Windsor Knolls Middle School Teacher Named State Finalist

Windsor Knolls Middle School Teacher Named State Finalist

Windsor Knolls Middle School Teacher Named State Finalist

Frederick, MD (September 11, 2023) – Windsor Knolls Middle science teacher Nicole Rhoades was named a finalist for the Maryland Teacher of the Year award.

Rhoades, the 2023-24 FCPS Teacher of the Year, is one of seven finalists for the prestigious honor given annually to one outstanding educator in Maryland. The 2023-24 Maryland Teacher of the Year will be announced during a gala reception and dinner at Martin’s West in Baltimore October 13, 2023.

Rhoades was surprised when informed by FCPS leaders that she was named a state Teacher of the Year finalist.

“We are so proud of Ms. Rhoades and this impressive accomplishment,” FCPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl L. Dyson said. “This is a significant honor for a teacher who serves as a leader at her school, supports science teachers across the district and inspires so many students.”

This is the second consecutive year a FCPS educator was named a Maryland State Teacher of the Year finalist. Last year, Jonathan Kurtz, the coordinator for the Academy for the Fine Arts at Gov. Thomas Johnson High, was also named a Maryland Teacher of the Year finalist. 

Rhoades was the sixth FCPS middle school teacher to be named FCPS Teacher of the Year and the first from Windsor Knolls Middle, where she has taught grades 7 and 8 science for 14 years.

At Windsor Knolls, Rhoades organized the first school wide science fair, planned a career day for science, technology, engineering and math professions, and developed full-day experiences for students in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

After achieving National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science in 2013, she served as a coach for others pursuing this certification. She believes in the value of professional development for educators and has shared lesson plans and sessions for other teachers in the county.

Prior to joining the Windsor Knolls Middle faculty, Rhoades taught in Baltimore County and conducted biomedical research at Johns Hopkins Medical Research. Her first teaching position with FCPS was at Walkersville Middle. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from Salisbury University.

Rhoades has earned several honors in her teaching career, including an Excellence in Gifted & Talented Education award. She is also a past nominee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 

Photo caption - from left: FCPS Secondary Science Teacher Specialist Carrie Crawford, FCPS Associate Superintendent of Public Affairs Dr. Eric Louers-Phillips, FCPS Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist Colleen Beall, Board of Education member Karen Yoho, Board of Education Vice President Dean Rose, 2023 FCPS Teacher of the Year Nicole Rhoades, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl L. Dyson, Windsor Knolls Middle Principal Brian Vasquenza and Windsor Knolls Assistant Principal Beth Lindstrom.