Frederick County Public Schools’ Allyson Golightly, who teaches first grade at Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, will receive the 2019 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award. Sponsored by Hood College, the award is presented each May to an FCPS teacher who has had a significant impact on young people.
Golightly learned this morning that she is this year’s honoree when Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban led the FCPS “Prize Patrol” on a visit to her at school. Central office and school administrators and staff were present to congratulate her.
Ally conveys genuine love for children through the experiences she provides for them daily that enable them to discover difficult concepts and develop personal relationships, wrote Principal Dr. Patty Hosfelt and Assistant Principal Susan Amerena, in a letter supporting Golightly’s nomination.
A 2009 graduate of Tuscarora High School, Golightly went on to major in elementary education and minor in mathematics and coaching at Elon University in North Carolina, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2013. She studied abroad in Costa Rica for a semester and learned conversational Spanish living with a Costa Rican family and teaching in a school there. During college, she earned a Fulbright to teach English in South Korea for a year. There, too, she lived with a host family, learning the culture and language.
Returning to Frederick in 2014, Golightly taught fifth grade at Brunswick Elementary and coached the Brunswick High School women’s varsity lacrosse team. Experiences with “Coach Go” led several students to continue playing lacrosse in college.
Wherever she is, Golightly connects with young people, enriching their lives and hers. At Brunswick Elementary four years, she led and participated in family-involvement events and was a regular at her students’ extracurricular activities. At Butterfly Ridge Elementary, she and another teacher started a popular club that focuses on physical fitness and coding. She uses her conversational Spanish to help students who are learning English communicate their choices with cafeteria staff. Getting to know students, she creatively motivates them to achieve academic success, devoting her lunch and planning times to mentor and guide them. For example, to encourage a little girl struggling to master a math concept, Golightly created word problems with examples she knew would interest the child, who loved unicorns and My Little Pony toys. Coaching high school students, her respect and openness fostered their bonding as a team; she also presented volunteer opportunities the team appreciated.
The late Samuel Eig of Gaithersburg, MD, established the Tressler Award to recognize Dr. Tressler, a Giles professor emeritus of early childhood education who taught at the college from 1964 to 1990. Dr. Tressler chaired Hood’s Education Department for 18 years and served on the school’s graduate school council for 12 years. Hood College will formally present Ms. Golightly the award during its graduate school reception in May.
Standing, left to right, are Board of Education of Frederick County member Karen A. Yoho, Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award recipient Allyson Golightly, and FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban with students in Ms. Golightly’s first grade class at Butterfly Ridge Elementary.