2016 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' Teacher of the Year.  

    Kathleen Callaghan

    Kathleen Callaghan has taught English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at City Schools for 17 years. As part of her graduate studies, she was interested in factors that influenced the academic achievement of undocumented immigrant students. Kathleen has been at Digital Harbor High School since 2002, and has helped build the ESOL program from 5 to 180 students. She has delivered ESOL instruction in a variety of modes including traditional ESL instruction, inclusion and pull-out, sheltered content instruction, and co-teaching in content areas. She is the lead organizer for the school’s annual International Fair, and partners with community organizations that advocate for immigrants’ rights.
    Justin Holbrook  
    Justin Holbrook is a 4th-grade math and science teacher at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Justin is the founder of #BmoreEdchat, a weekly Twitter chat focused on educator collaboration. He was also featured in a documentary entitled Grey Matters which is currently in post production. Justin believes that educators should create environments where students are empowered as lead learners. To create this student voice and choice, Justin is passionate about integrating the arts and drama with the Brain Targeted Teaching framework, incorporating games and physical movement, and providing for his community as a servant leader through School Family Council. 
     Sia Kyriakakos
    Sia Kyriakakos is an art educator who has transformed the halls and culture of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School using student artwork. By including her students' artwork in exhibits around the city, she has highlighted the importance of arts in schools. As an artist, Sia has received a number of  awards including international recognition. She represented Greece in the 50th Venice Biennale and received a Fulbright. A passionate advocate for her students and colleagues, she was a 2015 cohort member of the AFT’s Teacher Leader Program. Her classroom is a place where minds, artistic abilities, and dreams can grow and everyone’s potential is nourished.