary Educator Named Teacher of the Year

    April 11, 2017
    For Immediate Release
    CONTACT:
    Office of Communications
    301-952-6001

    UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Carolyn Marzke, fifth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Ridgecrest Elementary, has been named the 2017 Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during the school system’s annual Teacher of the Year Celebration at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt.

    Marzke has spent more than ten years serving students at Ridgecrest, located in the town of Hyattsville, Maryland.


    “With a systemic focus on literacy, it is entirely fitting that Mrs. Marzke has been selected as this year’s Teacher of the Year,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer. “Early literacy is key to ensuring that students graduate well-prepared for college and careers.”


    Marzke was nominated by her peers not only for her outstanding skills, but for her passion for teaching, championship of students, and mentorship of colleagues. She has taken on many leadership roles, including Grade Level Chair, Professional Development Lead Teacher and member of the school management team.


    “Carolyn Marzke embodies the notion of both ‘outstanding’ and ‘teacher’,” said Denise Dunn, principal of Ridgecrest. “She instills in her students an intense desire to learn and achieve at a high level, and assists other teachers to grow in their field by modeling lessons and engaging staff in discussions around best practices.”


    Always striving towards excellence, Marzke was recognized as a PGCPS Outstanding Employee in 2016. Currently, she is working towards National Board Certification, a multi-year process for earning the highest – and most respected – level of certification for teachers.


    Marzke has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.


    She will compete statewide with representatives from all 24 counties for the title of 2016-2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year, coordinated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The winner will be announced in the fall and represent Maryland in the national competition.


    Deerfield Run Elementary special education teacher Emily Freeman was runner-up for the award; Karuna Skariah from Robert Goddard Montessori and Cheryl Strong from Judith P. Hoyer Montessori were finalists. The following educators were also nominees for Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year:


    • Latia American, Montessori Teacher, Judith P. Hoyer Montessori

    • Patricia Conroy, Special Education Teacher, Woodmore Elementary

    • Jennifer Findlater, Science Teacher, Benjamin Tasker Middle School

    • Devon Lucas, Reading and Science Teacher, Woodmore Elementary

    • Toby Rossell, English Teacher, Bladensburg High School

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.