Justin Holbrook. Photo via Baltimore City Public Schools.

Justin Holbrook is now representing Baltimore City Public Schools as a finalist for 2017-18 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Holbrook, a fourth-grade math and science instructor at Roland Park Elementary/Middle, is one of seven teacher picked for the annual state award. A Maryland Department of Education press release says Holbrook is “inspired to enhance professional learning through teacher story-telling and classroom experiences.” He holds a master’s degree from Loyola University Maryland, which he earned earlier this year, and a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College.

He’s on something of a tear now after being named Baltimore City Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2017 in May. City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises described him in a statement at the time as “a creative and energetic teacher who puts the needs of his students first and works to ensure all students have engaging learning opportunities.”

Holbrook has earned his finalist spot in part by being an active teacher at Roland Park Elementary/Middle, where he’s taught since 2010. He chairs the School Family Council and serves on the School Leadership Team and, among other roles and accolades, also founded the professional learning network BmoreEdchat, which offers weekly pow-wows for Baltimore teachers.

Holbrook’s fellow finalists include Joshua Carroll from Anne Arundel County’s South River High School, Dr. Maddy Halbach from Howard County’s Academy of Finance and four others from across the state.

The winner gets cash, new technology for the classroom, travel opportunities and a new car, and is automatically entered into the National Teacher of the Year contest. Last year’s winner, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech’s Athanasia “Sia” Kyriakakos, went on to become one of four finalists in the national competition.

The state teacher of the year will be announced during a reception on Oct. 27.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...