Jennifer Burdock Rankin, an 8th-grade language arts, pre-algebra, algebra teacher known for her willingness to collaborate with teachers to improve instruction and integrate technology into content areas at Northern Middle School in Garrett County, has been named the 2010 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick made the surprise announcement at an evening gala that included Congressmen John Sarbanes and Frank Kratovil, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, State Comptroller Peter Franchot, Chancellor William Kirwan, State Board President James DeGraffenreidt, members of the State Board of Education, and hundreds of educators, parents, business, and community leaders.
Ms. Rankin, a graduate of Frostburg State University and West Virginia University, holds a bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Spanish, a master’s degree in Education in Special Education, and a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in the area of educational leadership, which she expects to complete this year. Ms. Rankin has also achieved her National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Mathematics. She said that having a mother as a kindergarten instructional assistant was a major factor for pursuing teaching as a profession. Ms. Rankin said she learned from an early age that the key to teaching is finding innovative ways to motivate each and every student.
“Jennifer is the teacher all parents want their children to experience,” said Mr. William Carlson, Northern Middle School Principal. “She raises teaching to an art form and has the ability and skills to engage her students, making them feel loved as they are drawn into the magic of learning.”
“Choosing Maryland’s Teacher of the Year is never an easy task, and this year’s nominees were certainly some of the strongest candidates we’ve seen,” said Dr. Grasmick. “Jennifer Rankin exudes the true spirit of teaching through her desire to not only motivate her students to achieve academic success, but also through her desire to collaborate with other teachers on innovative programs and new technology to help them motivate their students and encourage learning. Her natural ability to inspire students and teachers around her is certainly reason to bestow her with this honor.”
“My greatest accomplishment in education is making sure that what I am doing every day, not only follows curriculum, but also motivates and inspires students to learn,” said Ms. Rankin. “The same experiences that would encourage people to get involved in education, whether through tutoring programs, volunteering in the community, or in their own child’s education, one thing is certain – we can all make a difference.”
As the Maryland Teacher of the Year, Ms. Rankin will receive numerous prizes including, $9,000 in cash awards, a week at National Space Camp, a 4-day trip to the Teacher of the Year Conference in Dallas, Texas, a SmartBoard and supporting materials from SMARTer Kids Foundation valued at $16,000, and a $28,000 Nissan Altima from the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. She also will be honored by the President at the White House in April 2010. Ms. Rankin will now go on to the National Teacher of the Year competition, which will be announced next April.
Jennifer Rankin - 300dpi JPEG
Jennifer Rankin - 300dpi TIFF
2009 - 2010 Teachers of the Year State Board Recognition photo on May 28, 2009
2009 - 2010 Teachers of the Year State Board Recognition hi-res photo on May 28, 2009