Calvert County Announces Washington Post Educator of the Year Award Finalists

News Release, Calvert County Public Schools

Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) proudly announces the district’s finalists for the Washington Post Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year Awards. Lauren Lynn of Huntingtown Elementary is the CCPS finalist for Teacher of the Year, and Kelly Cleland of Windy Hill Elementary is the finalist for Principal of the Year.

Lauren Lynn, School Librarian at Huntingtown Elementary

Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “We were so pleased to have Lauren Lynn and Kelly Cleland represent Calvert County for this prestigious award. They are outstanding examples of the kinds of teachers and leaders we have working for us every day, especially during these challenging times.”

As an accomplished school librarian, Ms. Lynn is a passionate advocate for libraries, an exemplary educator, and a promoter of literacy and learning. A finalist for the Maryland School Librarian of the Year on two different occasions, she has shared her work at local, state, and national conferences and served on district curriculum development committees. She is a member of the District Equity Leadership Team and is the equity team liaison for her school, roles in which Sandy Walker, Supervisor of Equity and School Improvement, said she exhibits “a tireless and relentless passion to create an inclusive environment where all students may experience success.” According to Brock Fulton, Principal of Huntingtown Elementary, “Her dedication has provided all of our students the opportunity to experience how media and technology can be used in powerful ways to educate, create, and solve problems.”

Kelly Cleland, Principal of Windy Hill Elementary

Washington Post Principal of the Year finalist, Mrs. Cleland, exhibits enthusiasm for new ideas to make Windy Hill a better place for students and families. She encourages innovation, passionately supports professional development, and fosters efficacy among her staff. According to Lisa Morgan, Assistant Principal of Windy Hill Elementary, Mrs. Cleland “encourages teacher leaders and enables them to stretch their boundaries.” Underlying her belief in the power of building positive relationships with staff and students is an unsurpassed commitment to quality instruction, social-emotional learning, and professionalism. Most importantly, she loves her students. Mrs. Cleland graduated from high school in Calvert County and returned to teach kindergarten after graduating from the University of Maryland. She served as an assistant principal in an elementary and middle school and was the district Supervisor of Intermediate Reading and Language Arts before becoming principal at Windy Hill Elementary.

The Washington Post Teacher of the Year Award, formerly known as the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award, recognizes teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession. The Washington Post Principal of the Year Award, formerly called the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, seeks to recognize those principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. School systems in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, including D.C. public charters and private schools, selected nominees in the two categories.

The winner of the 2020 Teacher of the Year award is Teresa Beilstein, a third-grade teacher at South Shore Elementary in Crownsville, Maryland, and the Principal of the Year is Jesse Kraft, principal of Fairfax County’s Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary in Herndon, Virginia.


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David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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