News Release: International High School Educator Named 2016 Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher

News Release: International High School Educator Named 2016 Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher

May 24, 2016
For Immediate Release
CONTACT:
Office of Communications
301-952-6001

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Christine Gilliard-Arthur, founding physical education and health teacher at the International High School at Langley Park (IHSLP), was recently selected as recipient of the 2016 Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher Award. Gilliard-Arthur was chosen for this honor by a committee of her peers from Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).

“Ms. Gilliard-Arthur is a passionate educator who is dedicated to ensuring her students’ success,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer for PGCPS. "Students at her school are not only learning English for the first time – many have left their homes to avoid gang violence and a life of poverty. Ms. Gilliard-Arthur’s ability to engage and empower these students embodies all that our Christa McAuliffe award stands for."

The Prince George’s County Board of Education and school system administrators will honor Gilliard-Arthur during the annual Employee Recognition Dinner on May 26 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. In addition, her name will be added to the Christa McAuliffe award plaque displayed in the Board Meeting Room at the Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.

Gilliard-Arthur has 16 years of teaching experience, 13 of them spent sharing her passion for health and physical education with students in Prince George’s County public schools. Besides teaching health and physical education at IHSLP, she also serves as athletic director, soccer coach, and student Success Coach. School staff nominated her for the award not only for her effectiveness as an educator, but also for her leadership, creativity, and collaboration skills; excellent rapport with families; and advocacy for students.

“Ms. Gilliard-Arthur is, more than anything, an inspiring top-notch educator who will go the extra mile for all of our students,” said her school’s founding principal Carlos M. Beato. “Her dedication to the classroom, the supports she gives our scholars beyond the classroom, and her ability to be reflective are just some of the things that make her an outstanding educator.”

Prior to becoming a founding teacher at the new International High School - Langley Park last fall, she served students for five years at Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School, where she was instrumental in the school earning the National Healthy School Programs Bronze Status. Additionally, Spellman was named a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Physical Education Demonstration School, the first and only school recognized as such in Prince George’s County.


Gilliard-Arthur is a lifelong learner who also shares her talents as a mentor teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology/physical education from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently working on her master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University.

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 Gilliard-Arthur as nominees for this year’s award:

  

  • Wanda Dixon, Springhill Lake ES

  • Lauren Duewer, Rockledge ES

  • Maria Frontanes, Springhill Lake ES

  • Dana Olfus, Benjamin Tasker MS

  • Karuna Skariah, Robert Goddard Montessori

  • Shana Sterkin, Springhill Lake ES

  • Nancy Stewart, Glenarden Woods ES

  • Sylvia Watkins, Phyllis E. Williams Spanish Immersion

  • Priscilla Zanghi, Ridgecrest ES

  • Heide Zeiszler, Ridgecrest ES

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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.