A Frederick County chemistry teacher named Maryland's Teacher of the Year last fall is among four educators from around the country who will vie for the title of National Teacher of the Year, the State Department of Education announced Wednesday.
Michelle M. Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School, will be the second teacher from Maryland to represent the state in the national competition. In 2006, Kimberly Oliver, a kindergarten teacher from Montgomery County, won the national title.
"This is a rarity," said Bill Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education. "There's 50 states, and everyone puts up their best and brightest. So, it's a big deal."
Shearer, who beat out 24 teachers to win the state title, will be interviewed by a panel in March, and the White House will announce the national winner in May. Shearer will compete against teachers from Florida, Illinois and Montana for the national honor.
A graduate of Princeton University and McDaniel College, Shearer attended Gallaudet and Walden universities and holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry, a master's degree in deaf education, and dual certification in chemistry and general special education. Shearer, the 2009 Maryland recipient of the Siemens Award for AP Teaching, said in a statement that she believes "chemistry is everywhere, and thus chemistry is for everyone" and prides herself on producing Maryland's "scientists of the future."