Three named finalists for Teacher of the Year award

Three teachers were selected as finalists for the county’s Teacher of the Year award.

Finalists receive $2,000 and will be honored at an April ceremony. The educator chosen as the county Teacher of the Year will become a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

The contest is sponsored by Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, a nonprofit established to honor “outstanding teachers and students,” according to a news release.

The finalists are:

• Clarksburg High School social studies teacher Teak Bassett. He has written curriculum for several countywide classes and has coached speech and debate, lacrosse, football and softball.


• Hallie Wells Middle School English content specialist Madeline Hanington. Academic intervention programs she has developed are credited with increasing state test stores by 5 percentage points, helping place the Clarksburg school among the top-10 highest performing middle schools in English language arts.

• Burning Tree Elementary teacher Maura Backenstoe is considered the “glue that holds her school together,” the news release said. Over the past five years, nearly all of her students met or exceeded grade-level reading benchmarks. The school is in Bethesda

Hoover Middle students advance to national science competition


Students at Herbert Hoover Middle School will advance to the National Science Bowl championship.

Team members Alvin Guo, Adi Verma, Eric Yao, Andrew Zhang and Caleb Zhao recently won the regional competition, besting magnet school teams for the first time in at least 10 years, according to the team’s coach, Kenneth Halperin.

The national competition will be held April 25 through April 29 at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase.


School board seeks applicants for ethics panel

The county Board of Education is seeking applicants to fill one vacancy on its five-member ethics panel.

The position is for three years on the panel that oversees the application of the school board’s ethics policy, conducts hearings on ethics complaints filed against the school system and approves financial disclosure forms.


Panel members cannot be members of the school board or school staff.

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter by May 13, and the appointment will be made at a June school board meeting.