UPPER MARLBORO, MD -- Jessica Schiery, second grade teacher at Perrywood Elementary School, was recently selected as recipient of the 2012 Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher Award. Schiery was selected for this honor by a committee of fellow educators in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).
“The Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes teachers for creative and exceptional instruction,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of Schools. "To be selected by a committee of peers is especially meaningful, as they understand the challenges teachers face and know how an effective teacher can make a difference in the life of a child."
Schiery will be honored by the school system and Prince George’s County Board of Education during the annual Recognition Dinner on May 31. Her name will be inscribed on a plaque displayed in the Board of Education Meeting Room at the Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.
Schiery has spent her entire 16-year career serving students in Prince George’s County public schools. She has spent the past 11 years teaching second-graders at Perrywood. Peers and parents at her school nominated Schiery for the award not only for her professionalism, content knowledge and effectiveness in the classroom, but for her ability to inspire and motivate students, especially in the areas of science and mathematics.
“Ms. Schiery has heartfelt compassion and the sincere belief that every student can learn,” said principal Carolyn Poole. “She has proven to be an outstanding educator and a remarkable role model for her students and colleagues.”
Before teaching at Perrywood, Schiery spent five years teaching third-graders at Thomas Claggett Elementary School. She also provided workshops, activities and tutoring to improve students’ academic, behavior and study skills.
A ready volunteer, Schiery has taken on many leadership roles in her school, including acting as Grade Level Chair and Math Coordinator, serving on the School Planning and Management Team, and writing math curriculum. She also acts as PTA Liaison, mentors and trains resident teachers, and develops parent workshops.
While at Perrywood, she established the grade level spelling bee and coordinated her school’s participation in the national First In Math competition to help students improve their math skills. She has also coached the school’s Science Bowl and Be Excited About Math (BEAM) teams, and participated in the school system’s “Count on Us” television show that provides live math homework help.
Schiery earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mt. St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg. She went on to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College in Westminster.
The Christa McAuliffe Award honors an outstanding educator based on competitive standards of excellence established by other teachers. The award is a tribute to McAuliffe, America’s Teacher-In-Space, who was lost in the January 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. McAuliffe taught in Prince George’s County from 1971 to 1978.
The following teachers joined Schiery as nominees for this year’s award:
Victor Arotimi • Waldon Woods Elementary
Dawn Ba’th • Thomas G. Pullen Creative & Performing Arts School
Tori Butler • Glassmanor Elementary
Romelita Panga • James McHenry Elementary
Shona Sandlin • Carole Highlands Elementary
Aubrie Santuccio • Scotchtown Hills Elementary
Patricia Seaton • Howard B. Owens Science Center
Danielle Spisak • Cool Spring Elementary
Walter Williams Jr. • Fairmont Heights High School