2011 National Teacher of the Year

Michelle Shearer, Frederick County Public Schools

Michelle Shearer receiving the award from President Barack ObamaIn a special White House ceremony on May 3, President Barack Obama honored Frederick County Public Schools teacher Michelle Shearer as the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

The Urbana High School Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry teacher moved up in the competition from FCPS Teacher of the Year to Maryland Teacher of the Year last October to one of four national finalists in January. She is the country’s 61st National Teacher of the Year, the second from Maryland and the first from Frederick County.

In his introduction President Obama stated, “America will only be as strong in this century as the education we provide our students. And at a time when our nation’s success depends on our ability to out educate other countries, we need more teachers like Michelle.”

As she stood next to the President in the sunny Rose Garden at a lectern bearing the Presidential seal, Ms. Shearer recognized her colleagues in classrooms across the nation. “There are millions of teachers in America, and we could all be pursuing different careers, but we choose to use our gifts and talents to benefit students in the classroom.”

Ms. Shearer recognized her 90 AP chemistry students—referring to the regular “pep talks” she gives them—as well as her daughter, Carly, who was in the audience and shyly received a special wave from the President.

At the conclusion of Ms. Shearer’s remarks, the President said with a smile, “I think you can see why Michelle is the National Teacher of the Year. I think I’m going to send her up to Congress to give them a pep talk.”

"Michelle has a contagious passion for teaching that will benefit the profession far beyond Frederick County and the state while she fulfills this exciting role in the coming year. I can think of no better advocate for public education,” according to Dr. Linda Burgee, Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent.

Dr. Burgee attended the ceremony along with Ms. Shearer’s family, Urbana High Principal Kathy Campagnoli and numerous state and national elected officials and dignitaries, including Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick. Ms. Shearer’s students watched the proceedings together back at school.