2016 Teacher of the Year

  • 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. 

    Congratulations Sia Kyriakakos, City Schools' 2016 Teacher of the Year, State Teacher of the Year, and Finalist for National Teacher of the Year!  

    Sia Kyriakakos Sia Kyriakakos began her tenure at City Schools as an art educator in 2011 at Baltimore Civitas Middle/High School. She taught at Baltimore Talent Development High School in 2013 and arrived at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School the following school year. Over the course of her teaching career, she has taught art to students in grades ranging from pre-kindergarten through college.
    Her influence is seen throughout Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, and she is credited with transforming the halls and cultural environment of the school using student artwork. “When you look at the quality of the work of our students, it speaks volumes of what she believes about our students and what they can accomplish given the right opportunity and instruction,” said Mervo Principal Craig Rivers. "What she does in a semester sends a message that transcends art.”
    Students and staff describe Ms. Kyriakakos as a passionate advocate for education and equity for all children in their artistic pursuits. Her talents and skills not only bring the world of art to her students, but she works tirelessly to provide opportunities for her students to display their talents outside the classroom.By including her students’ artwork in exhibits across the city, she has highlighted the importance of the arts in schools.Just recently, Mervo students received five Congressional awards from participation in Congressman Elijah E. Cummings’ annual Congressional Art Competition.Two of the five students were also awarded special nominations from the curators of the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore and the Visionary Arts Museum.
    “I believe that the impact of the arts spreads through the entire academic experience of each student.Ms. Kyriakakos’ dedication to her students and the arts is obviously evident. It is clear to see that every student that comes into her classroom is pushed to his/her utmost potential to achieve,” said Congressman Cummings. Former students Dasia Gorham credits Ms. Kyriakakos with having a profound impact on her art and her life.“Ms. Kyriakakos opened my eyes to see that there are more colors to this canvas called life than just black, white, and gray.Even after I graduated from Baltimore Talent Development, Ms. Kyriakakos still goes above and beyond by keeping in touch and checking to see that I stay engaged with art.I frequently go up to Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School to relive her class by participating in projects, helping other students with their work in art class and helping them see what Ms. Kyriakakos has worked so hard for me to see.”
    Ms. Kyriakakos holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art; a teaching certificate from Central Connecticut State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also lectures and provides staff development and leadership training. Her passion for art education and equity was recognized in Washington, D.C. where she presented her research at TEACH 2016, the American Federation of Teachers National Conference.
    Read more about Ms. Kyriakakos in the press release