ESOL Teacher of the Year Award


The ESOL Teacher of the Year Award honors two ESOL educators -- K-12 and Higher Education-- who go above and beyond in their job duties inside and outside of the ESOL classroom. This annual award is given to one K-12 and one Higher Education ESOL teacher who have distinguished themselves within that year for specific reasons. Nominees must be ESOL educators in the State of Maryland and a member of Maryland TESOL. The Award is presented at the Annual Spring Dinner & Meeting.

2021 K-12 Award Recipient 

Teacher of the Year - K-12

Heather Andrews has been a fiercely advocating ESOL teacher and tutor for elementary school students and high school students for a decade. She always goes above and beyond to make families feel a great sense of belonging when they transition into a new life here in Maryland. From family picnics, evening phone calls, handwritten letters, coordinating pen pal pairs with Spanish students, coordinating support with counselors, to researching her craft to bolster her students’ literacy, Heather always puts 110% of her time, energy, mind and heart into her students who often continue to reach out to her to stay in touch post graduation.  In a time of uncertainty, her care for her students and knowledge of what is going on in each and all of their lives, Heather’s approach to learning has always been all in for the human experiences she is privileged to have everyday with students from around the world. Maryland is better to have her!

2021 Adult Award Recipient

Teacher of the Year - Higher Education

Mary Margaret Polglase has been inspiring students, faculty, and staff at FCC in the ESOL field since February 2013. She has taught over 800 students in that time in just shy of 100 unique classes. Students and colleagues in the Adult/Ed grant program, pre-academic Targeted ESL program, and Academic ESOL program have all been inspired and supported by Mary’s profound impact. In these nine years at FCC, Mary has seen students progress through all three ESOL programs to continue with Continuing Education and Workforce Development classes, obtain industry certifications, and embark on successful professional careers. She has encouraged students from the very beginning levels through their transition to degree-seeking status in undergraduate programs. She has volunteered in Montgomery County and Frederick County to create a supportive and encouraging connection to advance literacy and civic engagement in those communities. She has mentored new adjunct instructors, developed curriculum, and co-taught classes in niche fields such as banking. Her dedication to the field and to the hundreds of students she serves deserves recognition.



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