Kimberly Oliver, 29, a kindergarten teacher at the 500-student Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., was named the 2006 National Teacher of the Year at a White House ceremony last week.
When she began teaching at Broad Acres six years ago, the school was in danger of being restructured by the state. But for the past three years, it has met or exceeded requirements for academic progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Some of the credit, officials said, is due to Ms. Oliver, who helped ensure consistency in curriculum and assessment across the school, which is part of the 139,000-student Montgomery County, Md., school system.
To help parents become more involved in their children’s education at the school, where 90 percent of the children are from low-income families, Ms. Oliver wrote grant proposals for tape recorders so teachers could record books on tape for students to read at home with their parents.
Ms. Oliver helps sponsor “Books and Supper Night,” when families visit the school, check out books from the library, and eat dinner together to foster literacy and community involvement.
The award is given by the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers and sponsored by New York City-based Scholastic Inc. and the U.S. division of the global financial institution ING.
A version of this article appeared in the May 03, 2006 edition of Education Week