BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Wyatt Oroke, a teacher at City Springs Elementary School in Baltimore City, has been named the 2020-21 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Oroke, known as Mr. O., has taught at City Springs Elementary School since 2015. He currently teaches seventh and eighth grade English while also serving as a team leader, girls’ volleyball and boys’ basketball coach.

In addition, he serves a number of other roles in the school and his community.

He has received recognition for his teaching including awards from Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland State Senate, the Baltimore Orioles, as well as talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Despite the recognition, he acknowledges his journey wasn’t always easy.

“During my first year teaching, just a few months in, I thought I wanted to quit,” he said.

Oroke said he owes it all to the educators, students and community members who have supported him every day.

“Thank you to everyone who has ever poured passion, heart and love into our scholars across the state,” he said.

Thursday’s announcement was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oroke is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2013) and Johns Hopkins University School of Education (2015).

He will go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced next April.

This story was originally published on October 8, 2020.

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