2017 Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Each year, City Schools celebrates its great teachers with the Teacher of the Year award. Through a competitive process that includes applications, essays, and recommendations followed by interviews and classroom observations of the finalists, the candidate pool is narrowed until one teacher is surprised by district leaders in the classroom with the announcement of the winner.  
    Meet the three outstanding teachers who have moved on to the finalist stage for City Schools' 2017 Teacher of the Year.  
    Noraida Ankobia

    Noraida Ankobia is a 3rd-grade teacher at Gardenville Elementary who has been teaching with Baltimore City Public Schools for eight years. Noraida strives to be an asset in her students’ lives by nurturing their talents and supporting them during their struggles and challenges. She holds students to high expectations, encourages them to take academic risks, and provides effective learning opportunities. She is focused on empowering students so they can empower themselves and design their life trajectory, dedicated to their success, and honored to serve them. 
    Justin Holbrook
    Justin Holbrook is a 4th-grade math and science teacher at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Justin was named an Outstanding Educator in Gifted and Talented Education -Teacher as a Leader by Maryland EGATE and was featured in a national documentary entitled Grey Matters regarding his instruction implementing Brain Targeted Teaching and the arts. Additionally, Justin has served as lead organizer for EdCamp Maryland hosted by MSDE and he is the founder of #BmoreEdchat, a weekly Twitter professional development discussion focused on promoting educator collaboration. Justin’s goal is to enhance nationwide professional learning through teacher story-telling and classroom experiences. 
    Katie Poist
    Katie Poist is a 4th-grade math and teacher at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School who has been teaching in Baltimore City Schools for 10 years. A member of her school’s Instructional Leadership Team, Katie mentors early career teachers and undergraduate and graduate students. Katie’s love for STEM is evident in her inspirational instruction and in her work coaching students outside of the classroom in First Lego League Robotics. Katie’s greatest pride as a teacher comes from the academic and social growth she nurtures in her students, and in their increased acknowledgment of the power of taking risks and learning from others. She is a lifelong learner and continuously seeks out opportunities to build her capacity to make learning rigorous, engaging and accessible to all students.