Dr. Suzanne Dashiell Elder Earns Distinguished Teacher Award

Tressler Teacher of the Year Dr. Suzanne Dashiell Elder

A high school science teacher with more than 20 years of experience in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is being honored for her dedication to the profession.

Dr. Suzanne Dashiell Elder, of Urbana High School, will receive the 2023 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award. Sponsored by Hood College, the award is presented to an FCPS teacher who has had a significant impact on young people.

Elder learned she was the recipient today following a visit by the FCPS SurPRIZE patrol consisting of students, teachers, administrators and community and education leaders.

“Dr. Dashiell Elder is a true champion of students,” FCPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl L. Dyson said. “Her enthusiasm for science and STEM has inspired so many students. I am so grateful for both Dr. Dashiell Elder’s dedication and Hood College presenting this award to an FCPS educator every year.”

Dr. Elder was nominated by Elizabeth McCook, the Urbana High science department chair.

“[Dr. Elder] is a tremendous teacher, mother and wife,” McCook wrote in her application. “As a scientist, she realized early on that she had the desire to the influence young people to enter the field of science.”

One of Dr. Elder’s students was quoted as saying: “Dr. D. is a very caring and genuine teacher. She works hard to inspire students to enjoy what they’re learning.”

Elder was awarded the 2021-2022 National Advisor of the Year award through the Science National Honor Society. Among her many activities at Urbana High, she is the advisor for the Science National Honors Society and Daughters for STEM. 

The late Samuel Eig, of Gaithersburg, 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.