FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — Jennifer Perez Ryan, an English Learners teacher at West Frederick Middle School, is the 2021-22 Frederick County Teacher of the Year, Frederick County Public Schools officials announced Tuesday.

She will be the system’s representative in the Maryland Teacher of the Year program, and is the first West Frederick Middle teacher to receive this distinction.

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“We were thrilled to recognize Jennifer Perez Ryan this morning as the FCPS Teacher of the Year,” FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban said. “Since Perez Ryan arrived at West Frederick Middle, she has gone above and beyond to support students and consistently advocates for what is best for her school community.”

Perez Ryan, who is bilingual, is in her third year at West Frederick Middle. She has served as the eighth-grade team leader and the social studies department chair.

She is the school’s LGBTQ Club Advisor and also recently led a workshop program for teachers that explored the topic of racism, guiding them with strategies to help navigate uncomfortable conversations in the classroom.

Perez Ryan has served on the FCPS Racial Equity Committee since 2019 and was named the 2019 Frederick Center Ally of the Year for her support of LGBTQ students.

Before teaching at West Frederick Middle, Perez Ryan taught middle school English and History at the Alameda Unified School District in California from 2015-17. From 1999-2010, Perez Ryan served as an educator at Windsor Knolls Middle, where she served as part of the School Improvement Team and as the Student Government Association and yearbook advisers.

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Perez Ryan’s two daughters attend their mother’s school and were part of the announcement, along with Alban, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, Board of Education member Karen Yoho, Frederick County Teachers Association President Missy Dirks, and Frederick County PTA Vice President Whitney Cummins.

CBS Baltimore Staff