Baltimore City Schools Surprises Teacher of the Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It isn’t every day the Baltimore City Schools CEO interrupts a 4th grade class, but today the news was BIG!

“You all helped him become this year’s teacher of the year,” said Baltimore City Schools CEO, Dr. Sonja Santelises “Congratulations!”

Justin Holbrook is a 4th grade science and math teacher at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School.

“I’m honored, thank you very much,” he said. “This isn’t for me, it’s for these guys. It’s extremely emotional for me because I love serving this community. I love serving the city of Baltimore. So, its for them.”

Mr. Holbrook is a Goucher College graduate, and was a student teacher at Roland Park for two years before being hired to teach first grade. He was later asked to teach science and math to 4th graders.

“I call myself a lead learner,” says Holbroo. “I’m not a teacher, I am just a learner along with these learners here with me.”

He says the best lessons he’s learned from his students are being patient, and enjoying every day.

He tells his student that it isn’t “how smart you are, but how hard you work.”

“He is nice, he is kind and he has good respect,” says one student.

“He is a great etcher and he deserves it,” says another.

“He really is committed to leveraging what he does in this classroom to the entire city,” says Dr. Santelises. “He is a real humble soul, but he does so much and its clear his kids love him.”

Mr. Holbrook says he is proud to accept the honor, and hopes to continue making Baltimore City a better place.

As Baltimore City Teacher of the Year, he is now nominated as Maryland Teacher of the Year.

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