Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School Advanced Placement (AP) teacher William Thomas was named the 2008-2009 Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year today during an annual reception at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville. Thomas was honored in front of a crowd of more than 200 of his peers, friends, family, and County and State officials.
“I am very proud of all of the nominees for the Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. John E. Deasy. “We are extremely fortunate to have teachers with such talent and dedication serving in our school system, and every one of them should be considered the ‘Teacher of the Year’ to their students.”
Thomas teaches AP Government at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro. With a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from the State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Arts in Reading Education from Bowie State University, Thomas spent the last six years of his career teaching in Prince George’s County public schools.
He spent his first four years at Kettering Middle School as an eighth-grade U.S. History teacher, then moved to Ernest Everett Just Middle School for another four years before assuming his current position. His peers at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. HS nominated him for the Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding instructional and leadership abilities, as well as for his efforts to improve instructional programs and enrichment opportunities for students in the field of social studies.
During his career as a teacher, Thomas has been recognized several times for exceptional teaching. He received the Prince George’s County Outstanding Teacher Award and the Myrtle Fentress Outstanding Educator Award in 2005; the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher Award in 1999; and the Spellman Achievement Award for
In addition to his role as an AP Government teacher, Thomas teaches 10th-grade Local, State, and National (LSN) Government, is the Mock Trial Team Coach, and the sponsor of his high school’s Stock Market Club. He has worked during evenings and summers to assist with curriculum writing for the Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) Social Studies office. He has been a presenter at new teacher orientations and workshops. Thomas is currently pursuing National Board Certification, a challenging two-year process that will allow him to achieve the highest level of certification available to teachers.
Outside of the school system, Thomas is involved in the “Brother to Brother, Sister to Sister” Cycling Club, which raises money for AIDS awareness and research. He is the founding member of the Tete-á-Tete Book Club, which he established in 2004. He also has a strong background in music, and served as head musician for his college gospel choir, and his church, in Albany.
Thomas will go on to compete with representatives from all 24 counties for the title of 2009 Maryland Teacher of the Year, a competition coordinated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). A committee of his peers will determine the finalists over the next several months, and the winner of the Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a ceremony in the fall. The winner will represent Maryland in the national competition.
The following 16 PGCPS teachers were also nominated by their peers for Prince George’s County Teacher of the Year, with four, besides Thomas, being selected as semi-finalists:
- Hortense Adams, Deerfield Run Elementary School (Semi-Finalist)
- Malcolm Anderson, Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School
- Lois Atkins, Glassmanor Elementary School
- Romeo Casanova, Samuel Chase Elementary School
- Dara Case, Greenbelt Elementary School
- Melanie Crawford, William W. Hall Elementary School
- Anton Davis, James Ryder Randall Elementary School
- Beverly Floyd, James Ryder Randall Elementary School
- Mary Haraway, Mount Rainier Elementary School
- Tanya Jenkins-Johnson, Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School (Semi-Finalist)
- Bernadette Sharp Melvin, Carmody Hills Elementary School
- Beverly McNeill, Largo High School (Semi-Finalist)
- Teri Sala, Riverdale Elementary School
- Mary Ann Spaeth, Cherokee Lane Elementary School
- Nicole Thomas, Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School
- Susan Toerge, Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School (Semi-Finalist)