Stephanie McKew Named Top Teacher in Baltimore Style Reader's Choice Award
Lower School Learning Specialist Stephanie McKew was recently voted Best Teacher (Elementary-Middle) by the 2018 Baltimore Style Readers’ Choice Awards.
“It is extremely humbling,” says McKew. “There are so many phenomenal educators in our community, our city and our state. To be recognized in this way is a mindboggling honor.”
Ms. McKew, who just began her 29th year of teaching last month, has been at Boys’ Latin since 2005. She says connecting with the boys each day and building relationships with them is the best part of her job. “We start every day laughing, and we end every day laughing,” she says. “We have a lot of fun.”
In addition to bringing a contagious enthusiasm and wonderful sense of humor to the classroom each day, Ms. McKew is extremely invested in each boy’s school success. Her teaching approach combines multisensory instruction and movement to maximize her students' engagement and absorption of the learning material.
Always on the lookout for the latest best practices, Ms. McKew is committed to finding the most innovative teaching techniques so that she can meet each boy’s individual learning needs. Last year, she presented at MassCue, an education conference, where she spoke about “Infercabulary,” the unique and dynamic way she teaches vocabulary at BL.
In addition to transforming her students into better readers and writers, she also models empathy and good citizenship through her involvement in a number of organizations. For example, she has traveled to a rural area of Sierra Leone on three separate occasions through her involvement with the Madieu Williams Foundation. While there, she worked as part of an American teaching team that taught classes and provided educational supplies. “Traveling to such a joyful community with incredible needs gave me such a sense of perspective,” she says.
Looking ahead, Ms. McKew hopes to return to Sierra Leone someday. Until then, she continues to makes a positive and meaningful impact close to home within the Boys’ Latin community.
“It takes only a moment when visiting Ms. McKew's classroom to realize you are in a very special place. Each day she engages our boys in passionate and creative lessons and activities that challenge each student to achieve his personal best,” says Head of Lower School Greg Schnitzlein. “I think what distinguishes her from other teachers is her relentless pursuit of professional growth and her willingness to implement new ideas in her lessons. She is not the type of teacher who rests on her laurels and our students and faculty are the better for it. I cannot think of a teacher who is more dedicated to her craft and the education of her students.”